Executive Mayor  NEW official photo copy

CLLR KGOSIENTSO RAMOKGOPA is the Executive Mayor of Tshwane and Chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC) in the Tshwane Region. He also served as Tshwane’s Ward 51 Councillor between 2000 and 2005. He served in the leadership of the South African Students Congress (SASCO) and the ANC Youth League at the University of Durban-Westville. His qualifications include BSc Civil Engineering from the University of Durban-Westville, Master of Public Administration from the University of Pretoria, Master of Business Leadership from the University of South Africa, and a Certificate in Executive Leadership from the University of Stellenbosch. He is currently writing his PhD thesis on local government finance at the University of Pretoria. He has extensive experience in corporate governance and served as the CEO of the Metropolitan Trading Company (MTC), an entity of the City of Johannesburg, and of the Johannesburg Market which is the largest fresh produce market in the world by volume. He has been recognized for his sterling business leadership and has been voted the 2008 MTN Boss of the Year and the 2009 CEO of the Year (adjudicated by the Institute of People Management). He is also the 2010 Black Business Quarterly title bearer: Young Business Achiever of the Year. Growing up in Atteridgeville, he attended Seaparankwe Lower Primary School, proceeded to Patogeng Higher Primary School and finished at Hofmeyr High School. A keen soccer player as a young man, he was given the nickname Sputla for his skill and creative manoeuvring of a soccer ball. Still an avid sport enthusiast, he watches football, rugby, cricket and Formula 1 race driving and likes to attend live matches. Relaxation further includes reading up on economics and politics, and doing community work. His life motto is: “Live truthfully and you shall prevail against all adversity.”



JEAN-PIERRE ELONG MBASSI is the Secretary General of United Cities and Local Government of Africa (UCLG Africa) since 2007. He is also Co-Chair of World Cities Scientific Development Alliance-WCSDA, and Deputy Secretary General of the China-Africa forum of local governments. Mr. Elong Mbassi is the man behind the Africities Summit, the largest event of cities, regions and local communities in Africa, where he oversees the organization since the first edition in 1998.
Mr. Elong Mbassi has a rich experience of nearly 40 years in the field of urban development and planning, urban services, local economic development, local governance, housing and of slum upgrading. From 1996 to 1999 he was the first Secretary General of the World Association of Cities and Local Authorities Coordination-WACLAC at the same time he held the position of Secretary General of the Municipal Development Partnership, MDP from 1992 to 2006. Previously, from 1981 to 1991, Mr. Elong Mbassi was the director of the first urban project financed by the World Bank in Cameroon and which focused on the restructuring and development of a slums area of 300,000 inhabitants in the city Douala. Mr. Elong Mbassi began his career in Paris, France where he was responsible for research and project manager at the Agency of Cooperation and Planning (‘Agence Coopération et Aménagement ) from 1973 to 1980.

Peter Newman

PETER NEWMAN is the Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University. He has written 16 books and over 300 papers. His books include ‘Green Urbanism in Asia’ (2013) and ‘Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence’ which was launched in the White House in 1999. Peter has worked in local, state and national government in Australia, and was on the IPCC for their 5th Assessment Report. In 2014 he was awarded an Order of Australia for his contributions to urban design and sustainable transport.

Peter has worked in local government as an elected councillor, in state government as an advisor to three Premiers and in the Australian Government on the Board of Infrastructure Australia. With a team from CUSP he leads an AusAID funded project on Deliberative Democracy and Sustainable Transport in India.


The latest IPCC report (which I contributed to) shows a bleak future with strong words about the desperate need for change. This is a wise report as it can only cover the published literature and the trends have not been very hopeful. However we can begin to see some recent remarkable decoupling of economic growth from carbon emissions and the first signs of peaking in oil and coal, in transport and in buildings, not just because of technology but also in how we live. There are encouraging signs in the developed world and in the emerging world, especially China and India. The opportunity beckons for Africa to leapfrog into a future with considerable reductions in poverty as well as being carbon free.

Erky Wood copy

ERKY WOOD is a founding member of GAPP and is a specialist in urban development processes, in the identification of strategic objectives, parametric urban cost modelling and local authority issues and their effect on the urban design process. He was a member of the original urban design team for the V&A Waterfront project in Cape Town; team leader, urban design for FNB BankCity, Johannesburg; responsible for the Johannesburg Metropolitan Chamber Interim Strategic Framework for the post-apartheid city; urban designer in charge of the La Lucia Office Estate, including its architectural design controls, which has been described as South Africa’s premier office park in Umhlanga, north of Durban and in addition to numerous other high profile projects. He is currently working on the Umhlanga New Town Centre for Moreland Developments, the Modderfontein Development Framework for Heartland Properties and the Cotswold Down Estate in Hillcrest, Durban.


Discussions on sustainability at various scales of urban development tend to focus simply on the kinds of issues and principles around which ‘green’ buildings are considered. Whilst there are, of course, principles of orientation, shading, natural venting, recycling, energy efficiency, reducing heat gain or retaining heat as the case may be that must apply in engendering sustainability at all levels of development, the dimensions of urban sustainability go well beyond these. That is, there are particular issues that need to be addressed at the city-wide scale as well as local district levels that reflect on the fundamentals of sustainability in social, economic and cultural terms.

The MegaCity needs to be understood as a phenomenon having very particular characteristics in developing regions and economies and the principles of growing robust city economies, integrating dual-logic economic systems, engendering social inclusion and optimising diversity become fundamental dimensions of overall urban sustainability. To the extent that the shape, form and structure of cities are integral to these dimensions, how we think about and enable the MegaCity in these terms is vital.

At the more local levels of urban districts or precincts, we again need to explore those robust dimensions inherent in complex, integrated urban fabric in which meaningful communities can take root. Without this robustness, particularly in resource-scarce planning and city-management environments, many of the ‘green’ principles will fail to take hold.

Tlou-Ramaru_2MR. TLOU RAMARU is the Chief Policy Advisor: Sustainable Development in the Department of Environmental Affairs. His responsibilities entail management of South Africa’s negotiations on sustainable development and environmental sector trade in the relevant multi-lateral fora and partnerships. Management of national and international engagement in sustainable development and environmental sector trade programmes. Coordination and implementation of National Strategy for Sustainable Development and Action Plan (NSSD) and the Environment Sector science policy interface framework. Management of the development of the state of environment reports and indicators and provide the Department with state of environment strategic and technical support.

Manage the coordination and facilitation of the implementation of the national Greening Programme, sector green economy actions, the national green fund. Mr Ramaru was a technical leader for South Africa during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and represent South Africa in the Friends of Para 47 Group which advocate for sustainability reporting.


SEANA NKHAHLE is chairman of the Green Building Council of South Africa. Nkhahle is an Executive Director at SALGA, responsible for ‘Corporate Strategy and Research’. Prior to this he was the Executive Manager and National Programmes Co-ordinator at the South African Cities Network. Nkhahle holds a Bsc (Hons) Town and Regional Planning. In 2004 Nkhahle received a recognition award issued jointly by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction.

MALEMOLLA DAVID MAKHURA was elected Premier of Gauteng, South Africa’s most populous province and economic hub of the country, on 21 May 2014.

Premier Makhura is also a trustee of the Board of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.
At the 12th Provincial Conference of the ANC Gauteng in October 2014, Makhura was elected as the Deputy Chairperson of the province.

He is responsible for convening meetings of the council and he is the leader of government with regard to the provincial legislative programme.  Makhura is also the head of the provincial delegation to the National Council of Provinces. Furthermore, the Office of the Premier gives strategic direction to provincial departments by developing policy and the Provincial Plan of Action.
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