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MAYOR GWAMANDA LAUNCHES CITY’S WATER SECURITY STRATEGY

Dudu Lushaba

The Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Kabelo Gwamanda, alongside the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for the Environment & Infrastructure Services Department, Cllr Jack Sekwaila, formally unveiled the City’s Water Security Strategy on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at the Joburg Theatre. 

Endorsed by the City of Johannesburg’s Council on October 31, 2023, the strategy aims to steer Johannesburg towards becoming a water-secure and -conscious municipality.

 It is designed to confront challenges to the city’s urban water cycle while seizing opportunities to transform Johannesburg into a sustainable, resilient, and adaptable city. This strategy underwent thorough scrutiny and analysis, resulting in the delineation of seven categories of strategic responses. Each response comprises actions of equal importance, which can be concurrently implemented.

 Moreover, within each category, short and long-term action plans have been devised for implementation.

During his keynote address, Mayor Gwamanda said: “In recent years, we have witnessed escalating challenges posed by water scarcity, pollution, and the looming threat of climate change. 

Recent shortages faced by the citizens of Joburg serve as a stark reminder that water security is not a luxury but an urgent imperative requiring concerted action.

“As your mayor and guardian of our city’s most precious asset — our water, I stand before you. It is our collective responsibility to ensure the availability and quality of this vital resource for generations to come,” said Mayor Gwamanda.

“To this end, the City, in collaboration with various stakeholders, has developed a comprehensive water security strategy crucial for ensuring community well-being, economic prosperity, and environmental health. This multifaceted approach demands collaboration, innovation, and sustained investment across all sectors of society,” said Mayor Gwamanda.

 Sekwaila said the strategy demonstrated the City’s commitment to water safety.

“The launch of this Water Security Strategy represents a significant step forward, demonstrating our government’s dedication to addressing these challenges. It provides a comprehensive framework outlining our commitment to safeguarding water resources, ensuring access to clean and safe water for all, and fostering resilience against the uncertainties presented by climate change.

“As a follow-up to our successful launch of the Climate Action Plan (CAP), this water security strategy aligns with and advances the CAP’s core themes. Water security is essential for protecting public health, ensuring food and economic security, promoting environmental sustainability, building resilience to climate change, and advancing progress towards sustainable development goals,” said  Sekwaila.

The City recognises the indispensable nature of a robust water security strategy. 

Access to clean and safe water is a fundamental human right, crucial for human health and well-being. Without it, communities are susceptible to disease, malnutrition, and poverty.

Paul Maluleke from Alexandra Water Warriors, offering a message of support to the city, emphasised the environment’s role in job creation and addressing socio-economic issues. 

​He said prioritising water security can lead to improved public health outcomes, enhanced quality of life, and the promotion of social equity and justice.

Maluleke said it is imperative for all role players to address systemic issues contributing to water insecurity, such as inequitable access to clean water and the disproportionate impact of pollution on marginalised communities.

SOURCED FROM THE CITY OF JOBURG WEBSITE.

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