These green economy pioneers were announced as the winners during an online event hosted by GreenCape, in partnership with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), showcasing five green economy service delivery initiatives that are being rolled out at the municipal level across South Africa (watch here).
"The Friedrich Naumann Foundation is delighted to partner with GreenCape on this project for the second year running. After the success of last year's showcase, which saw the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality win with its beneficiation of sewage sludge project with Agriman (see here), we knew this event needed to become an annual affair. We hope that the outstanding sustainability projects that were presented by municipalities inspire others, and ultimately leads to improved service delivery throughout the country," said Cecelia Kok, head of Research and Advocacy Projects, South Africa at FNF.
The judging panel consisted of local and international environmental and urban development experts representing National Treasury, Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), South African Local Government Association (SALGA), and Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI).
"It is an honour to have our project recognised at this event, and we would like to thank FNF and GreenCape for creating a platform that enables municipalities to share and promote innovative green economy service delivery initiatives," said Hanré Blignaut, deputy director at Overstrand Municipality.
"I would like to thank our entire project team, which included significant contributions from legal, financial and technical experts from the Overstrand Municipality. We hope that other municipalities can replicate this project and we are also proud that it demonstrates a long term vision, with the outsourced operation and maintenance of the bulk water and wastewater infrastructure ensuring its longevity and addressing the long-term water service delivery needs of communities," he added.
"What stood out to us about this project was the long term vision of the Overstrand Municipality," said Taahirah Ghoor, senior analyst, Circular Economy at GreenCape. "The outsourcing of the operations and maintenance of bulk water infrastructure ensures that the municipality has access to expert technical specialists, increased flexibility and improved access to markets and alternatives facilitating improved efficiency and optimisation of its assets."
"The South African Constitution mandates local government to promote a safe and healthy environment. As a result, this places a huge responsibility on local municipalities to ensure that they are playing a central role in the adaptation and mitigation of climate change. We are delighted that through this competition local municipalities are able to celebrate and to share the learnings from the green solutions that they are implementing. It provides an opportunity for other aspiring municipalities to find innovative solutions to the challenges that we are facing," said Dorah Morema, head of Municipality Sustainability at SALGA.
From the numerous entries nationwide, the top five finalists pitched online to a panel of expert judges at a virtual event hosted on 12 October 2022. The entries had to demonstrate an innovative, sustainable and replicable green economy solution that addresses service delivery needs in their municipality.
This year's winner of the Green Economy Change Champion competition will now receive the opportunity to produce a promotional video telling the story of their innovative initiative, which will be shared on various platforms.