Monday, 17 November 2014

No gifts to Pikitup Staff please

Subject: Pikitup would like to remind the citizens of Joburg again this year, not to give out Christmas gifts to waste removal staff .


Pikitup would like to remind the citizens of Joburg again this year, not to give out Christmas gifts to waste removal staff especially during the festive season.

“Pikitup employees are forbidden from soliciting Christmas gifts from members of the public, as this goes against company policy for staff to take part in this tradition”, said Suren Maharaj, acting Managing Director at Pikitup.

Maharaj was speaking ahead of the holiday season, advising the residents and business owners in the City of Joburg against individuals who masquerade as Pikitup staff requesting ‘Christmas boxes’ and ‘donations’ from the public.

Residents are under no obligation whatsoever to offer any gifts to Pikitup’s refuse collection staff, as the company does pay a bonus to its staff at the end of the year,” said Maharaj. All residents are urged to report imposters and staff who approach or harass them for gifts or donations.

“Corporate governance and zero tolerance to corruption are of critical importance to Pikitup. We will leave no stone unturned in rooting out corrupt officials and practices,” said Maharaj.

Any irregular activities are to be reported to the South African Police Services or contact the City of Johannesburg’s 24-hour 24/7 toll-free hotline on 0800 00 25 87, which is manned in all 11 official languages or via e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or send an SMS to 32840 line which is charged at a minimal fee of R1.50c.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Discussion points from the session on Energy Issues in the City of Johannesburg 16 August 2014

Discussion points from the session on
Energy Issues in the City of Johannesburg
16 August 2014

This report should be read in conjunction with the discussion paper titled “Energy Issues in the City of Johannesburg”.  The discussion paper was prepared by Gareth Morgan and Councillor Denis Hunt, and was presented to the caucus members in the last session of the workshop in Johannesburg.

The discussion paper included an overview of the energy sector and highlighted several issues that could be of interest to the Johannesburg caucus in the lead up to the 2016 local government elections. At the conclusion of the presentation of the discussion paper, the caucus members were divided up into four groups to discuss the issues. Thereafter, a team leader from each group reported back to a plenary session. This report captures some of the key points from the plenary session.


The caucus was of the view that Egoli Gas has not expanded its network sufficiently. When it was privatised in 2000 it was expected that the network would expand significantly. This needs to be followed up further. It was acknowledged that the new pipeline to the MTN offices will provide opportunities to surrounding small consumers to tap into the bulk line.

The caucus argued that ultimately the market must drive the expansion strategy, but local government has a facilitation role nevertheless.

Campaigns should be run to make people aware of both the advantages of gas, and also the dangers. Gas can be used for many functions that people are currently using electricity for.

The caucus agreed that gas should definitely feature in the DA manifesto for the 2016 local elections.

Solar PV

The caucus was of the opinion that there are many benefits of small-scale solar PV, and that strategies should be pursued that will increase the number of installations in the City.

Net-metering was extensively discussed. It was announced on the day of this workshop that Cape Town will soon be permitting net-metering. The caucus agrees that net-metering should be allowed in Johannesburg, as it is one means to free up the municipal supply of electricity for other purposes, and it a necessary requirement to attract new installations on private households.  Caucus members gave examples of three institutions that are engaged in some limited net-metering, although they do not earn an income from it (rather their monthly bills are reduced).

There is some concern that meters in Johannesburg are not capable of net-metering. This should not be viewed as a barrier though. In the case of Cape Town, if an individual household wants to pursue net-metering, the City will install the necessary meter at the cost of the household. This issue of net-metering needs to be further pursued by the caucus, and should feature in the manifesto for the 2016 elections.

The caucus also came up with the novel idea of very small 12V solar panels that can be installed in informal settlements. These panels, which individually cost about R5000, would be sufficient for charging a cellphone and powering two light bulbs at the very least. Projects like this exist in Zambia and Kenya.  The City, or another funder, would have to fund a project of this nature. It would require an entire informal settlement being covered, in order to reduce the potential for theft. Registered electricians are not required for these small installations, so it has the potential to be a job-creating project.

Solar Water Heaters

The caucus strongly supports the installation of SWHs in Johannesburg.  They reduce electricity consumption in homes, they improve safety (as in some households water is boiled over fire), and saves time (which can be used for other productive purposes).

The caucus acknowledged that there are building regulations that require new buildings to have at least half their water needs powered by renewable energy. There is a general belief that these provisions are not being enforced in Johannesburg and hence the caucus needs to follow this up.

The caucus acknowledged that the major installation of low-pressure SWHs in Johannesburg has been problematic. The DA notes that installations must be done by accredited installers. Procurement of future SWHs in projects of this nature must be of high quality. As far as possible SWH parts should be procured from South African suppliers. If sufficiently high quality products cannot be procured locally, only then should the products be procured from overseas.

It was also acknowledged that as electricity prices increase, the incentive for private households to install SWHs at their own cost will increase. In this regard, it is worth looking at the programme run by the City of Cape Town which accredits certain suppliers and promotes their goods to consumers in the City. The caucus agreed that in Johannesburg there is significant scope to increase awareness efforts about the benefits of SWHs.

For private installations, the caucus would like to look for creative ways to finance installations. There are some concerns whether the MMFA would allow the City to install high-pressure SWHs in households, and then claim back payments from monthly bills. This nevertheless needs to be further investigated.

Heat Pumps

The caucus is supportive of any efforts to increase the installation of heat pumps in the City.

Consumers need information in order to make the right choices. Both SWHs and heat pumps have certain advantages over each other, but the right choice for an individual will depend on the pay-back period, among other things.

Energy consultants should be employed by the City to go door-to-door helping consumers to demystify the various energy options available to individual households.

Alternative Fuel for Buses

This issue attracted the least discussion. The general feeling of the caucus was that while the City should attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its public buses, the cost of fuel was still the most important criteria at this time. The caucus did express some concerns about the reliability of supply of alternative fuels.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Joburg Mayor, Parks Tau and Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, host summit

Joburg Mayor, Parks Tau and Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, will host
over 60 mayors from across the world for the C40 summit at the Sandton
Convention Centre from 4 to 6 February.

The summit brings together mayors and senior city officials from leading
cities around the world to discuss the climate change challenges facing
their cities, and share insights based on the actions they’ve taken to
reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.

Around 700 urban and climate change leaders will join them in a series of
roundtable discussions and working sessions to focus on the themes of
resilient and liveable megacities, GHG measurement and adaptation, and
impact and opportunity.

The C40 Cities Mayors Summit will discuss topics such as Adaptable and
Resilient Cities; Building Liveable Cities; and Socio-Economic Development
of emerging megacities.