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2011-08-15: Water, power and sanitation must keep pace with a 66% growth in population over 30 years

JOHANNESBURG is currently planning for a population that will grow by more than 66% in the coming three decades. This growing population will require access to clean water, dependable energy sources and reliable management of sanitation and waste, says Mayoral Committee member, Ros Greeff.

Speaking at a seminar on Resource Sustainability, Clr Greeff said the current estimates are that the city will grow from the current 3,88 million to 6,5 million people in 2040. This represents an additional 200 000 households every ten years.

The seminar formed part of the City’s programme to revise its Growth and Development Strategy taking into account the needs for the next 30 years. Clr Greeff is the Mayoral Committee member responsible for Infrastructure, Services and the Environment.

With regards to waste management Clr Greeff said "it is no secret that Johannesburg – like most other big cities – is running out of landfill space to manage the vast volumes of waste produced in the city on a daily basis.

"We currently collect more than 1,8 million tons of garbage every year. This includes almost 250 000 generated through illegal dumping and about 1 800 tons of litter from the streets."

Residents of Johannesburg must realise that separation of waste at source will in future no longer be an option, but a necessity. Pikitup has introduced a pilot project to introduce and manage this process that will, in future, be expanded across the city.

At the same time Johannesburg will strengthen its efforts to combat illegal dumping and the pollution of rivers, streams, lakes and other water resources through education – as well as law enforcement. "The city is prepared to take decisive action against serial polluters and ensure that they are held accountable for their crimes against our environment," said Clr Greeff.

She said the city "is determined to root out the scourge of cable theft and illegal connections" through stronger law enforcement and the support of communities.

"We have to combat the perception that those responsible for illegal connections are heroes in society --  modern day ‘Robin Hoods’ who take from the rich and give to the poor.

"The fact is that they are stealing from law-abiding rate payers who are prepared to pay for the services they receive – and in addition their reckless actions put the lives and livelihoods of thousands of ordinary Joburgers in danger,"

Referring to water management Clr Greeff said the City is committed to "the reduction of the unacceptable volume of water getting lost in our system every day.

"We are doing this through the continuous upgrading and refurbishment of infrastructure as well as through demand-side measures and new sanitation technology," she said.

Johannesburg has set itself a target to reduce future demand for water in the City by at least 90 000 megalitres (90 billion litres) over the next ten years.

"I am confident that we can achieve this objective with the active cooperation of business, industry and residential consumers," said Clr Greeff.

The GDS process includes a nine week public outreach programme culminating in a summit where the new 30-year strategy will be formulated.


Issued on behalf of:
Clr Ros Greeff

Issued by:
Nthatisi Modingoane
Deputy Director: Communications
Tel: (011) 407 7354
Fax: 403 3494
Cell: 082 467 9228