Joburg empowers youth with green jobs expo

Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda engages with selected learners. Picture: Supplied

Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda engages with selected learners. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 26, 2024


The City of Joburg’s environment and infrastructure services department, in collaboration with C40 Cities and Sustainable Energy Africa (UK PACT), held a Green Jobs Youth Expo at the Brixton Multipurpose Centre.

Hundreds of students from all around Johannesburg gathered on February 23 to learn about the city’s green initiatives and be motivated to pursue green entrepreneurship and career options.

The expo served to inspire young people to lead the city’s green transformation by showcasing the wide range of careers and talents that are essential in the green industry.

The purpose of the expo was to connect young people with sustainable career paths and showcase prominent speakers and leaders in the green industry. They demonstrated environmentally focused job opportunities and introduced youths to career prospects in the green economy.

The expo, themed “Unlocking youth energy in the city’s green initiatives”, aimed to attract young people from a variety of backgrounds, including high schools and universities, as well as organisations that offer green jobs.

The topics covered included green careers in a landscape of possibilities, water for the future, green transportation, growing greener in rural areas, green company ideation workshops, green communication, and constructing greener cities.

The City of Joburg has a council-approved Climate Action Plan that is being implemented throughout all city procedures, systems, and operations.

Councillor Kabelo Gwamanda, executive mayor of Joburg, said: “According to recent findings of the C40 Green Jobs Report, a study conducted by our partner C40 Climate Leadership Group, there are approximately 400 000 job opportunities that can be realised in the city over the next decade through the implementation of the City’s Climate Action Plan and leveraging the green economy.

“This study is a collaborative effort between our city and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a global network of cities committed to addressing climate change.

“The study clearly shows that the green economy has the potential to be a major source of employment and economic development in our city.

“From renewable energy production to trash management and environmentally responsible building, the green industry provides a wide range of professional opportunities for our inhabitants and youngsters. Whether you are a new graduate, a seasoned professional, or looking to make a career change, there is a place for you in the green economy.

“The power of innovation and technology will have a multiplier effect in achieving sustainability and creating a brighter, greener future for all Johannesburg residents.”

Lebo Molefe, the city’s director of climate change and air quality, emphasised the importance of the expo in not just addressing young unemployment, but also developing an educated population capable of mitigating climate change and creating a sustainable future.

“The Joburg Green Jobs Youth Expo provides a platform to showcase environmentally focused job opportunities and connect young individuals with sustainable career paths.

“By investing in our youth and promoting the growth of green sectors, we can ensure a better tomorrow for future generations. Today, we brought together about 400 enthusiastic learners, university students, and graduates to discuss the potential for employment creation in sectors like renewable energy, clean construction, sustainable agriculture, and eco-tourism.

“By highlighting green industries, the jobs expo aims to promote awareness and encourage youth participation in the transition to a green economy, #ZeroCarbon2050,” said Molefe.

Green jobs are about more than just making Johannesburg more environmentally friendly; they are important to building a more equitable future in which residents can benefit from a greener, healthier, and more habitable city.

The Star

Nobukhosi Tshabalala

[email protected]