Meet the greenest cities in South Africa

Pretoria - eThekwini Metro in KwaZulu-Natal and Mossel Bay Municipality in the Western Cape have been named the greenest municipalities in South Africa.

Announcing the winners of the 5th Greenest Municipality Competition (GMC) on Wednesday, Environmental Affairs Deputy Minister Barbara Thompson reiterated the need for municipalities to improve the lives of their citizens. She said municipalities can do this by promoting environmental cleanliness.

“Municipalities are central to the success of any initiative that seeks to address the challenges of climate change. They have direct control over carbon emissions because this is where the main greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters are located.

“It is also where those most vulnerable to climate change effects reside. It is critical therefore that our response to climate change effects must focus on opportunities in municipalities to avoid or mitigate negative impacts on the natural environment, communities and the infrastructure they depend on,” said the Deputy Minister.

The GMC award ceremony was held in Middelberg, Mpumalanga. eThekwini and Mossel Bay won the overall prizes in the metro and local categories respectively.

The overall winners will receive R3.5 million, with the first runner-up receiving R3 million and the second runner-up R2.5 million. The money will be given through funding of infrastructure projects aimed at the protection of the environment.

The prize is tied to the implementation of waste, climate change and green economy related job creation projects.

In the metro category, the first runner-up is the City of Ekurhuleni (Gauteng), followed by the City of Tshwane (Gauteng).

In the local category, the Steve Tshwete Local Municipality (Mpumalanga) emerged as the first runner-up and the Intsika Yethu Local Municipality (Eastern Cape) as the second runner up.

Areas of the competition included waste management, energy efficiency and conservation and water management, among others.