Cape Town - The annual Cape Town Cycle Tour is to be staged as planned
in early March, with stringent measures put in place to ensure responsible
water usage, skirting hard-pressed municipal supply.
This was confirmed at a media briefing on Monday by
Tour director David Bellairs.
This is his statement related to the Sunday, March 11 event: “It is important to stress something that some concerned Capetonians are not
aware of: The Cape Town Cycle Tour was established 41 years ago with the
sole purpose of raising money for charity. It is not a commercial entity but a
not-for-profit Trust and every single cent of the net surplus from the Cape
Town Cycle Tour is distributed to the Rotary Club of Claremont and the Pedal
Power Association for community upliftment programmes.
“Over the past 17 years, the Cycle Tour has raised in
excess of R109 million for its two beneficiaries. 2018 will see in excess
of R10 million distributed to them and numerous charities rely on this source
of income. Furthermore, participants use the event as a platform to raise money
for other charities which compounds the charitable impact of the event raises.
“That the Cape Town Cycle Tour (CTCT) also has a positive economic
effect on the city cannot be denied. Over R500 million flows into the Western
Cape economy during the week of the Cycle Tour.
“For the last decade, the Cycle Tour has been presented with a variety
of challenges - from scorching temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius, to
extensive fires raging across the South Peninsula and, last year, winds in
excess of 100km/h. This is our year of water - or rather, no water.
“We have had to reassess the way we do things and seriously consider
whether the Cycle Tour should go ahead under the current conditions. We have
spent an enormous amount of time considering our options. The decision has not
been an easy one to make.
“On the one hand we have the needs of the charities we support and the
stimulation provided to a Western Cape economy reeling under the effects of the
drought. On the other, we are well aware of the very real concerns of the
residents of the City of Cape Town, who make up the majority of our riders, the
volunteers who help us stage the event, and the incredible supporters who make
the event the special day that it is.
“We have been urgently seeking a way forward that will help us continue
to support our beneficiaries, while acknowledging and offsetting the event’s
“As we have already communicated, it is our intention that the 2018 Cape
Town Cycle Tour event day will draw zero litres of drinking water from the
municipal supply. Eliminating the event’s reliance on municipal drinking water
will be achieved through a variety of strategies. These include bringing water
in from upcountry for drinking and ice on the route, and using locally-produced
desalinated water for all cleansing purposes. Water stations along the route
will be reduced to the 14 essential from a medical point of view.
“The majority of Cape Town Cycle Tour
participants are resident in Cape Town and surrounds. Approximately 15 000
riders participate in Cycle Tour from outside the borders of the Western Cape,
including international entrants. As we have their details on our system, we
are able to communicate directly with them to ensure they understand the
severity of the drought situation in Cape Town. Those travelling by road to the
Cape will be encouraged to bring sufficient drinking water with them for their
own daily consumption.
“We believe we have arrived at a
solution that achieves the balancing act we were hoping for - one that takes
cognizance of our fellow Capetonians’ concerns, while ensuring that we are
still able to hold the event in order to support the charities that rely on the
Cycle Tour and to boost the economy of the City of Cape Town at this time of
“After a great deal of thought, and discussion with all stake holders,
the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust agreed that in addition to taking the Tour off
the municipal grid, it will offset the water footprint of the estimated
15 000 participants from beyond the Western Cape.
“As a result, we
can confirm that the 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour will go ahead.
“It is estimated that visitors coming to Cape Town for the event will
use between 1.5 million to 1.750 million litres of water over the duration of
their stay. The Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust - who represent our two key
beneficiaries - has therefore committed to taking some of the money that would
have gone to charitable distribution to purchase an amount of two million
litres of spring water sourced from only licenced and fully tested suppliers,
and from an area not experiencing drought. This water will be put back into the
local water grid. We are working closely with the City of Cape Town
around the mechanics of how this water will be introduced back into the
municipal reticulation system.
“We are also in the process of
rolling out a comprehensive communications plan aimed at both locals and
targeting out-of-town participants, making the seriousness of the situation in
Cape Town clear and providing information on how we expect riders to behave. We
will also ensure our hospitality partners take this even further. It is vitally
important that all visiting participants understand the dire situation that
exists in the Cape.
“All suppliers related to Cycle Tour will be signing
service level agreements specifying their usage and where that water comes
from, and requiring a commitment to our Water Policy. No suppliers may utilise
water for our event that comes directly off the City Grid.
“Cycle tour has 360 toilets that are
utilised throughout the event. Sanitech is our service provider and all
water utilised by them will be greywater, obtained from various treatment
“Waterless soap solutions are being
provided as opposed to wash basins for handwashing. We will (also) be monitoring and educating spectators
on route to ensure there is no spraying down of cyclists or portable pools in
use on event day.
“All water ballast previously
utilised for weighting down structures has been changed to cement blocks.
“All refreshment station water will
be privately supplied and will not come from the City water grid. We are
also providing clearly marked grey water systems whereby excess water will be
put into grey water bins provided and taken to a water treatment plant post