The Scheme is an initiative of the City of Cape Town's Catchment Management Department. It aims to implement infrastructure for flood management in the urban areas of Firgrove and Macassar.
Construction-related work has served as a catalyst and medium for a range of supporting projects funded from the contract budget that serve broader aims than traditional flood management and give effect to the City's vision of a world-class city. These include an environmental awareness programme targeted at local schools and increasing civil responsibility in Macassar. The project has utilized a multi-disciplinary approach and extensive community involvement in the design and construction of the project. This has resulted in an improvement in the flood capacity of the river, a renewed urban landscape along the river corridor, job creation and an increased environmental awareness in the local community. By including various factors in the project design and implementation, the project has provided the direct benefit of flood security and the indirect benefits of urban renewal and increased amenity value of the river corridor.
The adoption of a "soft engineering" approach to flood management has resulted in significant cost savings. Community participation is ensured with the establishment and close liaison with the Moddergat River Forum, a community based organization. This is a successful implementation project that demonstrates the benefits of integrated and holistic management. It has resulted in sustained community interest and ownership, a sense of common purpose and an environment of openness through the establishment of the Moddergat River Forum. Other benefits include improved water quality, erosion control and a safer river. Improved environmental awareness has resulted in less vandalism during revegetation. The erection of lights and the establishment of paths and crossing points have improved the urban landscape. The use of local labour, other employment opportunities and the adoption of intensive construction techniques meant that approximately 25% of the R5,5million budget has been paid directly to residents in Macassar. Amongst others, 25 local subcontractors and labourers were trained and provided with flood management experience and 2 community liaison officers were employed for the duration of the construction activity.
Sustainability depends on continued community ownership and environmental awareness. Through the establishment and management of Catchment Forums, the City has committed itself to ongoing management and logistical support. Funds have been allocated for the 2001/2002 budget for support for programmes.
The project makes use of replicable methodology and framework for future integrated catchment projects. The community awareness, education and communication components of the project have already been replicated in the Noordhoek catchment.