A growing number of municipalities are embracing the concept of the green economy.
The City of Johannesburg and Polokwane in Limpopo are the greenest municipalities in South Africa.
The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Barbara Thomson announced the winners of the 7th Greenest Municipality Competition (GMC) in Bloemfontein recently.
Deputy Minister Thomson acknowledged the role played by South African municipalities in embracing the concept of the green economy by implementing 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 realisation that our prosperity as a country is inextricably connected to the well-being of our environment,” Deputy Minister Thomson said.
The overall winners will receive R3.5 million, first runner-up R3 million and the second runner-up R2.5 million. The money will be disbursed through funding of infrastructure projects aimed at the protection of the environment.
The prize is tied to 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 to galvanise municipalities to initiate projects that address their Integrated Development Plans and forge 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 government’s course towards a sustainable future. It focuses on sustainable development in areas such as good waste management practices, efficient energy use, sustainable water use, public participation and best practice of municipal leadership,” the Department of Environmental Affairs said.
Deputy Minister Thomson said the Greenest Municipality Competition contributes towards the country’s collective response to the challenges posed by climate change and South Africa’s path towards a sustainable future.