“If protected, our natural environment can help create jobs and ensure all South Africans live in an efficient and sustainable environment,” Harold Rivombo believes. As a town and regional planner, he has been exposed to the impact human behaviour has on the natural environment.
In 2019, Rivombo was part of a task team for the Khawuleza campaign initiated by President Cyril Ramaphosa, a collaboration between the departments of rural development and cooperative governance and traditional affairs. The campaign was aimed at compiling socioeconomic profiles for district and metropolitan municipalities to promote the “One District, One Development” concept as part of the district development model. He has extensive experience in training municipality and government officials in developing strategies to effectively and sustainably deal with climate change. The demands of his career quickly taught him that he needed to be adaptable and self-motivated. He had to tap into his leadership skills to carry out projects. “I remember an instance where I oversaw multiple projects. A supervisor was unavailable and I had to take charge,” he says.
His notable achievements include participating in the Green Economy Development Programme with Youth Ignite in conjunction with the American embassy. The programme lasted six months and included a competition called the Green Action Challenge, in which he placed third. Rivombo plans to engage NGOs, government departments and municipalities on national platforms to create climate change awareness campaigns. “South Africans should know that our environment is endangered and yet full of potential,” he says. “Fertile land suitable for agricultural purposes is invaded by land grabbers who form informal settlements that are not in line with the plans of municipalities and the departments of human settlements, agriculture
South Africans should know that our environment is endangered and yet full of potential