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Western Cape's Greenest Municipality Announced

3 November 2015

Cape Town. The winners of the 2015 Greenest Municipality Competition have been announced at an awards ceremony, hosted by the Provincial Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell.

The greenest Local Municipality in the Western Cape in 2015 is Hessequa Municipality and the greenest District Municipality is Eden District Municipality.

Minister Bredell congratulated the winners and the participants in this year’s competition.

“This initiative is another way in which the Western Cape Government is trying to develop a cleaner and more sustainable future for our children and their children. It is a way we are trying to make communities proud of their environments and the places where they live. These awards recognize and reward municipalities that have worked extremely hard to achieve certain targets that relate to the green economy. They are an example to us all.”

The Greenest Municipality Competition requires municipalities to become actively involved in advancing the objectives of Sustainability and the Green Economy which includes facilitating the introduction of initiatives such as solar energy, greening programmes and introduce programmes which reduce greenhouse emissions. This competition is an opportunity to build a foundation between our communities and all spheres of government. While this competition recognises strong and innovative leadership, it is first and foremost a fresh approach to ensuring that each municipality considers its environmental footprint. It calls for municipalities to interact with their communities while being aware of its organisational ability with respect to the competition focus areas.

Elements that were evaluated for the Greenest Municipality Competition include waste management, climate change response, biodiversity & coastal management, water management and conservation, air quality management, leadership, compliance, institutional arrangements and public participation. It is also an opportunity for municipalities to showcase innovative projects.

This year the winners were:

GREENEST MUNICIPALITY 2015 :

Local Municipalities

1st Place : Hessequa Municipality Prize Money: R130 000

2nd Place: Mosselbay Municipality Prize Money: R70 000

3rd Place: Swartland Municipality Prize Money: R50 000

District Municipalities

1st Place: Eden District Municipality Prize Money : R130 000

2nd Place: Overberg District Municipality Prize Money: R70 000

3rd Place: Cape Winelands District Municipality Prize Money: R50 000

Ronald Mukanya, Director: Sustainability, stated that “Municipalities’ are a very strategic entry point towards transitioning to a green economy and sustainability, hence their participation is crucial. Given the major economic footprint of municipalities’/local authorities as a result of service delivery, they have a critical role in ensuring a smooth transition to a sustainable yet resource efficient Western Cape economy. This is both in terms of financial assets and constitutional powers at their disposal. In this time of action, municipalities’ have the power to control or stimulate investment in low carbon business through their service delivery, regeneration, land-use and spatial planning programs. Councils also have significant scope to influence residents’ behaviour through the education system through for example green skills training and neighbourhood management schemes which could include financial rewards or penalties.”

A total number of 16 Local and 4 District Municipalities participated in the 2015 competition.

“Awareness of the key issues threatening our resources is not enough anymore, we need action to secure an improved quality of life into the future. These Municipalities are striving to improve how they deliver services in a way that is more resource efficient and sensitive to protecting our resources for the future. The Greenest Municipality Competition helps us to celebrate such achievements and provides inspiration to those who always strive to do more.” Karen Shippey, Chief Director: Environmental Sustainability shared with us what the GMC means for the Western Cape.

“Our municipalities are at the coal face of service delivery. We actively work in and with communities daily. Municipalities can effect great change in people’s lives. This simply means we should never drop the standards we hold ourselves too and let me remind you that our standards in the Western Cape are very high”, said Bredell.