On 28 March 2019, two UNIDO-sponsored electric vehicle charging bays were launched at the municipal headquarters of the City of Tshwane (Pretoria) by the Executive Mayor, Councillor Stevens Mokgalapa. The event coincided with the city’s celebrations of Earth Hour under the theme Change the way we live.

As part of its membership of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the City of Tshwane signed the Clean Bus Declaration, which commits it to having 40% of its bus fleet converted to clean technologies by 2020. To achieve this, Tshwane is in the process of installing charging stations throughout the city.

In his address at the launch of the parking bays, Cllr. Mokglapa explained that the intention was to have charging points throughout the City and particularly at locations such as shopping centres, where parallel activities can take place while commuters charge their vehicles. The city already has two solar charging stations, one at the Centurion Municipal Complex in Lyttelton and the other at the Police Station in Bosman Street. These charging stations are open to the public as part of the City’s commitment to facilitating and implementing electric vehicle infrastructure.

Mr. Conrad Kassier, on behalf of the UNIDO Regional Office in South Africa, congratulated the City of Tshwane on its proactive role in the fleeting of electric vehicles to demonstrate the positive impact of this mode of transport on the environment. He explained that UNIDO’s sponsorship of the charging stations was in line with the organization’s partnership with local municipalities and the Department of Trade and Industry to support sustainable and clean transport policies and demonstrate technologies for the transition to a lower carbon and circular economy.

“We are here today to celebrate a partnership with the City of Tshwane through our Low-Carbon Transport Project”, said Kassier. The Low-Carbon Transport project is a UNIDO initiative funded mainly by the Global Environment Facility (GEF)  addressing sustainable transport solutions in South Africa and other developing countries such as China and Malaysia.

South Africa’s Green Transport Strategy aims at reducing emissions in road transport, with the introduction of electric vehicles as an important contributor to the achievement of the country’s emissions reduction targets by 2050. The widespread and coordinated installation of public electric vehicle charging infrastructure is crucial to meeting the needs of vehicle owners who travel relatively long distances.  Kassier said that, where EV installations are linked to the national grid, renewable energy technologies such as rooftop solar were a wise investment and a reliable way to charge electric vehicles.

Councillor Stevens Mokgalapa (centre) with (fltr) Mr. Conrad Kassier and Ms. Nikola Niebuhr from UNIDO, Mr. Richard Moheta (MMC for Environment and Agriculture Management) and Ms. Sheila Lynn Senkubuge (MMC for Transport) from the City of Tshwane, and Ms. Ashanti Mogosetsi from UNIDO’s Low Carbon Transport Project in South Africa, at the launch of the two UNIDO-sponsored electric vehicle charging bays at Tshwane municipal headquarters