Parks Tau -Executive Mayor of the city of Johannesburg. Caring Cities - Metropolis Annual meeting 2013 held at the Hilton Hotel, Johannesburg. Picture: Antoine de Ras, 17/07/2013

Johannesburg - The City of Joburg has set aside more than R110 billion over the next 10 years to refurbish its ailing infrastructure and roads.

This was revealed by mayor Parks Tau at the weekend. He said the municipality was at an advanced stage to host the C40 Climate Leadership Group Mayors’ Summit in Sandton on February 4 to 6.

Tau suggested that the weather patterns across Joburg have shifted, with higher temperatures, and more intense rainfall increasing the risk of flooding and causing severe damage to infrastructure.

“The extreme fluctuations in weather patterns underscore the unpredictability of climate change in future.

“Joburg will become hotter and wetter,” Tau said.

The council was aware of its ageing infrastructure, capacity constraints and backlogs, the mayor added.

“Over the next three years, more than R30 billion will be allocated to the replacement and upgrading of ageing and new infrastructure. In the 2013-14 financial year, R7.3bn will be spent on infrastructure, which represents nearly double the R4.6bn spent in 2012-13.

“The 2014-15 allocation, which is likely to be R13.5bn, will be concluded by the end of next month, when the council finishes its budget processes.”

Tau said the council was aware of the responsibility to ensure that capital investment supported a low-carbon, resource-efficient strategy, coupled with the ability to adapt to climate-change impact.

He also said it was anticipated that climate change was likely to lead to an increase in people migrating to Joburg, particularly foreigners from neighbouring countries, due to either scarcity in natural resources or a collapse in agricultural livelihoods.

Tau said it was projected that the city’s population would grow to more than 6.9 million by 2030.

The figure is considerably higher than the council had predicted in its growth and development strategy two years ago.

“Joburg is faced with the challenge of providing housing, services and opportunities for this burgeoning urban population,” Tau added.

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The Star