Camdeboo Local Municipality in the Sarah Baartman District is the Eastern Cape’s top green municipality for 2015, beating five other local municipalities and taking the coveted award as well as a R500,000 cash reward.
The announcement was made by MEC for Environmental Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Sakhumzi Somyo at the marine day celebrations in Willowvale in the north-east of the province.
The award is made to the municipality which has done the most to build capacity, raise awareness and sustain best practice around waste and broad environmental management. Areas which are assessed are waste management, sustainable energy and conservation, waste management, greening, landscaping and beautification, public participation and community empowerment, and leadership and institutional arrangements.
The Camdeboo Local Municipality follows in the auspicious footsteps of previous winners such as the Nelson Mandela and Buffalo City metropolitan municipalities which were placed second and third respectively in last year’s national competition.
As the Eastern Cape’s top green municipality, Camdeboo Local Municipality also goes through to the national competition which takes place later this year.
Somyo says that municipalities play a “really important role in sustainable development”.
“They have the responsibility of ensuring a compelling environment for investment, sustainable livelihoods and prosperity and are key to supporting social, environmental and economic confidence in their municipal areas,” says Somyo.
“Despite huge budgetary constraints, some encouraging progress has been made. The predominantly rural municipalities have shown a lot of progress in areas of waste management and created opportunities for employment, creative arts, beautification programmes, and tourist attraction.
However, he explained, some areas of waste management remain a challenge.
“Correct waste management operations need more attention. The four areas of most need are access control, waste documentation, waste compaction and cover as well as monitoring in order to maintain good housekeeping of waste disposal facilities,” he says.
Improving awareness with the communities about waste separation and correct disposal practices could also be improved.
“We need to change behavioural attitudes towards waste management so that we reduce the pressure on the municipal budgets. In some cases, too much money is spent dealing with environmental transgressions like illegal dumping,” adds Somyo.
The Department provides financial support to some municipalities for waste management through the Extended Public Works Programme.
The first and second runners-up are Mzimvubu in the Alfred Nzo District and Emalahleni in the Chris Hani District which received R300,000 and R200,000 respectively.
The remaining finalists are Senqu in the Joe Gqabi District, Emalahleni in the Chris Hani District, Amahlathi in the Amathole District, Mhlontlo in the OR Tambo District and Mzimvubu in the Alfred Nzo District.
Somyo says that Willowvale in the Mbashe Local Municipality was chosen for these celebrations for its proximity to the Wild Coast in order to highlight the dire need to conserve this coastal region’s exceptional scenic beauty and a high diversity of indigenous plants and animals.
The Department says that it is close to gazetting the Environmental Management Plan for the Wild Coast.
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