GEORGE made a clean sweep of the battle for South Africa's "greenest" municipality after a decade of sustained efforts to turn the Garden Route town into an environmentally responsible hub.
The George Municipality came tops in the municipalities category at the Eco-Logic Awards held in Johannesburg after going head-to-head with some of the country's biggest centres including the Ekurhuleni Municipality, the eThekwini Municipality and the City of Cape Town.
Another Garden Route town, Mossel Bay, was also in the running for the title, but George's multitude of environmentally friendly projects gave it the edge.
The town is, however, no stranger to such awards. It has received several environmental accolades for sustainable city management in recent years.
The Eco-Logic Awards, hosted by The Enviropaedia in association with SABC3, identify and give recognition to individuals, organisations and service providers making a "real and measurable" difference in creating a more sustainable future.
The Enviropaedia editor and co-host of the awards David Parry-Davis said entries this year had been of a very high quality and had led to a tough judging process.
"George, the winner of the municipalities category, does not only strive to deliver excellent quality services to its residents, but to do so in a sustainable and environmentally sensitive manner," Parry-Davis said.
"About 10 years ago, the parks department started with the beautification of the town's entrances and traffic islands in York Street. It was later expanded to Sandkraal Road and Beach Road. The garden around the civic centre was also completely overhauled," municipal manager Trevor Botha said.
He added businesses in town also did their bit by beautifying the median in York Street.
The municipality had started cleaning the rivers running through the town.