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Gauteng metros commit to safer air quality and public health

Mayors of the trio municipalities sign declaration of over 100 world leading cities

Mpho Sibanyoni Journalist
City of Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse
City of Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Three of the country's metropolitan municipalities have committed to work towards improving the quality of the air we breathe.

Mayors of cities of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane have, along with mayors from seven other African cities, signed the C40 clean air declaration to improve public health and climate.

This was announced by C40 Cities, a network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities who are working together to combat climate crisis while also creating a future environment where people can thrive

"By signing the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration, the mayors of these cities recognise that breathing clean air is a human right and commit to work toward safer air quality that meets World Health Organisation Air Quality Guidelines," said the organisation in a media statement.

"C40 is launching the African Cities for Clean Air Programme to support cities in taking action​

The statement said the City of Joburg will expand household electrification by providing 3,000 sites with electricity connections, establishing a diesel vehicle emissions testing programme and ensuring mines implement a dust management programme by 2025.

Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse said: “Breathing clean air is a human right. As mayors of the African cities, we must not wait for others to act to protect our citizens from the devastating consequences of air pollution. We know that air pollution and the climate crisis go hand in hand. Both need immediate, unprecedented and collective action to remove the pollution that is harming our health and warming our planet.” ​

Ekurhuleni mayor Tania Campbell said: “I am deeply concerned about the health of citizens of Ekurhuleni, as the detrimental effects of poor air quality are experienced on a daily basis. With the support of C40 Cities, the city has made a pledge, with focused measures, that will ensure that the air in our city is improved. One of the key measures relates to the enforcement and monitoring of the conditions of air quality licensing by our dedicated team of environmental management inspectors.”

Tshwane mayor Randal Williams said the metros seeks to use potential co-benefits related to air quality management to help address the associated health impacts on citizens.

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