Conny Mametja, the acting municipal manager (MM) of Dipaleseng Local Municipality (DLM) travelled to the city of Montreal in the United States, to participate in the ICLEI World Congress 2018.
The ICLEI is renowned as the world’s largest global association of cities and subnational governments dedicated to sustainable development. It was established to connect, serve and empower local governments worldwide. The organisation boasts a membership of more than 1 500 cities, towns and regions across the world.
ICLEI envisions a world of sustainable cities that confront the realities of urbanisation, adapt to economic and demographic trends and prepare for the impacts of climate change and other urban challenges. This is why ICLEI unites local and subnational governments in creating positive change through collective learning, exchange and capacity building.
The congress addresses a number of critical issues such as local governance (and their most successful initiatives), innovative policies and remarkable results in achieving local government sustainability and the introductory of smart city concepts in cities and towns. Transformation of the urban landscape in relation to women leadership and gender mainstreaming will also form part of the agenda for the congress.
Mametja described the congress as a platform for capacity building and creating networks amongst peers in the field of local governance.
Over the last 25 years, ICLEI have achieved results that the planet notices in the sense that:
• they have built a global sustainability network of more than 1,500 local and regions governments of all sizes in more than 100 countries;
• they work with local and regional governments through a network of 17 offices and global centres on all continents;
• they have developed common methodologies and created innovative tools which are applied throughout the local government community worldwide;
• they have provided leadership in linking local governments to global policy processes and multilateral environmental agreements;
• they have created a global network of cities, towns and regions that have undertaken climate action planning and set voluntary targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction;
• they have supported dozens of municipalities in the use of innovative sustainability management systems; and engaged dozens of global cities in biodiversity management;
• more than 50,000 local government staff have benefited from over 1,000 capacity building events organised by ICLEI.
“I am honoured to have been chosen to participate in this highly esteemed congress, more so that I am pursuing my PhD studies around the issues of smart cities,” Mametja said.
Her participation in the congress is viewed by the DLM as an opportunity to put the municipality on the world map. This has also raised expectations for the growing municipality with a population of more than 42 000 in Mpumalanga, as the Executive Mayor, Cllr Mafunda Makhubu explains:
“It has raised expectations for growing the municipality and we believe that councillor Mametja will return with the power of knowledge and innovative practices which she obtained from her peers across the world,” executive mayor Mafunda Makhubu said.