KwaDukuza Municipality successfully hosted the 4th Central KwaZulu-Natal Climate Change Compact (CKZNCCC) meeting which was held on the 13th of February 2015, at La Montagne Hotel, Ballito. The meeting was attended by representatives from Compact member municipalities (iLembe, Ugu, uMngeni, KwaDukuza and eThekwini municipalities); the National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA); KZN Provincial Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DEDTEA); South African Local Government Association (SALGA); and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability – Africa Office.
Presentations and discussions held during the meeting focused mainly on KwaDukuza Municipality’s innovative climate change projects some of which they have been implementing in association with ICLEI Africa. KwaDukuza Municipality also spoke about the lessons they have learnt during this process and also provided tips on how they have succeeded in tackling climate change issues within the Municipality, irrespective of their relative small size. All local authority representatives present were also given an opportunity during the meeting to report back on their climate change programmes and reflect on the successes and challenges experienced.
The main issues which were highlighted during the meeting were the lack of both capacity within the existing staff compliment and dedicated climate change positions within the organisational design, and the need for the prioritisation of climate change within these small municipalities. Another issue was that of duplication of effort between institutions, networks and the likes Municipalities expressed that they would appreciate a more consolidated and unified approach between all institutions which are involved in support and capacity building for local government structures in the climate change field. The municipalities also highlighted the importance of the Compact meetings as they bring local governments and institutions together aiding discussions and communication which could result in this being slowly resolved.
Institutions which had previously expressed their willingness to partner and work with local governments by offering support and tackling issues of capacity at the third CKZNCCC meeting held in Durban in October 2014, were all present, displaying the vast support which is available for all Compact member municipalities. Institutional representatives further emphasised that support and resources are available for municipalities to assist them with their climate change actions. The meeting ended with the DAC Secretariat committing to assist municipalities to review the different climate support institutions and identifying duplications and gaps which might exist. In turn, municipalities also committed to compiling case studies in which they would share lessons from climate change adaptation and mitigation project that they have implemented. The DAC Secretariat further reassured municipalities that it will continue to offer support and serve municipalities as best as possible.