Color Run goes ahead

File photo: David Ritchie/INLSA

The Color Run fun run is set to go ahead next month despite calls for it to be postponed due to the current water crisis in Cape Town.

The Green Point Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (GPRRA) had called on the City of Cape Town to postpone the event which is set to take place in Green Point next month.

They were concerned about the amount of water, whether it be potable or non-potable, that would be used for the clean-up. For the GPRRA, it is only the third event in the last three years that has not been supported by the committee.

Paige Nick, who is on the events committee at the GPRRA, said they were concerned about the water usage for the event and the clean-up operation. “Since the organisers plans just didn’t add up, and we’re experiencing a water crisis and the fact that this race is for profit, not charity, we felt it a good opportunity for the City of Cape Town to lead by example, and help save every drop, by joining us in our non support of this event, at least until our dams are a little fuller.”

However, she said unfortunately, the event looks set to go ahead after approval by the City. “As such there is little the GPRRA can do other than highlight our issues, and hope the organisers, public and participants of the race, look at their water use carefully and do what they can to minimise it.”

Ms Nick added that since they had raised the issue, the organisers had taken a number of measures to save water. These included trucking in non-potable water from the Winelands and drinking water in sachets from Johannesburg. “We are grateful for those measures that will help us protect our water resources in the Western Cape,” she added.

Jane Meyer, of the Mouille Point Ratepayers’ Association (MPRA), said they supported the GPRRA’s stance on the event.

She said the event should not be considered during the current water crisis. “We are in dire straights. It doesn’t matter what kind of water or where the water is coming from,” she said.

She added that the City of Cape Town keeps on stressing the importance of saving water, however their approval of this event “seems like a contradiction”. “Given our current crisis we (the MPRA) cannot support this event,” added Ms Meyer.

Craig McLennan, one of the organisers of the Color Run event, said that they took the GPRRA’s concerns very seriously. He added that they would be taking every option available to reduce their water footprint at the event. “We really feel for all residents and businesses in the City of Cape Town and have worked very closely with the City and the Events Office to plan an event that has a negligible impact on the City’s water resources.”

“We have planned with City Officials and with the venue that the City will not need to supply a single drop of water to our event. All water is being brought in from areas where there are no water restrictions and drinking water is from a supplier which does not use City of Cape Town water resources. Non-Potable water will also be brought in from an area with no restrictions in a mobile tanker. Our Suppliers are all certified,” added Mr McLennan.

He added that the event would also bring a lot of benefits to the area. Those benefits included 150 casual jobs as well as a platform for ten vendors to generate an income. He also said that the The Color Run only uses local suppliers and spends their budget in Cape Town.

Ward Councillor for the area, Dave Bryant, said the City’s events department has not found any indication of excessive water use intended for this event. Mr Bryant added that the organisers intend on bringing all potable water in from outside for the Cape Town metro.

“Fun runs take place across the city on a regular basis and are enjoyed by people from all walks of life. They also provide much needed temporary jobs for marshals, officials and vendors. We cannot cancel all sporting events where water is consumed by athletes.

“All Capetonians should be concerned with saving water and potable water wastage should be curbed where possible. All indications are that this event is not wasting potable water and there is no reason for it to not go ahead as planned,” said Mr Bryant.

He also encouraged all residents to continue to focus specifically on curbing residential water use as this is where the vast majority of water wastage comes from.” I have heard that many people in the area are still watering their gardens with hosepipes, filling their swimming pools and washing their cars and this is simply not acceptable in the current climate.”

On Monday, the City of Cape Town issued a statement saying that water usage had to be cut immediately to 500 million litres of collective usage per day.

The City’s Mayco Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg, said that collective usage had to be reduced. “With the harsh summer ahead, rapid decline of dam levels should be expected. This year it will also be from lower levels. We are targeting those who are not keeping to the limit of 87 litres per person per day. And for those who are, we say thank you. I challenge everyone in the metro to see how much lower they can go,”