WEEK 2: 15 - 19 AUGUST
WATER, waste and electricity are key topics expected to dominate the conversations during the 2040 Growth and Development Strategy outreach programme from 15 to 19 August 2011.
Conversations around these and other challenges will be held through seminars and roundtable discussions involving everyone from residents and business to the government, civil society organizations, labour and academics.
Formal and informal debates will take place with the aim of finding solutions to safeguard our precious resources for future generations.
City Power and Eskom have recently been affected by a number of protests, related to power cuts, installation of prepaid meters, and the increase in electricity prices. These put electricity at the top of the agenda for many people.
With regard to waste management, the City has introduced a refuse recycling project in north-western Johannesburg with the aim of reducing the volume of waste going to landfill sites. These landfill sites are filling up rapidly, meaning that new landfills need to be found.
Though there has been minimal response to the project, the City would like to see it growing in other areas around Johannesburg.
Another critical issue is water: how Johannesburg manages its water is of crucial importance to South Africa because Johannesburg contributes over a third of the country's gross domestic product. The CoJ is one of only a few major cities in the world that is not located near a natural water source such as a lake, river or the sea.
To ensure that the City conserves its water, it has commenced with the implementation of water demand management measures. Some of the measures to be considered for the future will be rainwater harvesting; grey water reuse and exploring alternative resources such as ground water abstraction.
It is however important that households start using water responsibly. To enhance this message the City will commence with consumer demand management programmes which will include raising awareness around the importance of saving water.
Adding to the water concerns, Joburg faces a major challenge from its gold mining legacy, which has left the city with an acid mine drainage problem.
The Resource sustainability week will focus on the following issues:
- 15 August: 2011 (Turbine Hall in Newtown) topic: Where does the city want to be in terms of economic growth and what does it mean for resource sustainability / Resource sustainability vs Infrastructure investment
- 16 August: Open day/and Public Awareness on Resource: School visitations to invest intellectually on the issues of water, waste and energy efficiency at grass root level
- 17 August: Community Engagement on Demand Side Management (DSM) - cutting across Water, Water and Energy
- 18 August: Pre-roundtable discussions on A Sustainable Smart City of the Future roundtable discussion
- 19 August: GDS Indaba (Roundtable debate from activities and discussions from the week)