Article written by  Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria – The City of Tshwane will be giving training opportunities to 500 students from Further Education and Training (FET) institutions on an annual basis.

The City’s executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa made the announcement during the State of the City Address on Thursday.

“Given the high footprint of FET institutions in the City, the City will collaborate with these institutions to use the City as site of training.

“Again, given the budget and size of the City, a minimum of 500 students from FET institutions will be given training opportunities in the City on an annual basis,” he said.

The National Development Plan (NDP) is clear about the importance of education and training as a key foundation for social development and progress.

The mayor also said the City is putting in place revitalisation plans of the three towns namely Cullinan, Rayton and Bronkhorstspruit.

He said these plans will be incorporated into the respective Regional Spatial Development Frameworks, as an immediate and long-term response to these challenges.

The mayor also announced that a new Strategic Executive Director for Greening has been appointed and assumed duties in January to further develop and co-ordinate the work of the City.

“The City has committed to tangible actions geared towards becoming the most sustainable city in Africa. We have accepted the need to conduct our operations and render basic services in a more sustainable manner in order to ensure that the City remains liveable now and into the future.

“To this effect, our sustainability priorities for this financial year will include community outreach and calls for action on green lifestyle and behaviour. We will calculate our carbon footprint and take active steps towards carbon neutrality through the introduction of efficiency measures in our energy, transport, waste and other economic development services and activities,” he said.

In the next five years, he said at least 50 percent of the City will have a full waste separation service implemented.

The executive mayor further said the solar water heater programme will be rolled out during this financial year. Decentralised solar energy generation for peri-urban parts of the City will also be explored.

“We will invest approximately R50 million towards greening programmes within our townships and informal settlements through the enhancement of local biodiversity and the restoration of indigenous vegetation, local/urban food production and water conservation, including rain water harvesting,” he said.

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