GREENEST MUNICIPALITY COMPETITION
The Cleanest Town Competition (Now the Greenest Municipality Competition ;( GMC) was implemented during the waste summit in Polokwane, 2001, and is an annual event to raise awareness amongst municipalities to upgrade their environments and be able to win R3.5 million for projects in their towns. The evaluation criteria are:
- Waste Management
- Energy Efficiency and Conservation;
- Water Management;
- Landscaping, tree planting and beautification;
- Public Participation and Community Empowerment; Schools
- Leadership and Institutional Arrangements;
The Tswelopele Local municipality was the provincial winner for the past 4 years and received the 3rd prize for the Local municipality category for the year 2008/09 nationally and 2009/10. The National evaluation for the GMC for Tswelopele for the year 2010/11 will be during May 2012. The provincial evaluation for the 2011/12 period will be during August September 2012 and the National evaluations will take place during November 2012 All the Free State Local Municipalities will be evaluated according the national criteria. The project is an excellent tool to enhance service delivery and the creation of environmental awareness within municipalities.
GREENING THE FREE STATE
The Karee Nursery was established in 1968 as a Provincial Nursery. Its main functions were to supply plants for provincial terrains and to maintain selected provincial administration gardens. During the early 1970s, a new mission was adopted that included the conservation of indigenous plants of the Free State and the passive supply to institutions and schools. Annually, approximately 20 000 indigenous plans are planted in landscapes in the Free State, with the focus on previously marginalized areas.
The impact of the “Greening the Free State” initiative also addresses the following;
- Enhancing biodiversity
- Creating awareness of indigenous vegetation.
- Conserving indigenous Fauna and facilitates a clean green environment that is
- User-friendly for communities,
- Sustaining bio–diversity and promoting water wise gardening
ESTABLISHMENT OF CONSERVANCIES
“The voluntary co-operative nature and environmental management of an area by its community and its users and in respect of which registration has been granted by the relevant Provincial Authority”. There are currently 243 conservancies in the Free State. This enhances sustainable environmental management.
TRAINING OF CONSERVANCY RANGERS
Community members are trained as Urban rangers for towns and Rural Rangers for conservancies in agriculture areas. More than 1000 community members have been trained since 1994.
CAPACITATING OF MUNICIPAL COUNCILLORS, UNIT MANAGERS AND DEPARTMENTAL HEADS ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Workshops are facilitated that focus on identifying local environmental problems and promotes environmental awareness on issues regarding (i) water, (ii) waste – including landfill sites, household hazardous was recycling, clean-up actions & global warming, (iii) local environmental forums, (iv) urban conservancies, (v) EIA regulations, (vi) IDP and (vii) greenest municipality competition.