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Mayor Tau takes delivery of green cars


For the next three years, the City of Johannesburg will spend R216-million on replacing half of its 3 500 vehicle fleet with energy-saving and environmentally friendly vehicles. 
On Friday Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau and Member of the Mayoral Committee for Group Corporate and Shared Services Councillor Mally Mokoena took delivery of the first batch of 10 hybrid pool cars in line with the City’s Fleet Greening Programme.
In all, 34 vehicles valued at more than R8-million, will be delivered in the next few weeks to be used by the city’s various entities.
The vehicles, supplied and managed by Avis, were unveiled at the Metro Centre in Braamfontein as part of Mayor Tau’s vision to reduce the carbon footprint in the city.
“Johannesburg contributes 56% to national carbon emissions and is regarded as the 13th highest carbon-emitting city in the world. Transport has the highest demand for energy (67%), with private car use making up a large percentage of this. As the City of Johannesburg we hope to achieve our goal of making walking, cycling and public transport as our modes of choice by 2040.
“The non-motorised transport system will address greenhouse gas emission problems, which are a major contributor to climate change and also a factor in our health problems,” he said.
The Fleet Greening Programme is one of the city’s initiatives to promote the use of clean energy in transport and other sectors.
“The City has chosen this approach in an effort to play its role, by assisting to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and provide basic services to our clients. Climate change is a serious threat to humanity as it has brought about environmental hazards, high temperatures, devastating storms and hurricanes, rising sea levels, diseases such as malaria and flooding,” he said.
The project fits neatly into the City’s other green transport and economy projects. Metrobus and Rea Vaya are already running similar projects. 
“With the green transportation strategy and the development of the low-carbon value chain embedded within the various programmes, we hope to meet the objectives of our Growth and Development Strategy 2040 by improving air quality in Johannesburg,” he said, adding that this would result in new industries and jobs.
Avis Fleet Services CEO Clive Else praised the City’s greening initiative, saying by taking concrete steps to mitigate climate change, Johannesburg was showing it was serious about preserving the environment for future generations.
He said the City’s programme was in line with international standards and added that 52% of fleets in some European countries were hybrid.  “Today’s launch represents 1% of cars in Johannesburg. These are baby steps … it shows the City’s commitment and courage [to do the right thing],” Else said.