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29-11-2013: City of Johannesburg launches the Green Scorpions

Today marks the launch of the Environmental Management Inspectorate – a network of environmental enforcement officials serving the City of Joburg. This launch is part of the implementation of a Memorandum of Agreement between the City and the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in accordance with the National Environment Management Act. 
“With only a month to go before South Africa begins the celebration of 20 years of democracy, we take pride in a constitution that protects the rights of its citizens. These include everyone’s right to an environment that is not harmful to health or well-being, and to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations.” Says Member of the Mayoral Committee for Environment, Infrastructure and Services (MMC) Councilor  Matshidiso Mfikoe.
It is in this context that the City of Joburg has trained and designated nine Environmental Management Inspectors (EMIs). These law enforcement officers will ensure compliance with the City’s environmental by-laws, so that citizens and visitors to this world-class African city may always enjoy a safe, clean and green Joburg. 
Affectionately known as the Green Scorpions, the EMIs will have a distinctive uniform and will always be expected to carry official identity cards at all times. These cards must be presented at the public’s request and carried whenever they are executing their duties. 
“The law enforcement of the city’s environmental by-laws will not only protect our people from harmful risks, but will also help ensure that our city does not have any no-go areas that have been created by dumping and harbouring of dangerous substances and animals,” says MMC Mfikoe.
She further said, “The safety of our people can only be guaranteed when we implement the policies of government and this is just the beginning. As the inspectors take on their responsibilities in the field, the City plans to train more inspectors to give it teeth.” 
Joburg’s commitment to a safe, clean and green city is also expressed in numerous other initiatives, including the hosting of the C40 Mayoral Summit on climate change in February 2014. The key focus of the summit next year will be on compliance with environmental legislation in relation to proposed developments by cities and private developers.  
Issued by the City of Johannesburg 
For information contact:
Anda Mbikwana
Spokesperson for MMC Matshidiso Mfikoe
072 408 2341