Areas and Places News

City of Cape Town halts new developments as city sewerage system takes strain

The City of Cape Town is halting new developments in 144 areas because the city sewerage system requires upgrades.

In a press release issued last week, the City informed residents and property developers that clearance for some new developments to connect to the sewerage system “will be aligned to the completion of major capacity upgrades at the Potsdam, Zandvliet, and Macassar Waste Water Treatments Works (WWTWs) and to ensure sustainable development, it is necessary that these plants operate within existing capacity while major upgrades are underway”.

Given that preparations for most of the large developments take years, we strongly recommend that developers still go ahead and submit their applications to the City” commented the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt.

Once they have the necessary approvals it means there will be no delays and construction plans can be aligned for connection to the sewerage system as soon as the new capacity at the specific water treatment plant becomes available”.

The predicted sewage discharge from a development is directly related to its predicted water demand and size. According to the City, the following choices will need to be made when considering an application in one of the constrained Wastewater Treatment Works catchments:

  • Any type of Municipal Planning By-law application, development, or building plan of small size can proceed. This allows for up to 4.0kl per day water demand from up to ten dwelling units or 2 000m2 of usable floor area. A caveat is necessary in that, during the period before the treatments works has been upgraded and depending on cumulative estimated sewage discharge from all such developments, the Director Bulk Services: Water and Sanitation may announce a cut off point at which no further applications may be allowed to proceed (or such building plans approved) until the upgrading has been completed.
  • For all larger sizes of Municipal Planning By-law applications or developments, postponement of connection and sewage discharge to the City’s system (or in the case of building plans, refusal) may be required. For medium-sized building plans or existing zoning rights that have not lapsed (up to five times the size or water demand of a small development) where on a case-by-case basis in discussion with the Water and Sanitation Department, some start up phasing may be necessary before completion of the treatment works upgrade.
  • A temporary solution of a package plant for on-site wastewater treatment to enable earlier commencement of development may be supported by the City but no discharge from such scheme will be allowed into the city sewerage system in the constrained catchment. The approval of a license for such a plant will be required from the National Department of Water and Sanitation according to strict conditions of quality compliance, effluent of sludge disposal, and system management.

Landowners and developers will be advised, during pre-submission consultations of the relevant infrastructure capacity constraints and how these may affect their applications. This is so that landowners and developers can plan and decide when they want to submit development applications, and how to time construction work”.

  • Landowners and developers from the affected suburbs (list below) are encouraged to schedule a pre-submission meeting with the development management district office in their area to discuss the impact on their proposed applications.
  • All development applications will be assessed as per usual and in terms of the City’s Municipal Planning By-law, and other relevant City policies.
  • Land use rights are valid for five years and approvals can be extended for another five years upon application.
  • All building plans will be assessed in terms of the National Building Regulations.
  • The City’s Water and Sanitation Department will assess each building plan on its own merits to determine whether the relevant WWTW has capacity for the new building or development. If the assessment is positive, clearance will be given to the discharge sewage. Once this clearance has been issued, the Development Management Department can finalise the building plan and the developer may then proceed with construction.
  • Building plans for existing rights and approvals will be circulated to the City’s Directorate for Water and Waste for assessment.
  • All approved developments will have to comply with water-saving plumbing and measures to reduce sewage discharge.
  • Developers are encouraged to send an email to subscribe to the Development Management’s online portal for more information, maps of the suburbs and areas that are being affected, the sewage discharge assessment methodology to be applied, and further updates.

List of areas draining to the relevant WWTWs:

Potsdam WWTW

  • Acacia Park, Annandale Farm, Atlantis Gardens, Big Bay, Blaauwberg Strand, Blouberg Rise, Blouberg Sands, Bloubergrant, Bothasig, Brooklyn, Burgundy Estate, Century City, Dunoon, Edgemead, Flamingo Vlei, Glenwood, Joe Slovo Park, Kaapzicht, Killarney Gardens, Kleinbosch, Lagoon Beach, Marconi Beam, Milnerton, Milnerton Ridge, Montague, Montague Gardens, Monte Vista, N1-City, Parklands, Phoenix, Plattekloof Glen, Plattekloof Partial, Racing Park, Richmond Park, Richwood, Rivergate, Royal Ascot, Rugby, Sanddrift, Sandown, Summer Greens, Sunningdale, Sunridge, Sunset Beach, Sunset Links, Table View, The Stables, Tijgerhof, Tygerdal, Welgelegen, West Beach, West Riding, Ysterplaat

Zandvliet WWTW

  • Amandelsig, Austinville, Bellville Teachers College, Benno Park, Blackheath Industria, Blue Downs CBD, Bosonia, Brentwood Park – Blue Downs, Camelot, Danarand, De Kuilen, De Wijnlanden Estate, Delft 4, Delft South, Delro Village, Dennemere, Eerste Rivier South, Eikenbosch Kuils River, Eindhoven, Ekuphumleni, Electric City, Eyethu, Fairdale, Forest Heights, Forest Village, Fountain Village, Gaylee, Gersham, Graceland, Greenfields, Hagley, Happy Valley, Harare, Highbury, Highbury Park, Highgate, Hillcrest Heights, Hindle Park, Hunters Creek, Ilitha Park, Jagtershof, Kalkfontein, Khaya, Kleinvlei Town, Klipdam, Kuilsrivier South Smallholdings, Kuyasa, Leiden, Lillydale, Loucharmante, Malibu Village, Mandela Park, Mfuleni, Mikro Park, Mxolisi Phetani, Nonqubela, Oakdene, Roosendal, Rosedale – Klein Vlei, Rotterdam, Rustdal, Sabata Dalindyebo Square, Sarepta, Saxenburg Park 1, Silveroaks, Silversands, Silvertown – Khayelitsha, St Dumas, Sunbird Park, The Conifers, The Hague, Thembokwezi, Turtle Creek, Tuscany Glen, Umrhabulo Triangle, Victoria Mxenge, Voorbrug, Vredelust Kuils River, Wembley Park, Wesbank, Zevendal, Zevenzicht.

Macassar WWTWs

  • All suburbs in the towns of Gordon’s Bay, Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, Strand, Somerset West, Firgrove, Croydon, Faure, Macassar and surrounding rural areas.