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State of the City Address 2007 Print E-mail
08 March 2007

MAYOR Amos Masondo's State of the City address focuses on the road from Gold Coast to Ghana, the President's State of the Nation Address, the Premier's State of the Province Address, Revenue and Customer Relations, and other issues.

Madam Speaker - Councillor Nkele Ntingane
Chief Whip of Council - Councillor Bafana Sithole
MECs and Members of the Provincial Legislature
City Manager - Mavela Dlamini
Executive Mayors
Members of the Mayoral Committee
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Leaders of all Political Parties
Fellow Councillors
Managers and Officials of Council
Distinguished guests
The media
Fellow citizens

Madam Speaker, allow me to begin this address by reminding ourselves of the long road that we have travelled over time.

The road from Gold Coast to Ghana

The 5th Pan African Conference held in Manchester, in Britain, in the year 1945 was attended by, amongst others: Nkwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Obafemi Awolomo from Nigeria and Hastings Banda from Malawi. The majority of those present, however, came from outside of Africa. Dr WEB Du Bois, George Padmore, and Mrs Amy Garvey, the widow of Marcus Garvey, were present. In this gathering they said:

    "We believe in the rights of all peoples to control their own destiny. All colonies must be free from foreign imperialist control, whether political or economic. The peoples of the colonies must have the right to elect their own government, a government without restrictions from foreign power. We say to the peoples of the colonies that they must strive for these ends by all means at their disposal today there is only one road to effective action - the organisation of the masses: The statement concluded with a slogan: 'Colonial and subject peoples of the world - unite!'"

Perhaps we need to remind ourselves that the first Pan African Conference to be held on the African soil took place in Accra - in Ghana. The veterans of the Pan African Movement: Du Bois, Pad more, CLR James graced the occasion. Then, at this moment, the lead was taken by those African leaders who came from the continent.

Madam Speaker, this meeting is taking place two days after Ghana's 50th independence celebrations. We need to state that it is no exaggeration to say that the independence of Ghana (on 6 March 1957) changed the history of Africa forever. President Kufuor when he lit the flame at the Independence Square said that: "Ghana's freedom is an eternal flame. This freedom defines our humanity."

Madam Speaker, this meeting also takes place three years before the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the first to be held on the African continent. We are also meeting a year after 1 March 2006 Local Government Elections.

Those of us who are councillors in this City have an obligation to serve all our communities with dedication and commitment and to ensure that we build a better life for all. We have a responsibility to ensure that we do not betray the ideals of Nkwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Walter Sisulu, Braam Fischer, Dr Yusuf Dadoo, Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Ruth First, Moses Mabhida, Moses Kotane and many others.

Madam Speaker, one of the highlights of the past year has been the adoption of a Growth and Development Strategy. This long term plan is meant to guide our thinking, our planning and our programmes over the next 30 years.

The City of Johannesburg has, since 1 March 2006 Local Government Elections, re-committed itself to our vision: to build Johannesburg into a world class African city.

In order to realise this goal, the Growth and Development Summit, which was attended by more than 1 500 delegates, held on 12 May 2006 at Nasrec, produced the Growth and Development Strategy Document. Its vision statement declares that:

    "In future, Johannesburg will continue to lead as South Africa's primary business City, a dynamic centre of production, innovation, trade, finance and services. This will be a City of opportunity, where the benefits of balanced economic growth will be shared in a way that enables all residents to gain access to the ladder of prosperity, and where the poor, vulnerable and the excluded will be supported out of poverty to realise upward social mobility. The result will be a more equitable and spatially integrated City, very different from the divided City of the past. In this world class African city for all, everyone will be able to enjoy decent accommodation, excellent services, the highest standard and safety, access; to participatory governance, and quality community life in sustainable neighbourhoods and vibrant urban spaces."

In addition, the City, through an intensive consultation process has developed a five year Integrated Development Plan (IDP).

Through these strategy documents, we are seeking to address the challenges of urbanisation and migration, economic development and job creation, service technology, bridging the digital divide and other related challenges.

Madam Speaker, ours is a Developmental Local Government that seeks to actively use the institution and the instrument of Local Government, the municipality, to improve the quality of life of all our people. Madam Speaker, we believe in empowering and ensuring that citizens are well represented and actively participate in the democratic processes through a range of participatory governance mechanisms. One such mechanism is the system of War9 Committees. An objective assessment indicates that good progress has been made.

As the Executive Mayor I place a high value on the regular Mayoral road shows and visits to regions and communities. This affords the Mayoral Committee, the City's Administrative Executive Authority (Management) and myself a unique opportunity to listen to and to be sensitised to the key concerns of residents and their expectations. It also provides the citizens with an appropriate platform to I interact with and have a greater understanding of Local Government.

Issues raised at these meetings are now carefully noted and acted upon by the administration and at subsequent meetings we report back to residents on the progress we are making.

Madam Speaker, I would like to urge all Councillors to keep in close touch and maintain regular contact with the communities that they represent. Initial hic-ups may have been experienced at an earlier period but significant progress has since been made in this regard.

Following the 2006 local government elections there has been some changes to the City's system of governance. This pilot, which includes separation of powers to an extent, implemented only in the municipalities of Emfuleni and Johannesburg, has yielded valuable lessons. There is now a deepened sense of accountability, ensured higher levels and quality of debate as well as the concept scrutiny, with emphasis on critical examination of issues and assessment at Section 79 Committees of Council, which has helped to catapult this local legislature to a higher level.

In addition, we have reduced the number of administrative regions in the City from 11 to seven and streamlined the decision-making processes.

Our institution, the Johannesburg Council, can only succeed in its quest for world class excellence if we actively identify talent, nurture and develop leadership. We continue to grapple with these issues and the investment we have made is yielding results.

Overtime, we have introduced measures to regulate the interaction between Members of the Mayoral Committee and municipal enterprises. This includes regular strategy meetings between the City as a shareholder and the relevant boards as well as the continuing evaluation of each entity's performance measured against key performance targets. We have also introduced information systems to track the delivery of services against existing backlogs and to provide early warning signals where delivery is lagging behind.

Madam Speaker, we continue to place a high premium on Johannesburg's relationships with intergovernmental bodies and the growing number of our sister cities across the globe as we continue to identify best practice and adapt it to our own Johannesburg specific reality. We continue to actively look for areas of cooperation and engagement.

With London, we are sharing strategies and approaches on the systems for the improvement of traffic management and the promotion of public transport. With Windhoek and Nairobi we have held joint seminars on empowering traders, by-law enforcement and the regulation of street trading.

In the coming year we will be seeking to strengthen ties with some cities in West, Central, East and Southern Africa. We will also pursue the cities in China and India that have shown keen interest to establish a relationship with the City of Johannesburg.

Another priority for 2007/2008 is to ensure that departments and MOEs receive a clean audit report. We are working closely with the boards and audit committees of the various MOEs to increase capacity and to strengthen internal systems to achieve this objective.

President's State of the Nation Address

In his State of the Nation address of 9 February 2007, President Thabo Mbeki, challenged us "to move forward as quickly as possible to build the South Africa defined by a common dream."

The President raised amongst others the following issues in relation to some of the local government responsibilities:

  • Extended Public Works Programme, the need to create job opportunities and the question of the National Youth Service as well as development of young entrepreneurs.
  • The need for speeding delivery of housing and pointed out that the pace of rollout has been much slower than expected.
  • Co-ordination and alignment of all anti-poverty programmes to avoid wastage and duplication.
  • Intensification of the struggle against crime. Decisive action to be taken to eradicate lawlessness, drug trafficking, gun running and the abuse of women and children. The creation of enabling environment to encourage investments.
  • Programmes to improve the local government system are continuing. Concerns about many senior management vacancies that remain unfilled (In September 2006, 27% of municipalities did not have Municipal Managers, 50% vacancies in the North West and 1 % of senior managers in Mpumalanga had not concluded key performance agreements). The need to strengthen Ward Committees.
  • FIFA Word Cup and the appreciation for the work done by the Local
  • Organising Committee (LOC).

The need to speed up implementation of detailed plans for passenger rail and road transport including the Bus Rapid Transit System.

Premier's State of the Province Address

Amongst others, the Premier raised the following points:
  • On 2010 FIFA World Cup: Establishment of Fan Parks at Mary Fitzgerald Square and other places.
  • Alex Renewal Project extended to end at 2009/2010 financial year (R1,2-billion spent by Province, the City of Johannesburg and certain national departments).
  • Extension of hours of service at health clinics and in primary health care I facilities.
  • The funding of political parties: set of proposals to be tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature by the Leader of Government Business soon.

As South Africa's leading City we have strong vested interests in the success of regional strategies and initiatives such as Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA). We need to continue to grow the economy. But we al know that a growing economy can intensify inequalities. We have a responsibility therefore to ensure that as it grows, it creates jobs and benefits the ordinary SOL African. That it becomes a shared growth.

The City of Johannesburg supports the vision of a Gauteng Global City Region. We believe that this initiative seeks to build both a strong local government and an equally strong provincial government. The phenomenon of urbanisation and globalisation is a reality we need to contend with. The concept of Gauteng as a city region requires to be taken to a new level. Critical to this process is the need for a comprehensive organic strategy and an agenda that will help to further stimulate the economy.

Johannesburg, given its economic and financial muscle, will be central to this development.

Johannesburg should continue to play a constructive role in organised local government and make its contribution in building a strong Gauteng South African Local Government Association (Gauteng SALGA). We should also continue to actively participate in the platform offered by the South African Cities Network and ensure that the network help, within its limited scope, in processes seeking' I build strong municipalities.

Our communication and marketing department plays an important role in disseminating relevant information to stakeholders and in increasing awareness the City's brand. This function will continue to grow in importance as we move towards 2010. We continue to strengthen our capacity to market the City as a preferred destination for global trade, investment and tourism.

Revenue and Customer Relations

The City's ability to collect all revenue that is due to it remains a critical challenge. In the past few years we have tended to focus our attention on cleaning data, collecting from those in arrears and ensuring that billing is accurate.

We are now taking this matter to a different level by seeking to increase our revenue by a reasonable percentage and ensuring amongst others that those outside of our database are properly captured and made to meet their obligation.

In last term of office we saw the successful completion of the Programme Phakama Reforms, which ensures full business process integration across the revenue and customer relations value chain.

By 2008 we will see the completion of the Phakama's Blue Print. We will rollout the Phakama Programme in order to establish an integrated revenue management value chain across the City and also implement the single IT system to support both the value chains and ensuring completeness of revenue and maximise collection.

Madam Speaker, to ensure that Johannesburg remains a City with the stable and I growing revenue streams we need to ensure ongoing accurate billing, invoicing and distribution of statements, effective credit management, improved turnaround times on clearances, refunds and reduced levels of corruption. We are currently implementing the City's customer relations management policy and service monitoring capacity.

We acknowledge that our data is not entirely accurate and that we are not billing all customers that need to be billed. We are also confident that the data purification initiatives being undertaken will definitely improve our billing processes. This data cleansing will deal with incorrect addresses, meter information as well as the completeness of revenue.

The implementation of a single, unified computerised financial system will make it easier to manage revenue.

We pledge to collect more revenue.

Financial Sustainability

Please allow me to remind you once again, that in the 1990s this City was in a very serious financial crisis. Over the past six years we have worked hard, endeavoured to improve the overall situation and sound financial planning and management is now becoming a norm.

On 22 February 2007, a qualified audit financial report was presented to the Johannesburg Council. In his report the Auditor General stated; "In my opinion except for the accuracy of the fixed asset register of City Power, the completeness and accuracy of revenue and debtors of Johannesburg Water and two areas of technical non compliance with South African General Acceptable Accounting Practice (GAAP) and Generally Acceptable Municipal Accounting Practice (GAMAP), the financial statements fairly present in all material respects a true reflection of the financial position of the City of Johannesburg as at 30 June 2006."

Madam Speaker, the qualified audit opinion means that we are edging closer to a clean audit report. This report will further instil confidence among investors, the business community and residents of Johannesburg in our ability to manage the City's finances.

Another reminder, Madam Speaker, many of you would have noticed that our Capital Budget has increased from R2,8-billion for the 2005 and 2006 financial year to R3,4-billion in the 2006 to 2007 financial year.

On 24 May 2006, Council approved a groundbreaking budget of R21-billion for 2006/2007 financial year and an operational budget of R17,8-billion. This budget is the biggest the City has tabled in its history. This is good news for all the residents as it translates into accelerated service delivery and a better quality of life.

On 31 May 2006, the City successfully issued a fourth bond (COJ04). Many of you would know that the bond was 4,6 times oversubscribed and was cleared at 120 basis points above the R203 national government benchmark. COJ04 is worth R1,2-billion and it has tenure of 12 years and will pay a coupon of 9%.

Madam Speaker, the over-subscription and pricing of the bond demonstrate that investors have confidence in the financial viability and credit-worthiness of this City.

In addition, the City of Johannesburg's long-term rating has been upgraded. On 30 May 2006, our rating got up-graded from A flat to A+ by CA Ratings and from A- to A flat by Fitch Ratings.

These upgrades mean a lower cost of borrowing. It reflects the City's improving budgetary performance, strengthening of management, better ability for Joburg to run its own operations as well as the reality of a growing economy.

I have no doubt, Madam Speaker, that the gains we have made take us on the right path towards producing an unqualified and clean audit report.

Infrastructure and Services

Madam Speaker, you will recall that at the beginning of our term last year we made a firm commitment that the City will do everything in its power to ensure that every household in Johannesburg has access to running water, that every home has access to electricity and that every family can enjoy the comfort and security of adequate sanitation and the efficient removal of waste.

These programmes of the City are still on track despite the tremendous increase in demands for our services caused by population growth and the rapid expansion of economic activity.

We have the vision to position the City as a world leader in developing world infrastructure provision. We will achieve this through sustainable water, energy, waste and environmental management strategies and through innovative partnerships with communities and the business to ensure the optimal utilization of resources.

Joburg Water

Through Operation Gcin'amanzi we will have installed 44 000 pre-payment water meters in Greater Soweto by the end of the current financial year and this figure will rise to 50 000 in 2007/08. This project has enabled us to reduce unaccounted for water from over 40% when Gcin'amanzi was introduced in 2001 to 32% this year and a projected 29% by 2008. We are well on our way to meet our target of 25% by 2011, which will result in massive savings for the City and its citizens. To date, the programme has enabled the City to save 16,5 million kilolitres of water, which translates to approximately R46-million in monetary terms. This will provide us with additional resources to spend on the delivery of essential services to previously marginalised communities.

Through the Thonipfo Programme (sanitation is dignity), aimed at rolling out basic water and sanitation services, the City is on target to provide these services to at least 20 000 households this financial year and 30 000 in 2007/2008.

Johannesburg Water has set itself ambitious service delivery targets to attend to reports of sanitation emergencies within 24 hours and on water disruptions within 48 hours.

City Power

I have no doubt that power and electricity provision will be one of the talking points in Johannesburg as we approach the winter months. The recent difficulties experienced by Eskom in meeting rising electricity demands have somewhat aggravated our own challenges. The City will continue with its own programme to upgrade the electricity infrastructure. This City has a responsibility to limit the damage that may result from whatever Eskom does or do not do.

Madam Speaker, I want to reassure the people of Johannesburg that we are keenly aware of the problems and that we are working flat out to alleviate the situation and to keep power outages and related disruptions to the bare minimum.

Let me take this opportunity to assure you that we are fixing, in an ongoing way, whatever problems that are there, and that there is indeed, a bright light at the end of this tunnel.

We will soon be completing a feasibility study on energy management and some of our recommendations will be implemented in the coming months to ensure the long-term sustainability of the City's energy sector. This will include the introduction of certain demand side measures such as the use of solar energy and installation of energy efficient equipment in major installations in water and wastewater networks. These will enable us to shed up to 25-megawatt hours, which will make a significant contribution in reducing the load on the electricity network.

The City has set itself a target to provide alternative sources of energy such as solar power and gas to at least 20% of consumers over the medium term. Community education awareness and participation in the use and acceptance of these technologies will form the basis of achieving these ambitious targets the City has set itself.

We will also introduce strict measures to deal with illegal connections and unaccounted for energy with the objective to reduce illegal connections by 70% by 2011.

Pikitup

Our objective of cleaning the City, seven days a week, 24 hours of the day and 356 jays a year continues to guide the efforts of Pikitup in the provision of an effective and efficient waste management services to the City of Johannesburg.

Our five-year plan envisages a reduction in illegal dumping by 30%; a substantial reduction in waste to landfills as we move towards meeting the objectives of the Polokwane Declaration and a clean inner City.

In the coming year we will see the introduction of new technology for waste management such as underground bin systems, building rubble recycling plants and an improvement of our fleet utilisation through routing and scheduling.

As we monitor progress on these and other fronts, Madam Speaker, we must be ever mindful of the commitments we made in our 2006 Local Government Elections Manifesto.

  • By the end of this year, 2007, we need to ensure that no community is still using the bucket system for sanitation.
  • All communities must have access to clean water and decent sanitation by
  • 2010, and all houses must have access to electricity by 2012, amongst other commitments.

Housing

The provision of decent housing remains one of the key focus areas of this City. It is our objective to ensure that, all residents living in inadequate housing have access to affordable and decent accommodation.

We remain committed to providing decent housing and related service to our communities. We are now engaged in a systematic process of formalising informal settlements. In this regard the Development Planning and Urban Management Department will work very closely with the Housing Department.

In this term of office, Madam Speaker, the City will complete the following:

  • Accelerate the formalisation of informal settlements. The City will have formalised 52 settlements by December 2007.
  • Thirty-one settlements will be relocated to major projects like Lehae, Cosmo City, Pennyville and Doornkop during this mayoral term.
  • Convert hostels through the delivery of 5 000 family units in the next five years. During the first year of this Mayoral term, the City delivered 494 family units and by December 2007,750 units will be delivered.
  • Deliver 30 000 houses on existing serviced stands through the Community Builder Programme. During the financial year of 2005/2007, this City has delivered 4089 units and it is projected that 3000 units will be delivered by December 2007 under this programme.
  • Deliver 50 000 mixed income housing in partnership with other players in the housing sector, including financial institutions and private developers.
  • Nine thousands three hundred units would have been delivered by December 2007.
  • Deliver 15 000 rental housing through JOSHCO and other role players. The City plans to deliver 1000 rental units by December 2007.
  • Fourteen thousand eight hundred and seventy three title deeds were delivered in the first year of this mayoral term, we will also provide additional 55 000 households with tenure security through the delivery of title deeds in the next five years; and
  • The City will beef-up its campaign of the refurbishment of council own stock including flats and old age homes. We will at the same time improve on the management of these units and other related revenue collection. In the next few months we will be embarking on the metering programme of our stock to ensure that our tenants pay for the services they consume.

Madam Speaker, after the submission of an application for accreditation, it is befitting to inform the citizens and residents of Johannesburg that the City's Housing Department has (in principle) received approval, which is a first step towards the grand vision of administering the national housing programmes in the City.

As we roll-out housing delivery, it is important that our communities have a clear understanding of their rights in the newly acquired properties as well as their obligations. The Department of Housing will to this effect step up its campaign of beneficiary education.

Transport

Madam Speaker, I think there is broad agreement that a safe and efficient transport system is a prerequisite for the competitiveness and growth of the local economy and an improvement of the quality of life of all our residents.

Johannesburg has shown in the past that we are able to come up with innovative solutions for this very complex challenge. Our Strategic Public Transport Network (SPTN) was a ground-breaking initiative in South Africa where we set out a framework of public transport corridors to connect all parts of the City and to wipe out the legacy of apartheid spatial planning.

Recently we announced another first for the country with Council's decision to intensify the level of SPTN implementation to full Bus Rapid Transit. This is called the Rea Vaya initiative through which Bus Rapid Transit Network becomes the backbone of our public transport system. And very soon we will see the introduction of modern buses travelling along dedicated lanes, picking up passengers waiting at safe and comfortable enclosed stations. Phase 1 of the Rea Vaya system is being targeted for implementation in time for the Confederations Cup in 2009.

The Bus Rapid Transit will be integrated into the broader transport picture with feeder routes being serviced by minibuses and taxis and linkages to the Gautrain network. Our objective is to move at least 10 percent of City's commuters from private vehicles onto the public transport network.

An effective transport network must be supported by well-maintained roads and high-quality traffic signalling and storm water infrastructure across the City.

Environmental Management

Madam Speaker, on Arbour Day, 1 September 2006, we launched an ambitious project for the Greening of Soweto. Our objective is to plant more than 200 000 trees over the next four years in the area, turning it into a vast urban forest. This project is proof of Johannesburg's commitment to sustainable development and the protection of our environment.

Our City Greening programme will be intensified through a schools tree planting programme and the planting of 20 000 new trees along streets in the City. We encourage developers to plant at least two trees for every house that is built.

In the coming year we will begin to compile a comprehensive "State of the Environment Report" for the City looking at all aspects of environmental management, especially air quality, the state of rivers and biodiversity. This report will also enable us to develop an Environmental Resource Information system and indicate the primary sources of pollution in the city.

A business plan for the Klipspruit/Klip River has been completed and a number of priority development projects will flow from this. It will become one of our key 2010 Legacy Projects. We will continue with the Jukskei River rehabilitation and I conduct a feasibility study for the rehabilitation of Bruma Lake.

Our animal collection at the Johannesburg Zoo has grown to 2 500 in the current year with the opening of seven new exciting exhibits. This will be expanded to 2 700 animals in the next 12 months.

A number of initiatives will be taken to improve the quality of the City's air, water and land resources and to act against polluters and pollutants. These include a programme to reduce domestic fuel burning emissions, expanding our air quality monitoring capabilities and the rehabilitation of illegal dumping hotspots especially in the townships.

The Clinton Foundation has committed funding towards research into alternative energy sources. This is an encouraging development that requires careful consideration and proper monitoring.

Health and Environmental Health

As the City continues to grow we will sharpen our vigilance on issues relating t and noise pollution and the contamination of our rivers and sensitive environments. In the coming year we will employ more environmental health practitioners, strengthen our pest control services and continue our public awareness campaigns on food handling and the safe storage of chemicals.

The following is planned to strengthen Vector control in the City:

  • We will be requesting and educating communities to keep their premises free from accumulations of refuse, rubble or other materials which could enhance rodent harbourage, as well as to minimise available food source and to institute eradication measures where necessary.
  • More vigilant enforcement of the Council's Public Health.
  • Enforcement of by-laws by environmental health practitioners to ensure that offenders failing to keep premises clean and free from rodents and other vermin be brought to task - fines of up to R1 500 or imprisonment up to 6 months may be imposed for offences of this nature. This will apply to Council and State or Provincially owned premises.
  • All owners of vacant land, including the State, Province and Council will receive notice to clear and clean their premises from any rubble, long g; undergrowth, weeds etc, failing which Council will appoint a private contractor to clean such premises at the cost of the owners.
  • Communities will further be urged and encouraged to report offenders who fail to maintain their properties to the Health department for intervention by Environmental Health.
  • The "no dumping" signs will be erected on properties where illegal dumping is taking place regularly to discourage offenders from dumping and at the same time to encourage any member of the public to report such offenders at the contact numbers reflected on the mentioned sign.
  • Regular "blitzes" will be carried out by Environmental Health throughout the City to determine rodent infestations with the view to institute the necessary remedial measures.

In the coming year we will again conduct a comprehensive survey to determine prevalence of HIV and Aids as well as STI infections in the City. The data collected through the city-wide survey will equip the City with vital information that will enable us to improve our response to this pandemic.

Our HIV and Aids awareness campaigns in hostels, with the youth and commercial sex workers are continuing unabated. In the coming year we will introduce several additional facilities to conduct Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests to babies risk, 44 facilities will provide TB prophylaxis and another site for the roll-out of anti-retroviral treatment will be established.

The Jozi Ihlomile initiative has received national government recognition as 01 the most successful community outreach programmes.

Madam Speaker. I would like to believe that all of us share a concern about the position of young children affected by the Aids pandemic especially those who have been orphaned and those in child-headed households. Through the May Aids Fund and Community Development Department we will now be able to provide comprehensive social services including counselling and access to schooling to vulnerable children.

In the past year we activated three satellite clinics that will now provide a five Primary Health care services in Kibler Park, Windsor and Mountain View. In 2007/2008 a further two satellite clinics in Crown Gardens and Sophiatown will added to the list of clinics.

Community Development - Arts and Culture

A number of arts and culture initiatives of the City have become important events on the national cultural calendar. Both Arts Alive and the Joburg Carnival are only growing brands that have begun to attract bigger crowds every year but quality entertainment acts. I am confident that we can still significantly grow events and turn them into bigger than ordinary real celebrations that reflect the cultural diversity in this City.

One of the exciting projects that will be expanded this year is the support tha1 provide to emerging artists through the exposure of their work to a wider audience. In the coming year we will engage other municipalities in the province on a programme of artwork exchange and this initiative might, in future, if w make the necessary progress, be extended to international level.

The establishment of the Soweto Theatre is one of the key 2010 FIFA World legacy projects and construction work will start at the beginning of 2008.

Madam Speaker, I think it is opportune that all of us join in congratulating the Soweto Gospel Choir on their achievement in winning the coveted Grammy Awards. Again we have done it. We have demonstrated to the world that South Africa has the necessary depth of talent and is ready for further acknowledger and development.

Human Development

Madam Speaker, in a City that is growing at such a rapid rate as Johannesburg should not lose sight of the dire needs of marginalised communities. The plight of the poor and the indigent, women, children, the homeless and people with disabilities should not only occupy our minds and our thoughts but should also be reflected in our strategies and our programmes.

In the past few years we have seen, amongst others:

  • The introduction of the Reathusa campaign to assist residents who are willing to pay for municipal services but are sometimes unable to meet their financial commitments.
  • We also launched a campaign to make residents aware of the package of I social services offered by the City and other spheres of government including food support, health care, social grants and basic services.
  • We stepped up our social relief programmes by providing assistance in the form of food, shelter, clothes, blankets and social burials for qualifying households.
  • We held parental workshops in all the regions to highlight issues related child-care and to make them aware of the services offered by our Early Childhood facilities.
  • We stepped up our women's safety programme in partnerships with NGOs and through workshops to support the victims of abuse and crime.
  • We are establishing Youth Advisory Centres in all regions in partnership with Umsobomvu.
  • We completed a comprehensive analysis of the position of migrants in Johannesburg, developed a framework for future policy implementation and established a migrant office in the inner city.
  • We made substantial progress to improve access for the aged and the disabled to City buildings and facilities. Together with the private health sector we ran wellness campaigns for senior citizens focusing on issues such as healthy lifestyles, eye care, diabetes and arthritis.
  • The recent staging of the Joburg Open as one of only three South African tournaments on the global golf circuit has helped to consolidate our position as a growing World Class competitor and City. The success of this tournament is further given a boost by plans to construct a driving range and golf training facility in Diepsloot.

Madam Speaker, in the coming year we will continue with other human development programmes:

  • We will expand our current social package to include free access of the indigent to the City's libraries, sports and recreation facilities, museums and cultural events.
  • The City's libraries have launched a number of innovative campaigns to support adult literacy programmes and stimulate interest in reading. The Psyched for Science campaign is now in its third year and is reaching an ever-growing number of schools in the City with exhibitions and competitions. We will also expand rapidly our initiative to provide free internet access and free e-mail facilities at 60 public libraries. Through this initiative we seek to narrow the digital divide.
  • We will step up our efforts to assist our young people through the introduction of an Orphan and Vulnerable Children Care Programme to ensure that they attend school and to promote foster care and holiday programmes for these children.
  • The issue of women's safety remains of great concern to us and the Johannesburg Metro Police will work together with the South African Police Service and relevant interest groups on campaigns such as the Alleyways Safety Programme and Women Take Back the Night.
  • In the field of youth development we will also establish two techno centres per region and expand our wide range of youth initiatives including skills development, job readiness programmes and substance abuse workshops.
  • In the coming year we will see the establishment of a service centre for migrants and refugees in collaboration with Home Affairs, religious and human rights organisations. We will also launch a comprehensive awareness campaign among City residents to address issues related to xenophobia, social inclusion and respect for human rights.

Public Safety and the Inner City

Madam Speaker, like many cities in both the developed and developing world, Johannesburg has its own fair share of crime.

The day before President Thabo Mbeki delivered the State of the Nation Address on 9 February 2007, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) broadcasted a documentary claiming to be a report on crime in South Africa. BBC claimed that many of high-rise buildings in central Johannesburg .are empty because of the high incidence of crime.

The aim of this broadcast was to perpetuate the notion and perception of Johannesburg and South Africa as a place ridden with crime - the crime capital of the world.

It is a shame that the BBC documentary came across as seeking to undermine the good work that the City is doing in the Inner City.

To set the record straight, it is important to note that an Inner City Summit is planned to take place on 5 May 2007. Part of the issues that the stakeholders will grapple with is crime and grime. The fact that we will be dealing with the question of crime should not be read to mean that this problem is a sole preserve of the City of Johannesburg, nor that we are grappling with Urban Renewal question for the first time.

It is important to note the fact that Inner City Regeneration is seen by the City as a challenge that requires a multi-sectoral approach. It is a project that involves the Mayor's Office and the lead department is Development Planning and Urban Management.

Progress achieved includes the following:

  • Many buildings are entirely occupied and functional. These range from Carlton centre, which is more than 95% fully utilised by Transnet, SARS and others.
  • Headquarters of some of our biggest companies are in central Johannesburg. These include, Standard Bank, ABSA (Barclays), First National Bank, Transnet, Anglo American, The Star newspaper, the Chamber of Mines, the Constitutional Court, the Johannesburg Metropolitan Council and all its Municipal Owned Entities (MOEs), the Gauteng Provincial Legislature and Government, Wits and Johannesburg University (Doornfontein Campus) and the globally known rugby stadium, Ellis Park.
  • Organisations such as the country's ruling party, the ANC, national organisations such as the South African Council of Churches (SACC), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the Black Lawyers Chambers - which will soon host the biggest Law Library in our country, are all in central Johannesburg.
  • Real estate investors have been showing a healthy appetite for the same building in central Johannesburg, which it said nobody wants to occupy because of crime.
  • Since 1999 the vacancy rates in the highest grade buildings have been falling significantly and continuously, even reaching the same low levels as similar buildings in important commercial areas of Johannesburg such as Sandton.
  • The urban renewal that is taking place in central Johannesburg includes the continuing development of the Newtown Cultural Precinct and the Braamfontein Precinct.
  • The new housing settlements such as Brickfields and the Better Buildings Programme.
  • The conversion of a number of central Johannesburg building into top market, highly priced residential apartments. These apartments are now difficult to obtain at the any price because of high demand.
  • Other like the Drill Hall, the Constitutional Court Precinct, the Bree Street Mall and on going work related to 2010 FIFA World Cup at the Ellis Park Precinct are some of the examples that can be given.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD)

The Municipality through the South African Police Service Act of 1995 (Act 68 of 1995) has created and established a Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department. We have been able to create a visible and credible institution that is daily and radically moving away from the perception of a mere traffic department.

Madam Speaker, as a City we have set ourselves the clear objective to ensure that the business and residential citizens of Johannesburg can conduct their every day life free of the fear of crime and violence.

I believe there is common concern, not only among all political parties in this Council, but among the broader community and key stakeholders in the City about the levels of crime and especially the violent nature of incidents.

  • Our planning for 2010 FIFA World Cup Tournament includes the recruiting and training of more than 500 members of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) a year.
  • The extension of the CCTV surveillance system to cover most of the Inner City.
  • The introduction of special municipal courts to deal swiftly with transgressors on the so called minor offences.
  • Madam Speaker, we, however, have to recognise that effective law enforcement and security programmes require far more than high-speed car chases and dramatic shootouts between police officers and criminals.

    As a responsible government we have to address the root cause of crime and introduce comprehensive and holistic solutions that can lead to sustainable results. I want to mention a few of the initiatives we are currently involved in:

  • We are conducting an analysis of the factors and conditions that lead to an increase in crime.
  • Together the SAPS and the JMPD are drawing up "safe design and management" guidelines to support crime prevention through better urban design.
  • We are busy with the design and implementation of a lighting master plan for the inner city and transport nodes.
  • We are continuing with our skills development and diversion programmes for offenders and youth at risk.
  • We are reducing the levels of priority crimes with a specific focus on those that adversely affect business and tourism through focused surveillance technology.
  • We are stepping up our crime prevention efforts with special attention to the sale of alcohol, drug manufacturing and distribution and firearm control.
  • We are increasing the visibility of JMPD officers and improving response times.
  • JMPD will train and employ 500 new officers every year and by the year 2010 the total figure would have increased to 4 000 officers.
  • These are some of the initiatives that the City is taking but improved results cannot be achieved without the active participation of communities. I therefore call on the people of Johannesburg to stand side by side and fight the menace of crime as one.

    Everyone of us can make a valuable contribution by participating in Community Police Forums, by complying with the law and the City's by-laws as well as by exacting enormous pressure on criminals, syndicates and organised crime.

    It is unfortunate that people who complain about so-called "big crimes" such as robbery or murder often have no compunction to commit "small crimes" such as traffic offences, illegal dumping, engage in acts that lead to pollution and some even fail to pay rates and taxes.

    I urge you to observe the speed limit, pay your traffic fines, do not dump your rubbish on open sites, and pay for the consumption of services such as water and electricity. Repent and serve the community.

    Emergency Management Services

    We have set ourselves a clear objective to develop and maintain a world class disaster management and emergency response service that will function at a 100% state of readiness. We are all aware of the fact that such an operation is a key element of our preparations for 2010 FIFA World Cup and we are confident that we will meet all the stringent requirements laid down.

    In the past year we completed a comprehensive review of the City's Disaster Management Plan and started with the construction of the new Disaster Management Centre. This process will be completed in the 2007/2008 financial year.

    The Diepsloot community will have a fully equipped fire station this financial year. An additional 250 Fire Fighting Emergency Medical Technicians (FF/EMT) will be appointed to strengthen the emergency preparedness capacity.

    Community programmes will have a community emergency response teams. These are ward-based structures that provide a resource of accident prevention, creating safe homes as well as forming a disaster management volunteer base.

    We remain aware that there are ever lurking dangers in this City. These dangers range from floods and drownings in summer to fires especially in winter. In addition, car accidents and buildings that do not meet basic safety requirements constitute the numerous challenges. In an ongoing manner, we are striving to ensure greater cooperation and integration amongst the various players.

    Development Planning and Urban Management

    In the past few years we have had considerable successes regarding our urban regeneration and renewal projects. The following briefly captures the situation:

    • Progress recorded in the Constitution Hill, Newtown, and Randburg, as well as some work done along Rocky and Raleigh Streets in Yeoville.
    • The Johannesburg Development Agency will focus attention in this coming year on the Greater Ellis Park precinct including the Bertrams and the Greater Nasrec area.
    • On 5 May 2007 the City will host an Inner City Summit. This will focus mainly on urban renewal and inner city regeneration. I am confident that out of this initiative the City's strategy and approach will be further enriched.

    In Soweto the impact of our urban renewal projects are palpable and visible. These range from the Johannesburg Development Agency led projects such as the Kliptown Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication and Housing, the Bara Taxi and Bus Facility, the tarring of all the roads in Soweto, the Soweto Empowerment Zone, the R1-billion Orlando Ekhaya and others.

    In the coming financial year we will start to implement and manage five-year development programmes for Greater Ivory Park, Orange Farm, and Diepsloot. All of these are areas, which require significant attention in terms of both service provisions and economic development.

    The Alexandra Renewal Project will gather further momentum in the months to come. Among the developments that will be completed are the delivery of 830 housing units and 520 affordable rental units on the Far East Bank. Engineering services for a further 3 509 housing units to be constructed will also be completed. At the M2 Nobuhle hostel we will see the completion of 286 rooms and work continuing on phase 3 of the project for a further 298 rooms. The upgrades at the Vasco da Gama Road and Bridge will be finalised and the two pedestrian bridges over the Jukskei River will also become operational by the end of 2007.

    The Cosmo City initiative is another success story and in the next financial year, we will work towards its completion.

    Economic Development

    Madam Speaker, we have set ourselves a vision of a City economy that plays a role as the key economic hub on the continent and a national economic growth leader by ensuring sustainable shared growth that benefits all. We aim to achieve this vision through the following long-term goals.

    The City of Johannesburg has implemented the Skills- Development Strategy, which deals with issues of training, accreditation and facilitation of job placement for 2 000 artisans. In the economic area regeneration, we have intensified the Urban Development Zone (UDZ) Programme, implemented the Economic Nodal Development plans along the BRT as well as the implementation of the Economic Development Framework for the Deep South.

    I am proud to say Madam Speaker, that we have established and launched Small Medium Macro Enterprise (SMMEs) Fund, we have completed Phase 2 of the Soweto Empowerment Zone (SEZ), implemented the Co-operatives Strategies, finalised the Community Bank Model, implemented the Informal Trading Policy, and rolled out the Linear Market Model.

    The City of Johannesburg regards informal trading as an important and integral part of our broader economy. It is the City's view that informal trading, as is the case in many countries and cities in the world, should be legally controlled and properly managed. Trading should occur only in those areas that are suitably designated for this particular purpose.

    We are, Madam Speaker, in the process of implementing and overhauling the Informal Trading Policy Framework and By-laws Strategy, we are rolling out the Linear Market Infrastructure and Intensification and Acceleration of the UDZ and Better Building Programmes in the inner city.

    We also aim to realise our vision of being the key economic hub on the continent by achieving the following:

    • Diversifying of the local economy to broaden its base and include both emerging industries and the regeneration of older industries.
    • Building of a local economy with strong links to the national, regional and global economies.
    • The growth of a domestic market for locally produced goods and services geographic spread of economic activities.
    • Continuous improvements to the general business environment to ensure the increased competitiveness of companies based in Johannesburg.

    Our objective to diversify the economic base of the City is in line with the broader national goals as contained in the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA) Strategy. This includes a concerted focus on key sectors of the economy such as tourism, the business process outsource industry, the small construction sector and information and communication technology.

    2010 FIFA World Cup

    Johannesburg is the only city in the country that provides more than one venue for the staging of group games and both the opening ceremony and the final match will be played here.

    Our approach on this matter has sought to answer two basic questions:

    • How should we utilise the pressure of the 2010 FIFA World Cup to deepen and strengthen our own Local Government programmes?
    • What legacy projects would we like to see after the 2010 FIFA World Cup spectacle is over?

    The projects we engage in will include construction and upgrading of the various stadiums, improvement on the road infrastructure, improvement of the public transport system, environment management, building sustainable human settlements, an establishment of a theatre in Soweto, greening of all underdeveloped soccer fields including those in Soweto and the South, urban management, waste management, job creation, sport development, tourism, safety and security amongst others.

    One of the first steps we took, in July 2006, was to create a special 2010 Directorate headed by Ms Sibongile Mazibuko. Apart from planning and implementing the City's 2010 strategy this directorate also liases with the Local Organising Committee and the relevant national and provincial departments. A Mayoral sub-committee meets regularly to set policy guidelines and to monitor and assess progress.

    The 2010 FIFA World Cup Tournament provides us with an opportunity to rejuvenate the City of Johannesburg and to leave us with a legacy that will last for decades to come.

    CONCLUSION

    We remain accountable to the people. We seek to serve them and ensure that they play an important role in the struggle to improve their quality of life. We urge those who love freedom, equality, liberty and justice to join us as we edge closer towards a more humane society.

     


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    Last Updated on 15 May 2007