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Johannesburg is conducting a “Green Revolution” through a range of initiatives designed to strengthen its ability to meet the challenges posed by climate change, says the Executive Mayor, Councillor Mpho Parks Tau.

The “perfect storm” of a growing demand for energy, food and water will also have an impact on Johannesburg. Mayor Tau said the City would increase its efforts to combat climate change, conserve its finite resources and guarantee security of supply of water and energy for its residents. 

Speaking at the Soweto Communal Hall during his annual State of the City Address, Mayor Tau expanded on initiatives taken by the city to promote the “green revolution.”

The 43 000 solar water heaters installed by City Power collectively generates the equivalent of 22.5 Gigawatt hours of electricity per year – enough to run a small town or part of a suburban area.

The installation of 42 000 smart meters, geyser control systems and energy efficiency programmes, all of which are ongoing, will continue to enhance our energy efficiency. 

A second Biogas-to-Energy (BTE) plant at wastewater treatment facilities, at the Driefontein Works will be operational by May 2014. This will help the City to mitigate climate change and reduce energy costs. 

The replacement of 143 km of water pipes as part of a three year -- 900km -- refurbishment programme is under way. This will reduce technical water losses from leaks and pipe bursts.

A programme to design the “future energy mix” for the City has started. This will include the increased utilisation of gas, the uptake of roof top photovoltaic systems and other alternative, greener energy sources.  

Mayor Tau said the City is concerned about the growth in water demand brought on by continuing rapid urbanisation. “I want to make an urgent call on our citizens today to use water sparingly and help us reduce our per capita consumption of water,” he said.  

The City will introduce water saving devices in the City’s own housing developments and encourage private developers to introduce conservation measures such as rainwater harvesting, the use of groundwater through borehole drilling and utilizing treated effluent for irrigation purposes.