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State of the City Address 2004 Print E-mail
29 January 2004

Mayor Amos Masondo's State of the City address focuses on key elements of Council's programme of action for 2004 and also on what has happened in Johannesburg in the past ten years of democracy

'TEN YEARS OF DEMOCRACY IN JOHANNESBURG'

Programme Director- Mr Pascal Moloi
Madame Speaker - Clr Nandi Mayathula-Khoza
Members of the Provincial Legislature Members of the Mayoral Committee
Council Chief Whip - Clr Bafana Sithole
Fellow Councillors
Managers and Officials
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Members of ward committees
Distinguished Guests
Representatives of the Media
Fellow Citizens

INTRODUCTION

In the past ten years, South Africa has grappled with the question of democracy, freedom and peace. Much has been achieved. It has indeed been a momentous decade. One marked by the reversal of gross inequalities, the deepening of democracy, the acceleration of service delivery and the creation of a shared national identity.

On an annual basis at the official opening of this Council, in what is now becoming an established practice, the Mayor delivers a State of the City address. In addition to this being a report on overall assessment of performance for 2003 and the key elements of the programme of action for 2004, I will also focus on what has happened in Johannesburg since the democratic breakthrough of 27 April 1994.

This occasion is taking place at a time when we have just completed three years of our five-year term in this council and local government. We will also experience within weeks the holding of elections that will put in place provincial legislatures and national parliament.

 

WHERE WERE WE PRIOR TO 27 APRIL 1994?

Some detest this question. But all of us know, that we cannot talk about tomorrow if we have no understanding of today and yesterday.

If one were to describe to a child of ten years of age what life was like before 27 April 1994, what would one say? The short answer - 'apartheid' - would of course be correct, but it would not be able to capture the sheer irrationality of that system nor its brutality. But a few salient points can be made in this regard which will hopefully briefly paint the picture of life before the advent of democracy.

South Africa, at the time, was ruled by a minority regime. The majority of the people had no vote and were deprived of basic human rights. Programme director, it is important to note that local government in South Africa has also been altered beyond recognition.

Craythorne makes the following observation: "From 1948 to about 1976 the ideology of apartheid required that persons of colour be excluded from provincial councils and parliament and that separate local government institutions be created for blacks, coloureds and Indians but under white supervision." (Municipal Administration - A handbook)

Let's also state that there were no attempts made to establish the separate Indian or coloured municipalities beyond the narrow residential areas as a number of investigations had showed that these areas could not be financially viable. The so-called black local authorities enjoyed neither a tax base nor meaningful power. Only 'whites only' municipalities could be described as developed local government institutions.

This was the system of apartheid local government. More than a dozen racially based municipalities governed our cities and ensured its segmentation along racial and class lines. This was a fragmented system that perpetuated uneven development: rich white localities encompassing leafy suburbs and the lion's share of business and commercial enterprises, co-existing with bleak, underdeveloped dormitory townships on the periphery.

The lives of the majority was characterised by unemployment, poor public health, lack of affordable housing, poor access to water, sanitation and electricity and huge income disparities between rich and poor. It is these legacies that we have been actively reversing over the last ten years and which we will continue to confront.

In the period preceding the dawn of democracy in 1994, elements of the old regime cynically allowed a kind of 'deregulation' that was to have a profound impact on the future of the city. These included unfettered informal trading, land invasions and the mushrooming of informal settlements. Hostels were allowed to develop into impregnable fortresses and new settlements such as Orange Farm and Poortje were created on the periphery, further splintering an already fragmented city. Furthermore, the inner city was allowed to slide into decline while decentralisation to new nodes was quietly encouraged. The space was quietly, but perhaps consciously created for crime and disorder to flourish.

So programme director, the city bestowed on the African National Congress in 1994 was deeply divided along political, social, economic and spatial lines. All of this was the result of decades of deliberate social engineering, neglect and mismanagement.

Over the previous 118 years of its existence as a city, Joburg had changed over the years from a mining to an industrial city, to a financial and commercial centre, which attracted a rich diversity of people from Africa and the globe to become South Africa's foremost city.

During the 1990s, the world experienced spectacular changes relating to the changing nature of production, major increases in cross border trade and exponential growth in the mobility of capital. New information and communications technology dramatically improved productivity and ushered in instantaneous global communication. These processes coupled with growing volumes of air travel and international interactions, introduced the era known as globalisation.

It is important to state that globalisation, while holding many potential benefits, also present the dangers of the digital divide, unfair international trade, marginalisation, economic instability and social inequity. Johannesburg has been the country's principal beneficiary of globalisation in terms of its connections to the global economy, the chief recipient of capital inflows, the gateway for international travellers and the epicentre of the region's information and communication technology industry. It has absorbed these changes to become the unrivalled centre of business and financial services in the country.

We take note that urbanisation is a worldwide trend. Today, 50% of the people of the world live in cities and according to the United Nations Habitat, 100 million people in Africa will live in cities by 2010. Furthermore, it is estimated that by 2025, more than four billion people will live in urban areas. Therefore, urbanisation and its challenges, remains a fact of life that we have to grapple with.

In keeping with the international trend of growing migration, our city has become a magnet for people from other provinces, the African continent and indeed the four corners of the world. While migrancy contributes to the rich tapestry of the cosmopolitan city, it also places a severe strain on employment levels, housing and public services.

 

JOHANNESBURG: TEN YEARS OF TRANSFORMATION

Programme director, I now wish to turn to Johannesburg specifically and its transformation over the last ten years. Our city removed the shackles imposed by apartheid by laying the foundation for a world class African city.

When the Metro Chamber convened in the early 1990s, this marked the beginning of a new era in local government. This process started in 1994 with the appointment of the transitional metropolitan council and its substructures. This effort was aimed at replacing the I5-odd local authorities from the apartheid past.

The November 1995 local government election ushered in, for the first time, the transitional non-racial and democratically elected councils in the form of a metropolitan council and four metropolitan local substructures.

The financial crisis, which first became evident in 1991, led to a serious reflection on a programme of transformation to enable effective redistribution, equity and sound governance.

The Committee of 10 and 15 as well as the Transfom1ation Lekgotla initiated what later became known as the iGoli 2002 plan.

iGoli 2002 was to inspire one of the most fundamental transformation efforts of local government institutions in South Africa. It was based on the idea that local government should function in a manner that would be sustainable and ensure effective delivery of services.

The unicity democratic elections in December 2000 finally ushered in a non-racial, democratic municipal council and government. We moved from fragmented decision making to a single coherent structure. The last three years have clearly shown that governance of the city has become tighter, more effective and delivery oriented.

The past decade has experienced both the establishment of democratic government institutions and the deepening of democracy. We must also acknowledge the role played by civil society stakeholders in the governance of the city.

We have a wide range of mechanisms to elicit and promote public participation and consultation in the affairs of our city, including our petitions and public participation committee, section 79 committees, ward committees, sectoral forums, Mayoral roadshows and public meetings. In 2002, we launched Joburg 2030, which takes into account the potential and weaknesses of the city's economy, and crafted a vision and strategy that would take us on the path to growth and prosperity.

Although we had inherited a particular physical and spatial structure for the city, we have taken up the cudgels to integrate our city. There has been an acceptance of the idea of multi-centred city, with defined concentration of economic and social activity such as the CBD, Sandton, Midrand and Soweto.

In a tribute to the changing nature of the city, we are beginning to see new landmarks emerging such as Gandhi Square, Mary FitzGerald Square and the Nelson Mandela Bridge. Others, such as Constitutional Hill, are being built as we speak. The idea of a Civic Centre precinct is gradually taking shape and we will announce details in the future.

Our diversity of people and cultures, imbued with a strong sense of patriotism, inhabit the city in increasing numbers. In the era after the cultural boycott of South Africa, we are seeing international cross-pollination, the promotion of indigenous culture and the showcasing of local culture. This is evidenced by Arts Alive, the Joy of Jazz festival and numerous other events organised by both the public and private sector.

The 2001 Census report, when compared with the 1996 Census, shows that our city has made huge strides in service delivery. We have improved household access to water, sanitation, housing, telecommunications and education. For instance, 269 000 additional households have electricity, 320 000 additional households receive a weekly refuse removal service, 231 000 additional households have flush toilets and 260 000 additional households have access to piped water on site. The number of people with matric and higher education increased by 64% and 126% respectively.

We have also been at the forefront of delivery of social facilities such as sporting and recreational facilities, libraries and clinics, to ensure that sustainable communities are created. These have been achieved through sustained capital investment by provincial and local government over the last couple of years.

The Alexandra Renewal Project is a great example of the approach that we have adopted. Firstly, it is a Presidential project, meaning that there is strong political will in the highest political office in the land and that the required financial resources have been made available. Secondly, it is a shining example of co-operative governance since it is jointly conceived and implemented by all three spheres of government. Thirdly, it squarely tackles the many legacies of the old order, including overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, environmental degradation, lack of delivery and so on. Fourthly, the model is one of integrated and sustainable development, covering social, economic and environmental development.

Public transportation is a key factor underpinning economic growth and quality of life. In this regard, the development of the Gautrain by the provincial government is the key initiative. We have also completed an integrated transportation plan that seeks to guide and assist to regulate the transportation industry.

 

WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES & STRATEGIES THAT GUIDE OUR WORK?

In all that I have spoken about thus far, it will have become clear that our work and the changes that we have seen, are based upon deeply held principles.

Firstly, sustainable development - as I have already mentioned - encompasses social, economic and ecological development that meet our needs, without compromising the needs of generations to come.

Secondly, the deepening of democracy will ensure that the aspirations of the people for a better life will feature prominently in the institutions created by the Constitution.

Thirdly, those entrusted to work in these institutions do so through public accountability, transparency and good governance. Fourthly, non-racialism and non-sexism - which were key ideas underpinning our struggle against apartheid.

Fifthly, that we work together on the basis of co-operation, mutual support and solidarity.

It is these principles that we had used over the last couple of years and will continue to guide us into the future.

We steadfastly adhere to the Joburg 2030 strategy, which seeks to shift our focus from being a mere deliverer of services to becoming an agent of economic development; a time scale for creating a world class African city; and an interaction and co-operation with other spheres of government.

The six strategic priorities of this Mayoral term remain firmly in place and guide our day-to-day work. They include:

  • Good governance
  • Economic growth and job creation
  • Crime prevention and by-law enforcement
  • Service delivery excellence/Batho pele/customer care
  • Inner city regeneration
  • HIV / AIDS
These priorities have been translated into the city's Integrated Development Plan (IDP), which over the last three years has matured into a strategic tool for service delivery and to a great extent in managing performance.

 

WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT CONSTITUTE SOME OF OUR PLANS FOR THIS YEAR?

The pertinent question that I now pose is: "What are some of our key plans for this year?" In other words, on the basis of our principles and strategies, what are key areas of focus for the City of Johannesburg over the coming months.

I would like to turn my attention to the issues that concern the overall financial management of the city, including revenue and billing. These issues have generated much media attention over the recent period.

 

Revenue

No city can sustain itself if it cannot raise its own revenue. In our case, most of our revenue derives from rates, taxes and service charges - only a small component is received as intergovernmental transfers from national government. Therefore, our ability to raise our own revenue effectively, will enable us to be self-sufficient to deal with the challenges that face us.

The establishment of the Revenue Shared Services Centre (RSSC) will enhance the quest for more effective management of revenue. There is significant progress in this regard: top management for the RSSC has been appointed and the recruitment process for the Board of Directors of the RSSC has begun and it is envisaged to be completed by March 2004.

The collection rate achieved for December 2003 was 92.1%, which is an admirable achievement given that December is usually a very poor month for collections. The 12-month moving average collection rate to the end of December was 86%. We remain determined to improve on this figure, and revenue has been instructed accordingly.

Our collection of Regional Services Council (RSC) levies, on the other hand, has shown great improvement. RSC collections used to be approximately R60-million per month in December 2000, whereas the average monthly yield for the last six months has been well over R120-million.

 

Billing

The city has a substantial effort underway to cleanse its billing data. In particular, there is a unified data project that aims to give the city a single view of all property transactions. After making substantial progress by electronic matching of our data with other databases, the project team is now in a phase of manually checking specific problem areas.

Furthermore we are currently finalising a service level agreement between revenue and the utilities. As a quick win, the billing department has re-engineered its processes to improve on our customer service.

The objective of these initiatives is to manage the quantity and quality of information transmitted between the city and utilities. This will reduce the number of billing queries submitted to Council.

 

Customer queries

We are in the process of adding additional capacity to handle customer queries. The additional staff are currently being trained and will be deployed to the various People's Centres. The more skilled staff are to be deployed to focus upon more complicated queries.

Furthermore, we are currently automating important billing functions (including refunds, finalisation of accounts and land transfers) to enable us to significantly reduce query resolution times. Customers may also use the Internet/e-mail facility to forward their meter readings.

We are also in the process of finalising a project that will permit conveyancing attorneys to apply for clearance figures electronically and by doing so save costs and reduce turnaround times.

Importantly, we will shortly be rolling out a system in terms of which a query resolution officer will be held accountable for the management of the query from first receipt to final resolution. Each consumer will receive the contact details of a dedicated consultant who will work on his or her account. This should reduce phone calls to a call centre or sitting in queues at Jorissen Place or a regional office. Prearranged sessions with your consultant should become the norm, and calls to call centres should become the exception (for after-hours emergencies).

Our annual Customer Satisfaction Survey will take place during the month of April 2004 to objectively provide the consumers with an opportunity to access our assessment and to rate our service. Revenue scored 72% in the 2003 survey.

 

Credit Control

Revenue has over the past year been escalating its credit control activities, after many years of weak and insufficiently effective credit control. To date we have handed over debtors worth R5-billion to attorneys for collection. This figure should be read in its historic context and carefully analysed to grasp the essence.

We are aware of the implications of historically weak credit control activities, and accordingly continue to invite customers who have arrears on their accounts to come in, discuss repayment programmes and enter into formal arrangements for the repayment of arrears. Revenue will actively seek a win/win situation. Such arrangements will avoid the inconvenience of having services terminated or adding legal costs to a customer's bill.

 

Auditor-General's Report

Council is aware that we are seeking to achieve clean audit reports for entities of the City of Johannesburg. Five of our entities have in fact accomplished this objective already. Five others have qualified audit reports. Only three entities, namely City Power, Joburg Water, and the core administration received disclaimers for the year to June 2003. Council is also aware that, even in these cases, significant progress has been achieved in specific areas, namely, confirmation of inter-company balances, reduction in unallocated receipts, management of fixed assets (especially new assets) and the finalisation of financial procedures and controls.

Furthermore, there are several positive aspects of the financial statements for June 2003. For example, the accumulated deficit declined by R100-million, and capital expenditure was R1 346-million (which was 90% of the budget).

We have worked very hard to inform the media just what the position is on these matters. Special media briefings were arranged, and our officials spent considerable time answering questions on these issues. It is therefore disappointing that certain media chose to ignore the story during December last year, and instead produced uninformed and hostile reports earlier this year.

 

Operation Clean Audit Report

An unqualified Auditor-General's report is envisaged by 2005. Progress has been made in this regard, as is evident from the Auditor-General's report for the year to June 2003. However, considerable work remains to be done, and the target will stretch our officials. The project plan addresses many specific issues raised in the various report of the Auditor-General. More fundamentally it seeks to re-establish the control environment around all accounting transactions, to prevent such queries from emerging in future Auditor General reports.

 

Municipal Finance Management Act

We have been reliably informed by National Treasury that the Municipal Finance Management Act will come into effect on 1 July 2004. This Act will significantly enhance governance and financial management throughout the local government sector. Among other things, the Act clarifies the responsibilities and accountabilities of political office bearers and senior managers. We welcome the passing of the Act and we will ensure that Johannesburg is in a position to comply with all its provisions.

 

Treasury

The objective of our new treasury section is to reduce the cost of borrowing whilst increasing the return on investments and improving liquidity management. The overall purpose is a shift from the reliance on term and structured loans towards bond issues as a means of raising capital finance. It must be noted that the city has improved its financial position since 1997 and that the short-term liquidity has improved steadily. Fitch Ratings, an international rating agency, upgraded the city's long term rating from BBB+, signalling adequate ability to repay debts, to A-, signifying a good credit risk.

At the same time, a second rating agency, CA Ratings assigned a new "A" long-term rating to the city. These ratings agencies based their opinions on various improvements in the city, including the Council's fiscal prudence, healthy liquidity, and stronger financial planning and budgeting. Work is continuing on the intended bond issue. The structure of the bond has been finalised, and the prospective investors are currently being introduced to the city and its financial position. The enhanced credit rating will further improve investor confidence in the city.

 

Capital Budget

The city requires substantially higher capital budgets than has been affordable previously. There is a need to build new infrastructure, to maintain existing infrastructure, and to meet our future growth requirements. A programme to achieve this whilst still maintaining fiscal prudence is underway by the Treasury Unit, as mentioned earlier. We therefore anticipate budgeting for increased debt service costs, restructuring the city's debt book, and tapping new forms of debt finance. Most importantly we expect that a bond issue over the next few months will permit us to restructure our existing debt and to increase our future capital funding.

 

Social Package

The city committed itself to alleviating poverty for its inhabitants through the provision of a social package for approximately 250 000 households city-wide as follows:

With respect to the water subsidy a total 31 million free kilolitres to the estimated value of R74.8-million was provided for the period 1 July 2003 to 31 December 2003, which is a remarkable improvement from a total of R36.3-million in the 2002/03 financial year.

With regard to electricity, 46 million kWh to the value of R15.8- million was provided for the period 1 July to 31 December 2003.

With regard to assessment rates, a 100% rebate on properties less than R20 000: a total of R60.188-million of a package valued at R120 376 has been provided in respect of 221 000 households; and 40% remission for pensioners who qualify on properties worth more than R20 001 valued at R1.54-million. The total cost to Council for the first 6 months of the 2003/04 financial year is R152.014-million.

I am pleased to announce that in the Eskom supply area of the city, an agreement has been reached between the key stakeholders. It has been agreed that Eskom will provide 50kWh free electricity per month to eligible residents. The initiative was introduced on 1 January 2004 and Eskom has trained all of its staff to deliver this essential service to eligible households. This implementation is in keeping with government policy to provide relief to the poor.

 

Capital Investment

The rapid growth of the city as well as a lack of maintenance has put an enormous strain on public infrastructure. In many instances existing infrastructure will have to be upgraded and old infrastructure refurbished. To plan and manage this, the city established a capital investment framework. It takes into account the current and future infrastructure capacities and needs and strikes a balance between the development of previously disadvantaged communities, maintaining existing infrastructure and ensuring that there is capacity to cater for new developments. For the 2003/04 financial year R384.7-million was allocated by the City of Johannesburg on infrastructure capital projects. Of this 82% was allocated for eradicating the backlogs of the city. R42-million (11%) was allocated to strategically identified interventions projects and R27.8-million (7%) was allocated to maintaining and protecting existing infrastructure.

RI06-million (20%) of the capital budget was allocated to water. Of this R44 548 000 was put aside for Alexandra for the Marlboro Tower, the Linbro Park reservoir and the outfalls in Bruma and Westlake. The remainder was allocated to renewing the sewer mains in the inner city and to operation Gcina Manzi in Soweto (R6 200 000).

Approximately 22% (R 120 million) of the capital budget was for the construction of roads. R1-million was allocated to Alexandra for the Alexandra/Eastbank transport routes. R24-million was allocated to Soweto of which R21-million is being spent on tarring the gravel roads in Soweto. R8-million has been allocated for access roads in Vlakfontein. R56-million is being spent in the inner city for storm water rehabilitations. Emndeni Bridge and strategic north-south linkages.

R127-million (24%) has been allocated to electricity. R21-million is being spent in Alexandra for public lighting and service connections. R1-million is being spent in Ivory Park for the installation and upgrading of public lighting infrastructure. R13.4-million is being spent in Soweto for streetlights, transformers, service connections and township reticulations. In Soweto, R9-million has been put aside for community development projects. These include, clinic upgrades, multi-purpose centres and the Albertina Sisulu Centre. R15-million is being spent on Kliptown and R6-million on hostels and relocation projects.

R3-million is being spent on hostels in Alexandra. R2-million is being spent on housing projects in Vlakfontein and R 600 000 for a training centre and library in Orange Farm.

In the Inner City, R9-million is being spent on electricity. This is mainly for public lighting, and upgrading of existing infrastructure. RI.2-million is being spent on the central city parks development. R40-million is being spent by JDA on Constitution Hill, Greater Ellis Park, Drill Hall, Medical Precinct and the Braamfontein Regeneration Project. R8-million is being spent on CCTV cameras and R1.2-million on the Robinson Landfill site.

 

Housing

Housing continues to be one of the most important concerns of our people. The household growth of almost 30% since 1996 places a severe strain on housing delivery since approximately 231 000 households still live in less than adequate accommodation.

I had previously indicated that all informal settlements will be formalised within three years. In this regard, the city has entered into partnerships with its utilities to ensure that electricity, roads, water and sanitation projects related to housing are accelerated. Some of the settlements that will benefit from this work are Leratong, Matholesville, Driezik Ext 4 & 5, Vlakfontein, Finetown East, Weiler's Farm, Kanana Park, Orange Farm and Vlakfontein West, benefiting around 20 145 households.

Another urgent intervention by the housing department is the formalisation of informal settlements. To date 47 have been formalised, meaning that the settlements are permanent and will not face relocation in the future. At the moment we are fast tracking water and sanitation delivery. We have numbered and registered the shacks. Street naming will follow this process in partnership with our planning department. The intention is to ensure that all shacks are properly fenced, and to that extent, two pilot projects on fencing are underway in Vlakfontein Ext 1,2 and 3 as well as Doornkop. As the city of Johannesburg we believe that this exercise will go a long way in dealing with issues of containment, management, safety and security within settlements in the city.

The City has furthermore established a new housing company known as Johannesburg Social Housing Company (JOSHCO). This company is an entity wholly owned by the city to ensure that hostels are converted into family units, thereby integrating them within the fabric of our communities. JOSHCO has also been tasked with high density housing projects in Protea South, Sol Plaatje, will benefit 18 950 beneficiaries.

The city's housing department has geared up to deal decisively with land invasions and the mushrooming of informal settlements.

The city is also in the process of integrating sustainable development priorities into all its housing projects such as greening and energy efficient positioning of a dwelling on site. Pilot projects are being implemented in Alexandra and the Golden Triangle.

 

Water

The key challenges facing Joburg Water are reducing unaccounted for water and provision of water and sanitation services in informal areas. The utility aims to address these challenges through specific programmes.

The prototype phase of the Operation Gcin'amanzi project will be completed within the next six months. This project entails the rehabilitation of both the City's water infrastructure and household plumbing in Soweto. The construction of an alternative water supply line to Alexandra, will commence shortly and will result in minimal water cuts.

The installation of prepayment meters in Soweto will be introduced in the next six months. and this will result in the reduction of unaccounted for water and reduction of household water costs. It will also allow for the free basic provision of water to households.

Construction works and upgrading of the Leeuwkop and Modderfomein outfall sewers will also be completed, which will reduce the burden of the current network and thereby reduce interruptions in service.

 

Electricity

For the first six months of 2004, City Power plans to do 3 000 household connections in Devland, 5 000 in Alexandra and 1 900 in Lawley.

Streetlights will be installed in Ivory Park, Soweto, Orange Farm, Stretford, Braamfisherville and Slovoville. They will also continue to upgrade streetlights with energy efficient lighting.

The reduction of unplanned outages will be addressed in Halfway Gardens, Kyalami, Modderfontein, Weltevreden Park and Auckland Park. Upgrading of substations will be done to the overloaded northwestern part of Randburg as well as Bryanston, the eastern part of Randburg and Midrand.

 

Solid waste management

During the next six months, Pikitup will complete the rollout of the 240 litre bins in Randburg and Norwood. Three additional garden refuse sites will be constructed Mapetla, Pimville and Orlando East.

A weighbridge system will be implemented at all Pikitup landfill sites. In order to increase existing landfill capacity, Pikitup will make application to obtain a licence for a new landfill site in Northern Works.

In the long term, Pikitup is investigating the harvesting of methane gas from landfill sites. Also, an alternative to landfill sites are being considered such as Thermsave Plant Technology.

 

Roads

One of the key focus areas of the Johannesburg Roads Agency for this year is the continued upgrading of gravel roads to surfaced roads in Soweto, specifically in Moroka/Rockville, Orlando East, Pimville and Dlamini. Within the next two financial years, all work relating to gravel roads in Soweto shall have been complete.

However, ordinary maintenance will not be neglected. This will include the continued preservation and improvement of the existing road network, the replacing of expansion joints in bridges on major roads and motorways, rehabilitation of storm water culverts (eg Bez Valley and Robinson Canal) and the upgrading of the traffic signal control systems across the city.

Other major capital works will include the construction of:

  • Emndeni Bridge to link the Soweto and Protea areas
  • Mooki and Koma Streets in Soweto
  • Cleveland Link Road to enhance the accessibility to the City Deep Dry Port and
  • Resurfacing of the M1 motorway from Corlett Drive to Houghton

 

Parks

Parks contribute to a state of dignity and provide recreational opportunities for people. In Thokoza Park, which was recently developed in Soweto, a group called Friends of the Park has been established by local residents, who playa key role in ensuring that the park is kept clean and safe.

The impact of the operations of Johannesburg City Parks, which celebrates 100 years of its existence this year, is already visible across the city.

Key projects in the coming year will include the landscaping and development of the Botanic Gardens, the development of the Midrand and Diepsloot regional cemeteries and the planting of 3 000 trees in disadvantaged areas. Several parks, across the city will be upgraded and new playground equipment will be provided to all these parks. City Parks has concluded an agreement with the Metro Police to improve safety at out parks.

In addition, we will re-introduce animals in some of our nature reserves, 17 parks will be upgraded and 2 new regional parks will be developed this year.

 

Zoo

The Johannesburg Zoo celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. A number of events will be held to attract visitors and thereby improving revenues and recreational opportunities. A number of new enclosures will also be opened over this year. R2.2-million will be spent on reducing water use, through infrastructure upgrading and improving the effective recycling of water. We have confidence in the newly appointed CEO, to take the Zoo to new levels of service delivery.

 

Call Centre

The City of Johannesburg's call centre has successfully completed its first 2 years as a fully operational facility. It is however faced with challenges such as increased call volumes, long waiting periods, and high abandoned rates. The City of Johannesburg has responded to this increasing customer demand by stabilising technical capacity and increasing the staff complement to handle the volume of calls. This had a particularly positive effect in the call taking, as well as cutting down on the time for an agent to answer the call.

 

Health

Historically, the health sector has been extremely fragmented with both duplication of functions and gaps in the provision of services. The national Department of Health (DOH) is currently reviewing the institutional and governance framework for the provision of health services in order to put in place a geographically based health system.

As part of this process, district health councils (DHCs), compromising both political and administrative components, will be set up. The purpose of DHCs is to oversee the well being of constituents. The boundaries of these district health institutions will be the boundaries of the metropolitan and district councils.

The district health system (DHS) is intended to identify and coordinate all public, private, non-governmental and customary health service providers as well as coordinate the activities of other relevant institutions whose operations affect the provision of health services. This new health policy framework is contained within the National Health Bill, which is awaiting the assent of the President before it becomes law.

There have been regular discussions between the City of Johannesburg and Gauteng Health Department in anticipation of the enactment of the new Health Act. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the province and the City of Johannesburg in April 2003. There has been steady progress in functionally integrating primary health care services in the city. We are currently also in the process of finalising the Service Level Agreement between the two spheres of government which will give greater effect to the process of devolution of primary health care services to municipalities. With regard to service delivery over the last few months, the city launched a cervical cancer-screening programme, embarked on environmental clean up at hostels and opened new clinics in Ebony Park, Midrand West and Weiler's Farm.

Over this year, we will further improve the scope and quality of health services. Public health will focus on a mass immunisation campaign, targeting 150 000 children under 5 and open two new clinics in Protea South and Malvem. Environmental health will clamp down on illegal dumping, ensure the training of informal food traders and certify 85% of all food premises in the city.

 

HIV/AIDS

The HIV/AIDS epidemic remains a key priority for the City of Johannesburg. Our overall approach is underpinned by intersectoral collaboration and building of partnerships. Our partners include government departments, people living with HIV/AIDS, faith organisations, traditional sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and sports, media, civics, women's and youth groups.

In response to the call by President Thabo Mbeki to join the Partnership Against AIDS, we established the Johannesburg AIDS Council in November 2001, to mobilise prevention, care and support from key stakeholders in the city. We seek to mobilise the community towards non-discrimination and non-stigmatisation and to promote openness and disclosure of HIV status voluntarily, within a supportive environment. Activities around prevention of new HIV infections aimed at behaviour change includes life skills education and peer education programmes for individuals in special risk settings such as the commercial sex workers.

The World AIDS Day campaign on 5 December 2003 reached thousands of residents through 2 900 volunteers, who were recruited and trained by the city. In 2004, the city will increase rapid on site HIV testing sites from 37 to 50 fixed facilities across the city. Under the auspices of the AIDS Council, we will convene a major workshop to enhance NGO involvement in the campaign against the epidemic.

The city's workplace HIV/AIDS programme provides care services such as HIV counselling and testing services, syndromic management of sexually transmitted infections, free male condom and prevention of mother-to-child transmission.

 

Arts, Culture and Heritage

Arts, culture and heritage services have been primarily concerned with ensuring that the services provided continue to include previously marginalised communities. A number of activities have begun to address this, in particular the completion of the Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto and the participation of MK and APLA veterans in the annual Remembrance Sunday Parade, for which the Cenotaph was fully restored. Other achievements were an increase in the number of visitors to the Johannesburg Art Gallery and Museum Africa and the relocation of the department to the Newtown Building in President Street, Newtown.

We started 2004 with the appointment of a new Director and the development of a business plan and vision for the next two years. This vision will ensure that we match the infrastructure investment in the inner city with the presentation of world-class exhibitions and events in the key museums and galleries of the city. The department will explore ways to utilise arts, culture and heritage to meaningfully change people's lives through programmes that address cultural diversity and social cohesion. Cultural tourism projects that support the strategic objectives of the city's tourism strategy will be implemented with a focus on a bigger and better, Arts Alive festival.

 

Safety and security

The City has a safety strategy, which was developed in close consultation with the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) and the South African Police Service (SAPS). The key components of the strategy include:

  • focused surveillance, including patrols and CCTV;
  • 'winning back the streets', which is aimed at improving the safety of citizens;
  • 'creating an orderly city', which seeks to improve by-law enforcement; and
  • restricting access to firearms, a key component to reducing violent crime.

In brief, the strategy seeks to achieve a comprehensive multi-agency law enforcement and crime prevention approach for Johannesburg. The strategy is aimed at boosting confidence of citizens, businesses and potential investors in the city.

Recent joint effort between the JMPD, the SAPS and the SANDF proved a huge success during the New Year celebrations, especially in Hillbrow. The city congratulates these agencies as well as residents of Hillbrow in making this initiative a success.

The establishment of the JMPD in 2001 has demonstrated its contribution to crime reduction in Johannesburg. Recent achievements have included the establishment of the JMPD anti-hijacking unit, which works in close partnership with the SAPS anti-hijacking unit. Successes have already been recorded in Alexandra and Rosettenville. Continued collaboration with other law enforcement agencies in the city has led to high profile roadside checkpoints and an exceptionally calm festive period. The next twelve months will see the training of an additional 240 metropolitan police officers to ensure higher visibility and sustained enforcement.

Improvements are also currently underway in licensing and registration. The amalgamation of all licensing centres into one licensing authority will improve efficiency and serve the entire City of Johannesburg.

 

New By-laws

We are expecting during the first half of this year the promulgation of the 12 sets of new uniform by-laws that were approved by Council in June last year. These by-laws relate to libraries, cemeteries, emergency management services, public health, public open spaces, public roads, street trading, waste management, water services and related matters. The promulgation of the by-laws hinges on two steps that must be completed before the promulgation can take place.

The first step is that the draft by-laws pertaining to metered taxis, parking grounds and roads must still receive the concurrence of the Premier in terms of section 80A of the National Road Traffic Act, 1996, after he has considered the Council's reply to his office's earlier comments on these draft by-laws.

I am pleased to report that the Council's new draft Street Trading By-laws have received the approval of the Premier. This approval was required in terms of section 6A of the Businesses Act, 1991.

The second step that must still be finalised before the new by-laws can be promulgated, is the approval of the fine schedules for the new by-laws by the Chief Magistrates of the ten (10) magisterial districts in Johannesburg municipal area. The Chief Magistrate of Johannesburg has already commenced with the consideration of the new draft fine schedules for the new by-laws as well as for other legislation administered by the Council, such as the Town Planning Scheme, Advertising Signs By-laws and the National Building Regulations.

It is intended that the promulgation of the new by-laws will coincide or follow immediately upon the Council being informed that the above two steps have been completed.

The Council is of the view that the by-laws must be brought as close to the people as possible. Not only should the residents have easy access to the by-laws but the by-laws should also be known and understood.

The first steps in this process have already been taken. Not only have the new draft by-laws been drafted in plain language, but also they are also accessible on the Council's website on the Internet and at the people's centres.

The next step is to put the by-laws in even simpler language. It is expected that the by-laws pertaining to Street Trading, Metered Taxis, Public Open Spaces, Cemeteries, Public Health and Waste Management by the middle of the year will have been put in language which residents aged 14 and older will be able to understand. The remaining by-laws will also be simplified during this year. The complete set will then be translated into the languages commonly spoken in Johannesburg and be published in a booklet that will be made available to everybody.

 

Municipal Court

The municipal court will also be in operation during this year and everything has been done and finalised from the Council's side. The establishment of the municipal co un for the magisterial district of Johannesburg must coincide with the promulgation of the new by-laws or follow shortly thereafter, since it is expected that the processing of offences in terms of the new by-laws will require some preparation before offenders can be prosecuted.

 

Emergency Management Services (EMS)

During 2003, an additional 104 qualified fire fighters and emergency personnel were appointed. During the year, EMS serviced a total of 97 833 emergency calls of which approximately 10% were related to fire and rescue incidents and 90% related to ambulance incidents. Fortunately, the city negotiated a new agreement with Gauteng Provincial Health Department for the provision of a new ambulance fleet. The city has since received 40 new ambulances that are already operational. EMS still experiences, to some extent, some staff shortages and a call is made to all citizens to become involved by joining the EMS Reservist Corps.

But it is not only locally where EMS makes a difference. The city's Special Operations Response Team, a team of highly specialised rescue experts, has since their inception already been called upon to assist with the earthquakes in Algeria and Iran and the devastating fires that ravaged the Mpumalanga province during August last year. This team ensures that the city has tile capacity to mitigate any rescue situations that endangers its citizens. EMS also conducted 13 383 fire safety inspections and evacuation drills, particularly in the inner city, to increase by-law enforcement in line with the city's key priorities.

EMS also expanded its operations and facilities to previously disadvantaged areas by opening new fire stations at Orange Farm and Lawley. In addition, the Rosebank fire station has been renovated and the first BESAFE centre in Africa was launched. Future projects include the opening of a new fire station in Diepsloot and two new BESAFE centres in Alexandra and Berea, as well as the renovation of the Central and Berea Fire Stations, built in 1909 and 1910 respectively.

 

Economic Development

Joburg 2030 is the lodestar for economic development in the City of Johannesburg. In this respect, a variety of initiatives are currently being implemented.

The city has established a skills partnership with the Gauteng Department of Education on math, science and technology education as well as support to foundation phase learners in the form of mobile libraries.

We have also signed a memorandum of understanding with higher education institutions (HEls) located within Johannesburg, including the University of the Witwatersrand, Technikon SA, which has merged with UNISA and Wits Technikon and RAU, which have merged to form the University of Johannesburg. The MoU provides, amongst others, for the following:

  • To advance the mutual interest of the HEls and the Council in such a way that they serve, and respond to, the needs of the city and its citizenry
  • To respond to the needs of the city's economic sector in relation to the development of the skills, competencies and attributes required by the city and public and private institutions and businesses within it.

The City of Johannesburg also has a partnership agreement with CIDA City Campus, which is an inner city campus providing an accredited business degree to disadvantaged students. The partnership is aimed at advancing skills development in the city.

A unique programme with CIDA City Campus seeks to educate informal traders in financial literacy and business skills. To date, 100 traders have been trained and a further 300 are to be trained over this year.

Area based regeneration strategies were developed for the inner city as well as Nasrec, Soweto and the Randburg CBD. Its purpose is unlock economic potential and to fast track the economic repositioning of these areas, by an expansion and a diversification of the residential market as well as the social/institutional infrastructure.

In partnership with Investec and Technikon SA, the city has an Open for Business Centre, a walk-in advisory centre that offers free advice on legal, accounting and business plans for small business. This initiative has been a huge success, with as many as 2 000 people using the centre each month. As a result, expansion is being considered, so that so many more small entrepreneurs can be empowered with much needed skills to grow their businesses and thus begin to meaningfully contribute to Joburg's economy. Needless to say, this will have positive spin-offs for poverty alleviation and job creation in the medium to long-term.

The city has established an investment facilitation function that takes responsibility for business liaison and the marketing of Joburg 2030. It is envisaged that this function will expand over the next two years.

 

Tourism and Marketing

We reiterate the view that tourism has the potential to foster economic growth and job creation. Research conducted by Stats SA shows that the total number of international visitors to South Africa is 1.4-million of which 50% visit Gauteng. SA Tourism, in turn, states that 80% of all Gauteng tourists visit our city, translating into 560 000 tourists on an annual basis. The city has strived to package various products into cohesive routes for marketing. For example, the experience in Soweto of Vilakazi Street where tourist can do sleepovers in various bed and breakfasts, visit the Mandela Museum, the Hector Pieterson Memorial, which is a permanent photographic exhibition of the 1976 uprisings, and the Regina Mundi Church.

In this regard, the city's tourism strategy is increasingly being implemented. This involves the co-ordination and integration of initiatives such as cross border shopping, safety, transport and the formation of partnerships with external players as well as business marketing initiatives.

We also seek to consolidate capacity building initiatives by engaging small business and BEE business sectors, the development of public/private sector empowerment programme as well as supporting institutional development in order to enhance the management and co- ordination of tourism.

The city will provide support to the Johannesburg Tourism Company in its objective of growing the business tourism market in Johannesburg. The JTC's convention bureau has been instrumental in endorsing and securing ten new events to be held over the next few years.

Some of these include:

  • World Junior Delphi Games in 2007
  • 8th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion in 2006
  • 6th International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health in 2006
  • Rotary International Centennial Celebration in 2005
  • International Air Cargo Association AGM in 2004
  • World Blind Bowlers

 

Human Resource Development

The city's workplace skills plan was accepted by the Department of Labour and the implementation report was submitted the to the Local Government SETA in time. This signals our commitment to the continuous improvement of our staff s development.

We have rolled out an internship scheme to provide in-service training opportunities for students at technikons and universities and to date 103 out of 500 applicants have been placed in various positions across the administration. The city will continue to roll this programme out over this year.

We have completed the process of awarding 50 new bursaries to students within Johannesburg for the 2004 academic year and there were 15 bursaries awarded in 2003.

This year the City will also implement learnership programmes provided by the Local Government and Water Services SETA (LGWSETA). A learnership replaces the old apprenticeship system, except that it covers a wider scope than technical trades and results in a qualification and possible work placement. This will be targeted at specific business units such as Emergency Management Services, Metro Police and Corporate Finance.

We are well on our way to establishing sound labour relations in the city. The overall work ethic is showing signs of improvement. The world-class status that we are striving to achieve will be of benefit to not only the community, but the workforce as well.

The City of Johannesburg is endeavouring to deal with disciplinary and grievance cases in an efficient and effective manner. In this regard, more than 200 managers have been trained, with the rest to follow by June; management monitoring mechanisms have been instituted and turnaround times are to be reduced.

Most of the city's corporate buildings have been evaluated and rendered safe in terms of occupational health standards and have been made accessible to people with disabilities.

 

Valuation Services

The primary role of valuation services is to provide regular and accurate general valuation rolls, which are used to calculate the rates base for the city.

Valuation services is currently busy with its next general valuation process, which will lead to the new, more accurate and up to date general valuation roll. It is also involved with the cleansing of current data with revenue and GIS, which will eventually lead to a single and accurate property register for the city.

 

Development Planning

Development Planning received 16 552 building plans during 2003 with a total value of R5.6-billion. A total of 13 794 buildings plans were approved (83%) and the department averaged a turn around time of 24 days to scrutinise building plans and approved 34% of buildings plans submitted per month within 30 days. Members of the public will be able to track their building plans on the Internet from February 2004.

The department received a total of 4 510 town planning applications during 2003 and considered 4 291 (95%) applications. The post decision process is however still slow but based on the number of applications finalised has resulted in an increase in the rates base of approximately R3.4-billion over the twelve month period. Approximately R80-million was received as contributions towards engineering services of the applications that were considered and approved by the city.

A total of 169828 illegal signs and posters were removed during 2003. A total of 849 town planning contravention matters were referred 10 the courts and 237 court orders were obtained in favour of the Council (28%), while only one case was lost. Decisions are awaited on the balance of 59 1 cases (72%).

A key focus of the department for the new year is the improvement in development applications turnaround times. In this regard, the department is implementing a DAS (development application system), in order to automate the processing of development applications. It is envisaged that the turnaround times will be improved as follows:

  • Rezoning: 9 months to 8 months
  • Consent: 8 months to 5 months
  • Building plans; 57 days to 30 days

 

Sustainability

I mentioned earlier that the city subscribes to the idea of sustainable development. On the basis of comprehensive sustainability policies adopted last year, a number of programmes are being implemented.

Our air quality management programme includes putting 'Joburg air under microscope' using newly purchased monitoring equipment, implementing a domestic fuel burning programme and a vehicle emissions programme. The waste management programme includes initiatives on waste minimisation and recycling buy-back centre. Our approach is to ensure that in the implementation .of programmes, we move towards meeting the Polokwane Declaration target of zero waste by 2022.

Given limited open space resources in the city, we intend to increase the current land area that is conservation worthy and to provide the citizens with a natural experience right in the middle of an 'urban jungle'. Our conservation programme will also ensure that our open space resources are networked in order to support our varied natural and cultural heritage.

 

Transportation

Last year, we announced the approval of an integrated transport plan (ITP) and the proposal to establish a transport authority. The ITP, in particular, has provided the framework for improving transportation in the city. We are in the process of implementing a flagship transportation project, which has two corridors.

The intention of the project is to pilot the provision of a seamless public transport system for the city. The long-term aim is to encourage the use of public transport, reduce commuters' travel time, reduce accidents and minimise private car-related air pollution.

The north-south corridor will stretch from Regina Mundi in the south, via Parktown, to Sunninghill in the north, with implementation to commence in the next financial year. The second is the east-west corridor stretching from Alexandra in the east, via Sandton and Randburg, to Roodepoort in the west and implementation will start in 2006/07.

Another key transportation initiative is the Baragwanath public transport facility project. It seeks to redevelop the current taxi rank and trading area to provide a better facility for buses, taxis and informal traders. The expected project cost for the facility is R98-million. The completed project will provide for 430 taxis, 25 long distance taxis, 250 local taxis, 20 buses and 350 informal traders. Implementation started in the 2002/03 financial year with the realignment of the Old Potch Road (phase 1) costing R10-million. The project is currently in phase 2, which is the development of the first holding area for 221 taxis.

 

Inner City Rejuvenation

Rejuvenation of the inner city is a key priority of the city. The City of Johannesburg leads the regeneration process in partnership with provincial government, business and civil society. The work with our partners is starting to transform our city centre, its business nodes like Braamfontein and our inner city neighbourhoods. I would like to quote from the Executive Director of the Central Johannesburg Partnership, Neil Fraser's column, 'Citichat', where he eloquently describes the partnership arrangement:

" ... The city revitalization programme of which I have been a part since 1992 ... has come to fruition during the past two year in particular. How does one 'normalise' and 'revitalise' a city such as Johannesburg? It is not entirely flippant to say "with difficulty"! But in truth, it is through the commitment and effort of a number of people, organizations and companies who share and are driven by a common vision. The people are too numerous to mention by name but they represent every facet of the city. From all levels of government, but especially local government, from NGOs and NPOs (non-profit organisations), from the private sector and from the community".

Our collective efforts have included public sector investment, private sector investment and addressing social and environmental problems in the area. Over the last year, we intensified our efforts around environmental cleanup, by-law enforcement, the better buildings programme and crime prevention- These are intended to send signals to criminals, slumlords and other elements that the turnaround of the inner city is gaining momentum and that our efforts will continue into this year.

The turnaround is indeed happening and the results speak for itself:

  • attendance at cultural and entertainment venues is up and continue to increase;
  • building plan approvals are up 500%;
  • vacancy rates for the city centre are down to 23,7%;
  • the Braamfontein node vacancy rate is down from 12,6% to 10,9% in the third quarter 2003;
  • business confidence is up with business expressing increased satisfaction with levels of cleanliness and the advances being made in the fight against crime; and
  • new investment into the city from the private sector - commercial and residential - continues to flow in what one journalist has described as 'the new gold rush'.

 

Drill Hall

I would like to turn to the Drill Hall project as an example of our commitment and intervention in the inner city. The old Drill Hall was an important part of our heritage. It was first built as military barracks and was later used as the first venue for the Treason Trial. It later became dilapidated, in a decaying surrounding area and was eventually destroyed in a fire.

The facility was redeveloped by the City of Johannesburg at a cost of R10-million. It will be opened in March 2004 and will meet the following objectives:

 

  • Promote investment in the area, by dealing with the problems of past decay
  • Commemorate the Treason Trial
  • Create a new public open space and recreational facilities
  • Introduce new uses that will stabilise the area and lead to regeneration through locating the Rand Light Infantry and the National Reserve Force Council (who have already moved in)
  • Create additional art gallery space

 

Informal Trading Markets and Taxi Facilities

Substantial progress is being made on the provision of informal trading markets and taxi ranking facilities. Metro Mall continues to operate at over 100% capacity for minibus taxis. The user pays principle is well established, with some 85% of taxi associations and informal traders paying their rentals timeously.

Agreements for the use of taxi facilities at the Faraday Market are nearing completion and should be finalised when building work at the rank is completed in March 2004. The muti traders have already moved in and now occupy all of the available space.

The new Windybrow Arts and Crafts Market to be built on land acquired by the Council in exchange for "write off of rates arrears" is now being designed and construction will start once the public consultation process has been completed.

 

Library Services

In 2004, library services in the City of Johannesburg will be involved in promoting a reading culture through the 'Want to Read' project, which involves ten libraries in Regions 6, 7, 10 and 11. Capital expenditure will be incurred on the upgrading and extensions at Hillbrow, Poortje and Protea Glen libraries. The library roof in Bryanston will be replaced and the children's sections at six libraries will be refurbished. Library services will also be involved in marketing maths, science and technology, in conjunction with other partners.

 

Sport and Recreation

Over the past year, sport and recreation provided support to external stakeholders on key events such as 702 Walk the Talk, Blue IQ Race, Red Bull Box Car Race, Soweto Marathon and 94.7 Cycling Challenge. These collaborations will continue in the new year. A major aspect of the city's work will be focused on facility development, including the development of the Diepsloot multipurpose centre, Orange Farm multipurpose centre and swimming pool, the Sisulu Centre for Children with Special Needs and the Tladi Skills Development Centre.

 

Municipal Enterprises

Our municipal enterprises - companies owned by the city - include the Civic Theatre, the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC), the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market (JFPM) and Metrobus.

The theatre's sterling performance will continue this year in terms of use of its stages (90%), income flows from shows, inclusion of premier South African productions and 80% capacity attendance. New equipment will be purchased to value of R6-million over the next few years.

The City of Joburg Property Company's role is to realise economic, social and financial returns on the city's property portfolio. Over this year, the property company will lease city-owned farmland properties for the development of a nature reserve at Rietvlei, 15 km south of the city centre. It will also be involved in Jabulani precinct development, which includes the revamping of the Jabulani Civic Centre and the redevelopment of the Jabulani hostel shops.

The Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market, the largest in Africa, is a source for fresh produce from some 12 000 farmers countrywide. Over 2004, it will construct a new banana-ripening complex, to the value of R12-million as well as upgrade its meat market. It will also establish satellite markets in the city centre and Soweto over the next few months to cater for small traders and disadvantaged communities.

The focus for Metrobus during the year will be on improving customer relations, complying with the published schedule through timeous departures and servicing of breakdowns and optimise overall cost recovery per route.

 

International relations

The city's approach to international relations is located within the national policy framework developed by the Department of Foreign Affairs, which emphasises south-south and intra-African relations. Our municipal international relations policy seeks to develop city-to-city links with key cities around the world, based on economic co-operation, cultural links, solidarity and mutual development.

We have concluded a comprehensive and exciting sisterhood agreement with the City of Addis Ababa and are in the process of signing agreements with Matola in Mozambique and Windhoek. Our engagement with the north is in the form of a sisterhood agreement with the City of New York and the City of Birmingham, United Kingdom. Over the next few months, the City will be signing an agreement with the City of London. A range of other agreements, signalling south-south co-operation, are also in the pipeline.

We have also played, and continue to play, key roles in multilateral organisations such as United Nations Advisory Committee on Local Authorities (UNACLA), which advises the head of UN Habitat on engagement of local governments with the United Nations and in the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives.

 

Performance Management

Given the complexity of managing a large, public sector organisation, the City of Johannesburg has developed a performance management system aimed at planning, monitoring and evaluating the performance of the administration. The focus is on the achievement of outcomes - predominantly in the area of service delivery.

We have appointed an independent assessment panel to determine performance of our senior managers, based on the notion that management should not assess themselves. This innovation has initiated a performance and results oriented culture in the administration.

 

Residents' Satisfaction

A few months ago, the city commissioned an independent, scientific study to determine the views of our residents on the performance of the city in relation to service delivery, governance and billing matters.

The study, conducted by Palmer Development Group found that:

  • over 70% of all residents were satisfied with the work of the city
  • over 50% of residents believe that services have improved
  • 58% of residents have confidence in Joburg as a city
  • overall satisfaction with basic household services and public safety is 60%

Although isolated voices in the media and certain opposition parties have portrayed a negative view of our efforts over the last couple of years, this study has unambiguously demonstrated that the majority of residents - drawn from leafy suburbs, township areas and informal settlements - share our belief that development and delivery have indeed taken place and hold an optimistic outlook for the future of our city.

This is not to suggest that we whitewash our problems and difficulties in effecting delivery, but that a balanced view will reveal that we have transformed the city, that we have improved service delivery on the ground, that we actively consult and engage our stakeholders and that we have equitably addressed the needs of our communities.

 

CONCLUSION

I have spelled out, in some detail, our work over this year and beyond. These initiatives reiterate our resolve to meet our goals and aspirations into the future.

Allow me, Programme Director, to spell out the highlights of the year 2004 that stand out for me:

Firstly, the opening of the new Constitutional Court on Constitution Hill will take place on 21 March. It is a singular honour that the highest court in the land and the upholder of the Constitution will make a permanent home for itself in our city.

Secondly, the winner of the 2010 World Cup bid of the 'beautiful game' will be announced in May. If this comes to pass, it will present huge social and economic opportunities for Johannesburg and indeed, South Africa as a whole. We hope that our efforts to secure the bid will bear sweet fruit.

Thirdly, former President Nelson Mandela will be awarded the Freedom of the City. We believe that this is a fitting tribute to one of our country's greatest heroes and legends.

Fourthly, we expect the national election to take place sometime in the coming months. It is a tribute to the strength of our democracy that we continue to ask for the mandate of our people on a consistent basis. I wish all political parties well during the election and call on all to contribute to a free and fair election.

Allow me to end by wishing all of you a productive and a prosperous 2004.

I thank you.

 


 

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Last Updated on 15 May 2007