Creative work will help build a legacy – Patricia de Lille

Mayor says It is important to move thinking away from challenges and instead find answers, and turn challenges into opportunities

Mayor’s Portfolio showcases excellence in urban sustainability

19 October 2016  

Good afternoon, goeie middag, molweni, as-salaam alaikum, shalom.

It gives me great pleasure to be with you all today as we launch the second edition of the Mayor’s Portfolio of Urban Sustainability.

I remember the excitement and passion that was injected in this organisation two years ago when we celebrated our year as the World Design Capital 2014 and launched the first edition of the portfolio.

It was the beginning of a new chapter where we would no longer cling to the old ways of doing things and instead we interrogated the way we worked and started to think creatively about how to put our city on a sustainable and progressive trajectory.

We started to overlay all planning in all departments with design-led thinking.

With the 2014 Mayor’s Portfolio of Urban Sustainability, we established a model of best practice which informed how we would translate the positive experiences of dynamic thinking around urban sustainability into operational excellence across departments.

The second edition of the programme has come with increased awareness and an enhanced understanding of sustainability.

As we deal with urbanisation and resource constraints, we have an important responsibility to think carefully about how we respond to growth and the needs of our citizens and economy in a more sustainable way, while at the same time protecting the environment.

I am therefore very excited to announce that the City of Cape Town is currently finalising its list of new and existing climate action projects to be funded by a green bond.

These projects will be certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) before the City goes to market.

We believe our green bond will be successful because of the City’s Aaa national scale credit rating, project certification, and investors seeking to participate in social responsibility projects i.e. green projects.

Between May and June next year, I will be doing a roadshow to reach out to investors across the country.

We hope to issue our green bond by June next year as well.

And just as green bonds represent a collaboration around economic growth and environmental care, in similar vein the Mayor’ Portfolio of Urban Sustainability also reflects such an integration between economic, environmental and social imperatives.

In this year’s Mayor’s Portfolio, 32 projects were profiled from each of the City’s directorates.

This has ensured engagement with a broader base of project managers and provided a platform to discuss how to apply sustainability principles into the anatomy of projects.

I would like to thank the project managers and their teams for all your hard work and ask that you continue to work with me to take this city to greater heights.

It is important that we move our thinking away from so-called challenges and instead I am determined to find answers, to push the boundaries, and to turn challenges into opportunities.

If we are to truly embed design-led thinking into our everyday work, we need forget about constraints and use creativity that will see best-practice solutions and sustainability weave itself through our city.

As sustainable practices inform our everyday work, so too has the Mayor’s Portfolio become more than simply a publication every two years.

It is an ongoing programme that promotes sustainable practices across line functions.

Well done to project managers who have achieved ‘Gold Star’ or ‘Silver Star’ status.

These projects, featured in this publication, have delivered strong all-round results, enhancing ecological, economic, social and governance dimensions of sustainability.

The ‘Gold Star’ diarrhoeal disease season campaign is an integrated plan to improve the quality of care received at primary healthcare facilities and reduce the incidence of new diarrhoeal cases by minimising risks of exposure and spread of the disease.

The ‘Silver Star’ Ocean View stone houses integrated housing and skills development and this project has scored highly because of the involvement of important stakeholders in an innovative and holistic approach.

Through design-led thinking, the original constraint to the project’s development was turned into its key benefit.

I am extremely proud of this project as not only did it turn a challenge into an opportunity, but more importantly 1 000 Expanded Public Works Programme local workers were employed at various stages of construction.

Finally, the ‘Silver Star’ Atlantis green technology park saw 68 hectares allocated for the development of a renewable energy hub in Atlantis.

In 2015, the City of Cape Town partnered with SAREBI, located in Atlantis, by contributing R500 000 to support its incubation programme to assist small- and medium-size enterprises to stimulate job creation in Atlantis.

I visited the SAREBI incubator earlier this year and was amazed at the innovation in the green sector and the wonderful work that we see coming out of that region.

SAREBI’s success in growing small- and medium-size enterprises is already evident.

One of the businesses making use of the SAREBI facility, iSOLAR, has successfully completed orders for 900 solar water heaters for the City of Cape Town and the Cape Winelands District Municipality.

iSOLAR has recruited more than 30 new student interns who are undertaking practical training on the manufacture and installation of solar water heaters, with a strong prospect that they may become permanent employees.

The imminent declaration of the area as a Special Economic Zone will create a greater enabling environment for positive economic development that will see even more jobs created in Atlantis.

In closing, as we incorporate social, economic and environmental sustainability criteria into our daily work, we have to remember that it is our work that will help to build a legacy and a Cape Town that we can proudly hand over to future generations.

Thank you, baie dankie, enkosi, shukran.

God bless.

Issued by Zara Nicholson, Spokesperson for the Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, City of Cape Town, 19 October 2016