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Note to editors: the following speech was delivered by the City’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, at the official opening of the New Horizons waste-to-energy facility in the Athlone Industria today. It is the first of its kind in Africa.

Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille
CEO of Wastemart, Nazier Marthinus
CEO of Clean Energy Africa, Marcel Steinberg
CEO of Afrox, Schalk Venter
Ladies and gentlemen

Good morning, goeie môre, molweni, as-salaam alaikum, shalom.

It is my pleasure to join you all today in launching this very exciting addition to our city’s green economy.

Growing the green economy presents new opportunities for improving resource resilience and stimulating inclusive growth.In growing the green economy, there are roles for both government and the private sector, both of which are called upon to innovate.

It is an honour for Cape Town to be the location for this new waste-to-energy plant, developed by New Horizons Energy.

This R400 million investment is the first of its kind in Africa, and will convert solid waste into biogas with waste that might otherwise have gone to landfill sites in Cape Town.

Converting waste to gas is a very desirable outcome for the City of Cape Town and will contribute to extending the lifespan of our landfills.

I am particularly pleased that this project will have a notable impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the city.

Cape Town is steadily building its reputation as one of the green capitals of the world.

Private sector investments such as this waste-to-energy plant contribute to creating jobs and reducing unemployment.

The City of Cape Town has concluded a process of organisational design and transformation in recent months that will further support the growth of the green economy.

One notable change of the Organisational and Development Plan (ODTP) is the establishment of the City’s first Directorate of Energy as of 1 January 2017.

We have decided to move away from simply being a distributor of electricity to also generating energy and thereby giving residents a greater choice of what kind of energy they want to use and how much they want to pay for it.

This new Directorate will be expected to help deliver our target of achieving 20% of our energy needs from renewable energy by 2020.

Cape Town is leading in this space of innovation in generating our own electricity to make Cape Town energy-secure.

I have already interacted with the National Government to allow us as the City to procure energy directly with independent power producers.

Should this be refused, we will not hesitate to go to court as we are already undertaking a process to test this decision not to allow us to procure our own energy in a court of law.

We are also working closely with the City of Stockholm to see if we can replicate the methodology they are using where they are successfully producing biogas fuel from sludge from the wastewater treatment plants for their bus fleet.

All of these opportunities and projects confirm that waste is money.

In closing, whatever the choices that are made in this space, there are bound to be many opportunities for private sector partnerships – all of which can contribute to building the sustainability of our economy and the environment.

A special thank you as well to GreenCape for working closely with the City and for their assistance and facilitation services on this project.

I wish this project every success. Thank you for your confidence in investing in Cape Town.

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