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07/11/2016: GETTING THE BASICS RIGHT AS JOBURG READIES ITSELF TO DELIVER
07 November 2016
The political and administrative leadership of the City of Johannesburg last week forged a framework to grow the economy and create a conducive environment for businesses to create jobs. 
 
Residents of the City have demanded change and the City can no longer continue with ‘business as usual’. 
 
At a four-day Lekgotla attended by MMCs, Legislature leadership, both the outgoing and incoming City Managers, heads of departments, chairpersons of the boards and I, we all agreed that it is imperative that the City must work toward to achieve a minimum of five percent economic growth.
 
It is time for this City to focus on getting the basics of local government right in terms of the economic and service conditions that will bring about economic growth, job creation and good governance.  
 
Without economic growth at this level, we will not be able to reverse the crisis of unemployment and poverty in our City. We have more than 800 000 unemployed people in Joburg who need us to work closely with business to create work opportunities. We do not have the luxury of time.
 
The City will do away with wasteful, speculative investment programmes and divert resources to focus on our core mandate. Our focus cannot be on investing in projects where no business would invest. Our focus must be to incubate small businesses and fast-track their development into employers of our residents.  
 
One key element of our programme will be the development of the Inner City. I have briefed the administration on my vision to have the Inner City turned into a construction site by private developers. This will realise a vision of high rise, low-cost and affordable housing; office space for start-up and young professionals; and community projects that beautify our Inner City. 
 
The CoJ leadership identified ten new priorities for the new term:
 
1. Promote Economic Development and Investment to achieve a minimum of 5 percent economic growth by 2021 based on:
a) Inner city regeneration, including key economic nodes;
b) Increased infrastructure investment (from both public and private sectors) and
c) Working to cut red tape and improve the ease of doing business in the City.
 
2. Improve service delivery (performance and culture) based on:
a) Resolving challenges plaguing the billing system;
b) Fast-tracking service delivery, especially to poorer communities; and
c) Developing pro-active maintenance and service teams.
 
3. Improve Public Safety based on:
a) Increasing visible policing;
b) Addressing the shortage of 1 500 JMPD officers;
b) Establish specialised units within the JMPD;
b) Reducing petty crimes and enforcing by-laws; and
c) Focusing on drug abuse.
 
4. Pro-poor development based on amongst others:
a) Prioritising the formalisation of informal settlements;
b) Identifying land to be serviced before any human settlements are built;
b) Increasing the delivery of housing; and
c) fast-tracking acquisition of buildings in the Inner City for housing.
 
5. Responsive governance: Citizen, customer, business friendly by:
a) Driving the “service with pride” campaign;
b) Increasing responsiveness to billing problems;
c) Instilling best service standards by City employees; and
d) Finalising the skills audit. 
 
6. Good, clean governance with a focus on eliminating corruption based on amongst others:
a)  Increasing forensic investigative capability and controls; and 
b) Absorption of most municipal-owned entities into the City after consideration of a thorough review and due diligence.
 
7. Meaningful redress including:
a) Residents live, work and play close to work, leisure and cultural opportunities; and
b) Efficient and effective transport (Public and Freight) connecting home, work, culture and leisure.
 
8. Preserving our resources for future generations based on amongst others:
a) Interventions to mitigate water shortages; and
b) Interventions to mitigate electricity constraints.
 
9. Enhancing our financial sustainability by: 
a) Cutting wasteful expenditure on non-core functions;
b) Improving revenue collection; and
c) Focussing on driving up capital expenditure investment in infrastructure.
 
10. Smart City and Innovation based on:
a) Enhanced access to ICT infrastructure, including free Wi-Fi and
B) focused improvement of ICT equipment and software.
 
These priorities will be part of a set of messages being put out to residents through the Integrated Development Plan to facilitate engagement with our residents and other key stakeholders. 
 
It is important for us to create an environment that will allow businesses to thrive. This means making local government more responsive to the needs of the community. It means making corruption our number one enemy. It means issuing title deeds to those awaiting them so we increase property ownership. It means amending supply chain policies to ensure increased transparency while also paying suppliers within 30 days.
 
Investors and residents should expect increased focus on the Joburg CBD. We are looking at increasing the number of JMPD officers on the ground to focus on general safety but also by-law enforcement. One of the things I am excited about is the possible re-introduction of Municipal Courts to enforce these by-laws.
 
While we have a responsibility to help educate people about the importance of not littering and living in a clean environment, we equally have a responsibility to take action against residents who fail to obey these laws.
 
Following the conclusion of the Lekgotla, the administration’s united focus now turns to the promise of change. Change that will create jobs, deliver better services and stop deep-rooted corruption.
 
Herman Mashaba
Executive Mayor
City of Johannesburg
 
For further information, please contact:
 
Gabu Tugwana
Spokesperson
Office of the Executive Mayor
City of Johannesburg
Tel: 011 407 7040, Cellular: 082 495 5673, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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