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The City of Johannesburg is determined to shift to a less carbon intensive economy and decrease the volumes of greenhouse gases currently being emitted.
The Member of the Mayoral Committee for Finance, Clr Geoff Makhubo, says the coming C40 Summit on climate change -- during which Johannesburg will host the leaders of the world's largest urban environment -- will focus attention on the city's progress in shifting to low-carbon infrastructure.

He says reducing the carbon load requires three major shifts:

Developing and retrofitting infrastructure to ensure maximum energy efficiency.

In the past year 27 091 solar water heaters were installed in Alexandra as part of a comprehensive programme to move towards energy efficient power sources. The City also introduced a programme for the retrofitting of all council-owned buildings with energy-efficient lighting.

Changing the composition of energy supply and shifting towards renewables.

The city has completed feasibility studies on three ground-breaking projects which are intended to create diversified energy sources for the city. A waste-to-energy project will feed power into the electricity grid and address the concerns about the decreasing space available at landfills.

Through a partnership, the City will be extracting landfill gas from various landfill sites with the intention to generate 18 MW electricity. The actual electricity generation will start within the next six months, and Eskom will purchase the electricity from this project.

Another study was conducted to test the feasibility of converting Johannesburg's Metrobus fleet from diesel to natural gas. This will not only lead to a cleaner environment but also lead to a reduction in running costs.

Changing consumer behaviour to limit energy consumption through a concerted shift towards public transport. Effective and accessible public transport also forms part of the City's concept of "Corridors of Freedom" in which transit arteries will be flanked by high-density housing and commercial development.

During the past year Metrobus transported almost 16.5 million passengers while 39 362 people commuted daily on the modern Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System. The first two phases of Rea Vaya has now been completed and the next stage will see the greater integration of the bus system with other modes of transport. This includes the construction of three large interchanges at Sandton, Westgate and Pan Africa in Alexandra to enable passengers to transfer between Gautrain, commuter rail, Metrobus, mini bus and metered taxi modes.

Mr Makhubo says Johannesburg is also making tangible progress in the delivery of basic services to its residents. 3 307 households received first-time electricity connections and 5 343 new public lights were installed. More than 98% of residents now have access to quality water.

Gravel roads were upgraded to surfaced standards in Braamfischerville, Diepkloof, Ivory Park and Orange Farm and designs were drafted for the rehabilitation of Naledi Bridge, New Canada and the Emmarentia Dam. Visit performance report web page for more details.

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