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ExpatCapeTown Newsletter, May 2018, Cape Town utilities update and so much more
May 12, 2018

Welcome to our Cape Town Living Tips

May 2018

Dear all,

the year continues to be full of adventure and surprises. Cape Town is still struggling with the water crisis and an unsettled government. The political infighting in the City of Cape Town’s municipal offices does not seem to end with the major being dismissed now by the DA, the ruling party in the Western Cape. The countrywide transport strike affects thousands of commuters in Cape Town as well as the local bus drivers are on strike. The strike is in its third week and we hope the issues will be resolved soon.

The dam levels only have recovered a tiny bit with few but heavy downpours and are at the beginning of May at 20,9%. The water restrictions of 50l per person a day are here to stay. Temporary desalination plants are confirmed to be underway, however, we still await full integration of the temporary systems which are all delayed. The desalination plant at the Waterfront is connected, though water testing is still carried out before supply can be fully integrated. A new water treatment plant is envisaged to come on line in the second half of 2020 and further alternatives are explored by the department.

Here just some basic points to remember: The monthly consumption should be at 6,000 litres per household. The 50 litres per person allowance refers to usage per day, whether at home, work or school. Water saving devices will be fitted to those homes that still use above 10.5kl, to limit water usage and thus target the city’s highest water users. Therefore, households with more than four occupants need to register with the City of CapeTown to increase the allowable monthly use.

Now off to better news, Cape Town just received another prestigious award. The International Congress and Convention Association named Cape Town as best destination for meetings in Africa - newest report published on 7 May. With 62 major meeting events, the Mother City certainly is seen as the most important conference and meeting center on the African continent. Next week the African Utility Week, which is the leading conference and trade exhibition for African power, energy and water professionals will take place at the CTICC and many international visitors will be expected.

Lots of exciting events are happening in Cape Town this month. May is Africa month and celebrations of African culture and heritage take place in a multitude of events. 2018 is the centennial of Nelson Mandela’s birthday and according to the minister of Arts and Culture this is “The Year of Nelson Mandela: Building a Better Africa and a Better World!

I wish you all a wonderful month of May and as Mandela once said: “As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world, none of us can truly rest.” Be inspired and work together, let's all try to make this city a better and more happy place for all.

Now enjoy our newsletter and have a great time in Cape Town or wherever you are!

Updates and News

This is what you will find in this ExpatCapeTown newsletter edition:

* All you should know: More about connecting to utilities in Cape Town - New water tariffs

* What's on in Cape Town: May Events and June Events

* Typical Slang Words: How to wish 'Happy Birthday'

* Cape Town Insider Tips: Know where to go when...

Cape Town Utilities: How to get connected

The cost of electricity and water will increase with new tariffs that will come into effect on 1 July 2018. The ailing parastatal Eskom, sole electricity supplier in South Africa, will increase the electricity tariffs for municipal supply by 7.32%. Direct customers have already noticed the 5.23% increase which was implemented on 1 April 2018.

The city of Cape Town also announced a further 27%-increase of the water tariffs by 1 July. Not only the cost for repairs to the ageing infrastructure will be taken into account, but also the significant decrease in water volumes paid by the citizens due to water restrictions. These restrictions are highly likely to remain inlace according to the newest outlook release by the CoCT. For all those, who want to know more about the current water situation, please have a look at the latest Cape Town Water Outlook Presentation

Read more about the Water Outlook 2018

What's On in Cape Town?

There are many events happening in Cape Town this winter as you will see on our ExpatCapeTown event calendar. On 18 May 2018 is International Museum's Day - all Iziko museums, including the National Art Gallery and the Natural History Museum will be open to the public free of charge.

Events in May

Spread the Love - Help a Good Cause

The Labia Theatre in Gardens will host two film screenings this weekend in aid of the local NGO StreetSmartSA. The two films are: the intimate drama, The Way, starring Martin Sheen, on Saturday 12 May 2018 at 13h45 and the inspiringly beautiful travelogue, Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago. Both films, set on the famous Camino de Santiago in Spain, which draws people from all over the world on an epic pilgrimage every year, will be shown on Sunday 13 May 2018 at 16h00. Tickets need to be booked in advance at the theatre and cost R40. Call 021 424 5927 to book.

Typical South African terms

When living in Cape Town you will encounter many people speaking the local language isiXhosa. As in our previous newsletters, we have already shared typical South African terms with you, we now want to share also words that are commonly heard in conversations and are used in the daily routines of so many isiXhosa speakers.

To greet people whatever the time of the day, in Xhosa we can use ‘Molo’ or ‘Molweni’ depending on how many people we greet. It is also common to great people older than oneself as ‘mama’ or ‘tata’ (father) and people the same age as ‘sisi’ (sister) or bhuti’ (brother)

How to wish ‘Happy Birthday’ in isiXhosa? ‘Mini emnandi kuwe’ means ‘Happy Birthday to you’ and can easily replace the words in the popular birthday tune.

South African Slang Words

Expat Cape Town Insider Tips

Looking for an Happy Hour treat? Head to Coco Safar in Sea Point to get your special alcohol-free mix drinks in an inspiring luxurious atmosphere. Learn about the true science of making the best coffee and taste their most delicious rooibos infusions. If you want to meet fellow expats, give me a shout so we can organise a meet-up at this lovely place in the coming month.

Are you an Australian expat and slightly homesick this winter? Well, we have been informed that this is a fabulous excuse to meet fellow Aussies and enjoy one of Australia’s best artists, singer songwriter John Williamson who will perform at Cafe Roux in Shortmarket Street on 19 June. See more info on our Facebook page and make sure to book your ticket with

Do you need more info on living in Cape Town? Make sure to like our Expat Cape Town Facebook page and join our ExpatCapeTown forum - a Facebook group.

ExpatCapeTown Facebook Forum

Take note: No ads in the forum allowed and please make sure to read our pinned post:-) Thanks!

If you need more tips on settling in South Africa, order the easy to carry e-book version of our ‘Living in South Africa’ handbook and find out why we love living in this beautiful city. Our ‘Living in South Africa’ expat guide is available in .pdf and .epub form.

Living in South Africa e-book

What’s coming in the Next Newsletter?

Be surprised! ExpatCapeTown brings you the most up-to-date stories and insights on expat life in Cape Town. Just rest assured, that the next newsletter will provide more insights and more tips! In the meantime, please do not hesitate to come back to us on the website, on Facebook or on twitter and share your tips and insights, all kinds of comments very welcome! Contact us here

Enjoy your life wherever you are!

Best regards,


w: t: @expatlivinginsa | #expatcapetown f: Expat Cape Town | LivinginSouthAfrica

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