The Durban Adaptation Charter (DAC) Secretariat conducted a survey of 12 Central KwaZulu-Natal Climate Change Compact (CKZNCCC) member municipalities between December 2014 and January 2015. The CKZNCCC is a DAC sub-national partnership that has been formed between eThekwini Municipality, the local government for the city of Durban, and its neighbouring municipalities in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The aim of the Compact is to serve as a platform for capacity development, knowledge exchange and streamlining of efforts. In addition, the Compact aims to assist municipalities to gain improved access to support and funding opportunities around climate action. The survey was designed to track progress and determine the outcomes which have resulted from municipalities being a part of the Compact, since its establishment in February 2014. The survey results have provided insight on where the municipalities are in their climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts and how the Compact has supported them in these developments.
Overall, the 12 municipalities surveyed expressed a strong interest in the Compact and are looking forward to experiencing long term benefits as a result of being a part of the network. Some municipalities expressed that the Compact meetings have created better channels for regular knowledge and information sharing between municipalities in the climate change field, and although many expressed various capacity issues, they trust that the Compact will provide a good starting base for future climate change initiatives.
With regards to the formal participation in the Compact, many of the municipalities reported that they still need to get their respective councils to formally agree to join the Compact. However, they commented that they have already benefited from the Compact through the attendance of Compact meetings and information dissemination regarding opportunities. Two municipalities indicated that their councils have approved their involvement in the Compact and two are in the process of gaining approval. The remainder of the municipalities plan to formally join the Compact in the near future, yet expressed that capacity and resources are major challenges that they are currently dealing with. It is envisioned that the CKZNCCC will assist with these challenges by providing a platform where municipalities can access information, resources, and opportunities. While all the municipalities have not yet signed the DAC, two municipalities indicated that their approval documents are being processed and two of the municipalities which have received approval are awaiting the next signing ceremony which is scheduled for 2015.
Author: Bukelwa Nzimande