Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs announces winners of the 6th Greenest Municipality Awards in Bloemfontein
The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Barbara Thomson has today, Tuesday 29 August 2017, announced the winners of the 7th Greenest Municipality Competition (GMC), with the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality and the Polokwane Local Municipality being crowned the greenest municipalities in South Africa, after winning the overall prizes in the Metro and Local categories, respectively.
The overall winners will receive R3.5 million; first runner up R3 million and the second runner up R2.5 million each, which will be given through funding of infrastructure projects aimed at protection of the environment. The prize is tied to implementation of Waste, Climate Change and Green Economy related job creation projects.
The Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality respectively won the first and second runner-up in the metro category, while the Govan Mbeki Municipality and the Hessequa Local Municipality won the local municipality category.
Funding the competition is of greater strategic importance as it helps galvanize municipalities to initiate projects that address their integrated development plans (IDPs) and forged links with our Extended Public Works Programme mandate of creating temporary employment and offering skills development opportunities.
The Greenest Municipality Competition has evolved into a significant contributor towards a collective response to the challenges posed by climate change and the government’s course towards a sustainable future. It focuses on sustainable development in areas such good waste management practices, efficient energy use, sustainable water use, public participation and best practice of municipal leadership.
The National Climate Change Response Policy recognises the role local government plays in building climate resilience through planning human settlements and urban development; the provision of municipal infrastructure and services; water and energy demand management; and local disaster response among others.
Speaking at the GMC awards, Deputy Minister Thomson acknowledged the role played by South African Municipalities in embracing the concept of green economy, through implementation of long term sustainability policies and strategies in partnership with local communities.
This is an important development for our country because it demonstrates an increasing awareness and realization that our prosperity as a country is inextricably connected to the well-being of our environment, she said.
As a custodian of the environment, the Department of Environmental Affairs has always played a role in assisting communities with waste management. Waste management is a concurrent function amongst all spheres of government, with a clear mandate derived from constitution requirements of ensuring safe and healthy environment that is not harmful to the well-being of the citizens of the country.
It is on this premise that the Greenest Municipality Competition becomes an important enabler in the transition towards greener municipalities, thereby contributing towards our collective response to the challenges posed by climate change and our path towards a sustainable future,” said Deputy Minister Thomson.
Source: Government of South Africa