Ekurhuleni Municipality scoops greenest awards

Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM) is the greenest city in South Africa! The announcement was made by the National Department of Environmental Affairs during the Greenest Municipality Competition (GMC) held in Durban recently.

“This is a clear indication that the systems and strategies the municipality has employed when it comes to environmental management and greening initiatives are beginning to yield fruits,” says Ekurhuleni’s member of the mayoral committee responsible for Environmental Development, Councillor Vuyelwa Mabena.

The Ekurhuleni Metro is known to be the city of firsts, including being the first Aerotropolis in Africa, the first metro to host the World Airport Cities Conference and Exhibition and also a four times winner of the blue drop award.

According to Mabena the latest accolade the metro has received is due to the dedicated efforts of various departments within the municipality - which include Waste Management Services, Health and Social Services, Water and Sanitation Department, Energy and Electricity Department, Communications and Brand Management Department and Environmental Resource Management.

The Greenest Municipality Competition (GMC) started its life as the Cleanest Town Competition (CTC) with a primary focus in implementing the National Waste Management Strategy. The Cleanest Town Competition’s pillars were the principles of reducing, recycling and reusing waste materials.  Although these principles are still relevant, other elements related to sustainable development and various greening interventions have been added. The GMC focuses also on efforts to get municipalities to be central to the green economy.

The Department of Environmental Affairs awards prizes according to two categories namely; the Metropolitan Municipality and Local Municipality. The prize money has to be utilised for projects that promote environmental related projects and Green Economy initiatives. EMM’s R3.5 million cash prize will be channelled to other green projects.

“We are very pleased to have successfully met the national department of Environmental Affairs’ criteria for assessment, which includes good waste management plans, policies and strategies; Institutional arrangements and political support within municipalities on environmental programmes; greening initiatives including landscaping and planting of trees and community involvement on environmental projects and programmes,” said Clr Mabena.

A total of 111 metropolitan and local municipalities have competed for the awards and the following emerged victorious:

Metropolitan Municipality

Position Prize Money Winning Metro

- The Overall Winner  -  Ekurhuleni - R3, 5 Million

- First Runner Up - Ethekwini -  R3 Million 

- Second Runner Up - City of Cape Town - R2, 5 Million


Local Municipality

Position  Prizes Money Winning Municipality

- The Overall Winner - Greater Tzaneen - R3, 5 Million

- First Runner Up - Newcastle - R3 Million 

- Second Runner Up - Drakenstein - R2, 5 Million

Further information on the awards can be found below.


 - Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi awards greenest municipalities prizes to best performing municipalities for the transition towards the Green Economy

Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi’s address for the hand over of the Buy Back Centre and Composting Facility in KwaMashu, KwaZulu Natal