It's time for the City of Joburg to reflect on and re-evaluate its future growth and development, look at its progress and identify trends. There are ever-changing economic and social forces that affect South Africa, and indeed the world, and the City of Johannesburg must take heed of these in building a productive, sustainable, liveable and caring city.
Nationally, the New Growth Path, the establishment of the National Planning Commission, and the reshaping of the Department of Human Settlements are a few of the developments that are shaping South Africa, and thus affecting its cities.
Dynamics shaping development include migration, globalisation and capital mobility, climate change, and balancing competitiveness with liveability in light of increasingly scarce resources.
It is against this backdrop that the City of Johannesburg is reviewing its Growth and Development Strategy (GDS), setting out aims and plans to take us into the middle of the 21st century.
This is where you come in. We need creative and innovative ideas that will help make Johannesburg a vibrant, dynamic and caring place to live, work and play. We are running a nine-week campaign to discuss ways in which we can all take ownership of our city's growth and development.
Each week we will look at a specific theme:
- Liveable city;
- Resource sustainability;
- Health and poverty;
- Community safety;
- Economic growth; and
- Smart city.
This will be followed by an international conference.
In conclusion, we will draw up a ground-breaking GDS that all of us can be proud of and that will benefit all of us
City strategies have gained prominence over the last decade, helping policy makers take into account the complexity of city development and growth. The GDS is closely tied to the five-yearly Integrated Development Plan (IDP). The GDS charts the long-term strategic course of the City, and makes some of the bigger, overarching decisions about what to emphasise if Joburg is to accelerate economic growth and human development. The IDP defines where we want to be after five years, and how we intend incrementally achieving long-term goals.
These strategies are formulated with the City vision in mind:
"In future, Johannesburg will continue to lead as South Africa's primary business centre, 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 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, everyone will be able to enjoy decent accommodation, excellent services, the highest standards of health and safety, and quality community life in sustainable neighbourhoods and vibrant urban spaces."
We have set 2040 as the target date for the GDS: in each decade we will identify a set of achievable outcomes. GDS2040 is about incremental structural changes for a new developmental growth path in the city.
We will, in every decade, consolidate, act and realise our goals towards a sustainable, humane and equitable city.