Joburg needs to plan for people growth

Johannesburg - Johannesburg needs to plan for a population growth of 66% in the next three decades, the City of Johannesburg said on Monday.

"This growing population will require access to clean water, dependable energy sources and reliable management of sanitation and waste," mayoral committee member Ros Greeff said at a seminar on resource sustainability in Newtown.

The seminar is part of the city's programme to revise its Growth and Development Strategy while taking into account the needs of Johannesburg's residents over the next 30 years.

Greeff said population growth required waste management to be improved.

"Residents of Johannesburg must realise that separation of waste at source will in future no longer be an option, but a necessity.

"Pikitup has introduced a pilot project to introduce and manage this process that will, in future, be expanded across the city," she said.

More than 1.8 million tons of garbage are collected in the city every year. Almost 250 000 tons are generated through illegal dumping and about 1800 tons of litter are collected from the streets.

Greef said the city was also determined to root out cable theft and illegal electrical connections.

"We have to combat the perception that those responsible for illegal connections are heroes in society... modern day 'Robin Hoods' who take from the rich and give to the poor.

"The fact is that they are stealing from law-abiding rate payers who are prepared to pay for the services they receive and... their reckless actions put the lives and livelihoods of thousands of ordinary Joburgers in danger."

She said the city was committed to reducing the volume of water getting lost in the current water system.

"We are doing this through the continuous upgrading and refurbishment of infrastructure as well as through demand-side measures and new sanitation technology.

"Johannesburg has set itself a target to reduce future demand for water in the city by at least 90 000 megalitres (90 billion litres) over the next ten years," she said.

The city was projected to grow from the current population of 3.88 million to 6.5 million people by 2040.

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