ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY HOSTS ENERGY EFFICIENCY WORKSHOP
By: Gift Nyamapfene
eThekwini Municipality hosted a two-day Vertically Integrated Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (V-NAMA) workshop at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
The workshop aimed at proposing and brainstorming on mitigating green house gas emissions in public buildings. The focus of the V-NAMA project is to get provinces and municipalities to contribute towards meeting the national emission mitigation targets of 34% by 2020.
“The workshop brought some structure and explained what V-NAMA is,” Susanna Godeharh of eThekwini Municipality Energy Office said.
“It was a fantastic exchange of experience to talk to people from other municipalities who are already doing quite a lot, among them Cape Town,” she added.
A union of the National Departments of Environmental Affairs, Energy, Public Works and the private sector, in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Government, is providing support for energy efficiency in public buildings.
During the stakeholder workshop, a presentation of a study on the status of energy efficiency in public buildings in South Africa was introduced and discussed. Free State, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Cape Town local governments shared their experiences with energy efficiency in public buildings programs and gave an insight on a holistic approach to the V-NAMA project.
Stumbling blocks anticipated in the long run of V-NAMA were on the workshop’s agenda. Sumaya Mahomed, a City of Cape Town professional officer for Monitoring, Evaluation and Data Management believes that the initiative will face challenges from lack of incentives across various levels of government and insufficient institutional capacity.
The bureaucracy for the initiative is yet to be formally defined thus low levels of trust and related high transaction costs have so far prevented municipalities and provinces to use shared savings models, she noted.
Dignitaries noted that public buildings in Durban are on the right track to facilitating efficient energy.
“What I saw in eThekwini and after site seeing in the stadium is that most buildings already have energy efficiency measures and there is a lot of capacity and technology available,” said Tobias Zeller, an advisor in the (GIZ) Environment and Climate Division.
The eThekwini Municipality was selected to participate in the pilot programme for the energy efficiency initiative in public buildings among the District of Ilembe and Kwa-Zulu Natal Province. An approved Concept Note is expected to be submitted to NAMA Registry for International Support by the end of the year.