Who We Are
Environmental Sustainability is everyone’s concern. This platform by the City of Joburg, aims to communicate the City’s initiatives for sustainable waste minimisation, minimisation of pollution, conservation and enhancement of the water resources, reuse, recycling and recovery, etc. through the City’s strategic interventions. The platform further aims to inform and encourage YOU, the citizens of the City of Joburg, as well as those within South Africa to participate in Environmental Sustainability practices and behaviours that will help us conserve our ailing environment and scarce resources. As such, Environmental Sustainability is one of the major priorities within the City of Joburg and is concerned with advancing towards a sustainable, resilient and liveable city for all, with a focus on:
• Reducing consumption of natural resources;
• Reducing carbon emissions;
• Minimising environmental pollution – air, water and waste to land; and
• Protecting the City’s natural environment and related ecosystem goods and services.
Economic growth is strongly interrelated with the demand for water, energy and ecological goods & services with resulting in generation of waste (solid, gas, liquid -pollution). Globally, human activities are depleting our natural “capital” and the long-term capacity of our ecosystems to sustain future generations. As non-renewable resources become scarcer, their supply will become less reliable and the associated price will increase. If Johannesburg is able to do more with fewer non-renewable resources, it will be better prepared for the future decline in resources – in contrast with cities that are resource-driven. Johannesburg, like its counterparts elsewhere in the country, still has to overcome significant developmental challenges, with emphasis needing to be placed on improving equity and sustainability without neccessary increasing resource consumption. The City can therefore no longer manage its natural environment as a pristine resource due to existing and planned demand for development.
The focus for Environmental Sustainability is to address the fact that Johannesburg has:
• limited water resources, increasing water demand and sizeable resources risks;
• substantial Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and high levels of air pollution, worsened by coal burning, dust from mine dumps and vehicle emissions;
• high dependence on coal-based energy sources and need to shift from coal-dependencies, despite electricity distribution forming a core revenue base for the City – and a parallel recognition of the potentially significant decline in revenue from electricity sales with the adoption of alternative energy sources;
• poor river health and associated ecological infrastructure;
• loss of biodiversity and associated ecological goods and services with a fragmented and degraded open space network;
• increased waste generation and significantly reduced landfill space; and
• urban sprawl and associated impacts, including land availability.