Speech delivered by Executive Mayor Dan Plato at the Cape Town Civic Centre


To the Lord Mayor of Aachen,

The international delegation accompanying you,

Members of the Western Cape Government,

City of Cape Town Mayco members and officials,

Chairpersons and Project Managers in the Spatial Planning and Environment Department, and all other partners in this project,

I welcome you all to the launch of the 2018 booklet of Urban Sustainability.

In 2014, we produced the first edition of the Mayor’s Portfolio of Urban Sustainability with the aim of mainstreaming sustainability best practice to improve how the City designs, implements and manages its projects and programmes.


Now, the third edition of the programme brings an enhanced understanding of what sustainability means. The programme is the main implementation tool of the City of Cape Town’s environmental strategy which aims to create space for sustainability thinking and ideas.


At the top of the agenda is water sustainability. Having gone through a severe drought last year, we see conservation of this precious resource as a top priority. The drought challenged us to come up with new ways to address water security. We have learned new habits in how we use water for our daily life and are pleased at how residents continue to abide by water restriction guidelines.


Our Water Strategy, which is currently out for public comment, sets out a vision to become a water-sensitive city by 2040. Population growth makes water sustainability a top priority as Cape Town needs to be able to support all those who will be living in our city. Public participation closes this Friday and we urge those who wish to comment to do so before the deadline.


The City has identified the green economy as a key growth area, both in terms of ‘eco-tourism’ and facilitating the development of green industries and sectors, particularly those with significant job creation potential. In Atlantis we are in the process of setting up a GreenTech hub. This is a manufacturing cluster focused on green technology.


To support that goal, the City designed a land disposal process for GreenTech that allows investors to access land swiftly. Since its designation as a Special Economic Zone in June last year, investor interest in Atlantis has increased and discussions have taken place with companies in the waste recycling, green building, renewable energy, energy efficiency and water subsectors.


Being aware of the urgent need for rapid and inclusive economic growth, the Economic Growth Strategy states that ‘to build an opportunity city, economic growth must be environmentally sustainable in the long term.’ It also encourages the profiling of the City as a tourist destination and a global sustainability leader.


More than 30 projects were profiled for this edition of the booklet to show comprehensively how innovation is working to improve communities through the implementation of sustainable practices and projects. These projects stretch across many areas including water, recreation, housing, transport and many others.


The City of Cape Town leads the way in addressing challenges in unique and innovative ways. We believe green energy to be one of the ways which we can make our city more efficient and less reliant on coal-fired energy which contributes to greenhouse gases and climate change.


We will continue to drive the agenda of sustainability for all in Cape Town.


I thank you.

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