It forms part of the series of capacity building workshops aimed at Earth Hour City Challenge participants this year, endorsed by the South African Local Governments Association (SALGA) in the Western Cape. This inception meeting hosted by the City of Cape Town saw cross-departmental representation from each local government, specifically from energy, transport, and engineering services. The workshop was designed with the view of identifying prospects for learning and synergies on the issues of transport, energy efficiency, and small-scale embedded generation.
Mr Andre van Niekerk, Director for Engineering Services of Stellenbosch, and Mr Osman Asmal, Director for Environmental Resource Management of Cape Town, opened the workshop that set the tone for the open and inspiring dialogue that transpired. In the face of similar challenges and opportunities, marked differences in capacity, structure, and processes, between the two municipalities provided areas for learning. Among the areas tapped on include employing an integrated approach on the one hand and the creation of policy frameworks to guide specific sectors on the other. As neighbouring localities, opportunities for cooperative engagement on transboundary issues such as inter-municipal traffic flow were presented. Altogether these made for a dynamic and rich discussion. Existing planning policies and practices that could serve as a platform for inter-municipal engagement were also identified as a way forward. In doing so the risk of duplicating effort which requires further capacity is minimized, while also ensuring long-term sustainability for engagement.
The second workshop will be hosted by Stellenbosch Municipality in March next year. In the meantime watch this space for updates on the learning exchange programme!