The strategy should focus on five key areas:
1. Renewable energy
2. Green transport
3. Energy efficiency
4. Just transition
5. Ensuring access to energy to all.
With regards to renewable energy, some ideas and programmes that have been carried out in other cities include providing a feed-in tariff to pay businesses and residents for the excess energy they generate; placing solar panels on all municipal buildings including schools and clinics (this is known as distributed solar energy); the City could choose to buy renewable energy from independent power producers and not from Eskom. One opportunity for the City is when Kelvin Power Station shuts down in 2018: the City could agree that they will buy energy from renewable sources only.
With regards to green transport, the City of Joburg has made some progress with regards to the Bus Rapid Transport System but these efforts need to increase. The City should phase out all internal combustion engines and shift to electric transport.
Energy efficiency is another area which can create extensive jobs. This does not just mean changing to LED lightbulbs but rather retrofitting all municipal buildings to be energy efficient and putting in legislation for new buildings to be energy efficient while working with all residents to encourage energy efficient homes.
These key areas will need a strong public participation process plus a department to focus on the just transition for the City of Joburg from a fossil-fuel based system to a low-carbon economy so that we can be sure to help facilitate this shift to renewable energy.