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TUT & City of Tshwane host successful conference on climate change



From 9 – 10 March, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) hosted a two-day thought-provoking Climate Change Research Conference in collaboration with the City of Tshwane (CoT) at the Tshwane House Council Chamber, Pretoria, with the objective of addressing how Tshwane can mitigate and adapt to climate change as well as stimulating new research areas to facilitate the implementation of the Climate Action Plan (CAP).

TUT & City of Tshwane host successful conference on climate change


TUT & City of Tshwane

At TUT, Vathiswa Papu-Zamxka is the Director of Research, Innovation, and Engagement.

To A plan has been launched by the COT to address climate change under the theme.“A net-zero carbon and climate-resilient city by 2050.”

The vision-bearer who initiated and proposed this historic conference to the City of Tshwane one year ago, Dr Vathi Papu-Zamaka, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Engagement, said during her opening speech, “As we kick off this Research Conference on Climate Change, it is important to note that no country, rich or poor, is immune to the effects of climate change.

Increasing weather extremes at home have increased the urgency of climate change control; for example, the City of Tshwane reported low dam levels in January 2023, the planned “day zero” in Cape Town, and flooding reports in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Limpopo and Gauteng Provinces over the past two years are just a few examples of climate change’s detrimental effects. 

Furthermore, she noted that “climate change is causing us to live on borrowed time and we cannot afford to wait until the next disaster strikes.”. It is imperative that we act now. 

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A continuous discussion was held during which various representatives of the local and international academic and research community presented their research, which resulted in resolutions addressing how Tshwane can mitigate and adapt to climate change and to stimulate new research to enhance the implementation of the Climate Action Plan.

TUT & City of Tshwane

At the City of Tshwane, Albertus Van Zyl is the Acting Group Head: City Strategies and Organisational Performance.

City of Tshwane Acting Group Head: City Strategies and Organisational Performance Albertus Van Zyl indicated that information presented at the conference would be shared widely to foster engagement through knowledge sharing. As well as thanking the University for the partnership, he hopes to collaborate with them in the future. 

The conference’s first day included discussions on the following topics:

  • Through South Africa’s JETP deal, cities have played a crucial role in the transition of the economy.
  • Climate change-related model development for improved high-impact forecasting
  • In Ladysmith, Klip River Catchment, South Africa, flood occurrence is influenced by land use and land cover, as well as climate change
  • Analytical Hierarchy Process for the Development of a Climate Change Financing Framework for Tshwane
  • Monitoring network for TUT-SARAO Geostations in Southern Africa

Some of the topics discussed on day 2 of the conference included: 

  • A blueprint for climate-resilient communities: The City of Tshwane’s Climate Action Plan 2050
  • Climate action led by communities and based on gender equality
  • South Africa’s innovative sanitation technologies are climate adaptive and resilient
  • Climate change adaptation by utilizing existing municipal water infrastructure
  • A case study of the South African National Parks Head Office (Groenkloof) on how to achieve net-zero emissions in protected areas.
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A number of organisations and universities locally and internationally also made presentation, such as the South African Weather Services, South Africa Medical Research Council, South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, University of Johannesburg, University of South Africa, Novus, University of Pretoria, Council to Scientific and Industrial Research, University of Witwatersrand, Free State University, Gauteng City Region Observatory, Vaal University of Technology, Dinokeng Game Reserve, City of Tshwane, Stellenbosch University, GenderCCSA  – Women for change Justice, University of the North West – Mafikeng Campus, Water Research Commission, South African National Parks and the Kyambogo University, Uganda. 

TUT & City of Tshwane

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