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State of the City Address 2003 Print E-mail
30 January 2003

City of Johannesburg mayor, Amos Masondo, outlines progress the city has made and spells out challenges that lie ahead in his state of the city speech

Madame Speaker,

Members of the Executive Council
Members of the Provincial Legislature,
Members of the Mayoral Committee,

Fellow Councillors,

City Manager,
Managers and Officials,

Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Distinguished Guests,
The Media,

Fellow citizens,

We meet today, Madame Speaker, to reaffirm our commitment to a better tomorrow. We also gather this morning, to register the progress made by this local government, to reflect on problems encountered and to answer the question: What more should be done to build a better life for all our citizens in the City of Johannesburg?

Yes, we have indeed made significant progress. Even the worst cynics amongst us agree. Step by step, year by year, this City is changing for the better. Let me, however, hasten to add that more needs to be done at an even faster pace. The dream of our people wherever they may be must be fulfilled.

We are succeeding, Madame Speaker, because the overwhelming majority of our people stand four square behind us. We know that although we may be elected public representatives, entrusted with the clear mandate to govern, we need to engage with organisations and activities of civil society. Sometimes this is easier said than done but we need innovative and creative approaches to successfully interact, at times robustly, with civil society and these relevant organisations.

Such an engagement enables elected public representatives to remain sensitised to the concerns of communities and ensures that the general public remain aware of how government work.

We are succeeding Madame Speaker because we have a strategic plan. We know where we are and where we are going. We are clear on what the core competency of Council is, we have scanned the environment using a good methodology, we have found an unconquered hill and we are ready to take it, to hoist our flag and declare victory.

Yes, more needs to be done at a faster pace but we are ready to respond to the challenge.

Please allow me to restate that the City of Johannesburg faces many challenges that are similar, though not identical, to those facing many local democracies in the world:

· Urbanisation and pressures that come with migration;
· Service delivery which includes the management of the environment, access to health care facilities, provision of housing, unemployment and joblessness, water, electricity, roads, sanitation and others;
· Economic and a developmental role of local government;
· Participation and inclusion of civil society in processes of policy formulation;
· Information and communication revolution (Technological Change);
· Adaptation of best practice of governance experienced elsewhere to own local specifics and realities.

We are also meeting, Madame Speaker, in the year that will see us completing our midterm in office since the 5 December 2000 Local Government Elections. In this regard, our people deserve a detailed report on how we have faired in our work and I intend tabling such an account not later than June 2003 at an appropriate platform.

JOBURG 2030

In the 31st January 2002 State of the City Address, I spoke of our long term vision, the creation of the World Class African City and indicated that on the 19th of February 2002, the City will be launching the Joburg 2030 Strategy. Let me report back to you and indicate that indeed on 19 February 2002 we did launch and I am happy to report that the City now has the Joburg 2030 Strategy in place.

The three implications of this strategy are:

· Firstly, we must redimension the Council away from being essentially an administrator and service provider to being an agent for economic growth.

This will be achieved not only by placing new projects and activities on Council's agenda but importantly, by realigning existing activities and projects to contribute to sustainable growth.

· The second implication of 2030 is that the time scale for creating a World Class African City is realistically a 30-year time horizon.

The types of inefficiencies highlighted in the report, such as changing the trajectory of the economy and changing the skills of the labour force cannot yield results in anything but the long term, hence while short-term delivery must continue and be improved upon, many of the benefits of 2030 will be fully realised by the next generation.

This places pressure on all of us to show forward momentum in the short term without undermining our long-term vision.

· The third and final implication of 2030 for the Council is that we will need to increase our interactions and co-operation with the other spheres of government.

I am proud Madame Speaker to state that Johannesburg is the only Metro in South Africa with a comprehensive long term economic development strategy in place. In addition, a new directorate to implement the Joburg 2030 Strategy has been established. Needless to say, we are looking forward to positive results.

Let me conclude this part by quoting from the actual text of the vision statement:

“ in 2030 Johannesburg will be a World Class City with service deliverables and efficiencies which meet world best practice. Its economy and labour force will specialise in the service sector and will be strongly outward oriented such that the City economy operates on a global scale. The strong economic growth resultant from this competitive economic behaviour will drive up City tax revenues, private sector profits and individual disposable income levels such that the standard of living and quality of life of all the City's inhabitants will increase in a sustainable manner.”

This is where we are going.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Since taking office in 2000, we have recognised the value of public participation and public accountability as being key cornerstones for the creation of a better life for all our people.

In terms of Section 72 of the Municipal Structures Act of 1998, Council has formally adopted a policy framework for the establishment of Ward Committees. To date, 109 Ward Committees have been established.

Each Ward Committee consists of ten members from various sectors in a specific ward. This may include women, youth, religious groups, sports, culture, health, welfare, civic, education, older people and community forums. The chairperson of the ward committee is the ward Councillor.

The Ward Committee assists the Ward Councillor to carry out his/ her mandate. This includes obtaining public input into various Council processes, including the Local Integrated Development Plans and preparation for the Council budget.

These committees have the potential to deepen democracy and ensure ongoing contact with governance at a local level.

Madame Speaker, let me urge all communities to take advantage of this opportunity, every individual amongst us must become an active participant and make a meaningful contribution on all Council consultation processes.

Furthermore, the Mayoral Committee will continue to meet with various communities at regular intervals to solicit their views on a range of issues. It is worth noting the following details of dates and places where meetings were held: 

  • Date Region
  • 25/10/01 Alexandra Township (Region 7)
  • 22/11/01 Diepkloof (Region 10)
  • 13/12/01 Orange Farm (Region 11)
  • 09/05/02 Jabulani (Region 6)
  • 23/05/02 Roodepoort (Region 5)
  • 13/06/02 Midrand (Region 1&2)
  • 14/11/02 Jhb south (Region 9)
  • 11/12/02 Inner City (Region 8) 

We have also established a Petitions and Public Participation Committee. This is a committee of Council charged with a responsibility of receiving petitions from organised groups, civil society organisations and individuals. Not only are people listened to, the officials and managers are called upon to account and report on all issues raised in front of the affected persons.

We are doing the best we can to ensure that the views of the community are taken seriously and that appropriate action is taken.

The purpose of all of these initiatives is to deepen our democracy and bring government closer to the people, and together with the people bring about the necessary changes. We will sustain this democratic tradition well into the future.

INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT PLAN

In May 2001, Council provisionally approved the 2001/2002 City Development Plan (CDP). At that stage it was generally recognised by almost all stakeholders that the CDP (now termed IDP in line with legislation) did not meet most of the requirements of an IDP as set out in the legislation. Council thus embarked on a process to improve the quality and content of the 2002/2003 IDP process in line with the requirements of the Municipal Systems Act.

This is work in progress. In the IDP we have set clear targets to measure progress on all our key goals. Accordingly, through the IDP the City has been able to: 

· Undertake projects aimed at ensuring ongoing reconstruction and development;
· Reduce the level of crime by enforcement of by-laws as demonstrated in the way we continue to manage informal trading and increase Metro Police visibility as well as the highly publicised incidents where criminals are detected by installed surveillance cameras and arrested in the act.
· Implement the projects aimed at rejuvenation and regeneration of the Inner City as demonstrated in our work led by the Johannesburg Development Agency;
· Engage in intense discussions on the devolution of primary health care with the intention of ensuring implementation soon, intensify immunisation campaign, HIV/AIDS campaign and manage the Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

We remain committed to ensuring that there is effective financial management. The City intends to strengthen its financial planning and controls through the:

· Medium-Term Budget by June 2003;
· Feasibility study on activity-based costing, and
· Delivery of financial statements for the June 2002 financial year by March 2003.

The overall financial position of the City (current assets versus current liabilities) will also be improved during the first six months of 2003. 

Revenue

Revenue is the lifeblood of the City. Therefore improving revenue management remains critical. I am pleased to say that the City intends to continue improving the effective management of revenue through

· Implementation of the Revenue Shared Services Centre, with progress as per approved plan;

· Achieving 93% average payment performance for period June 2002 to May 2003; and
· Improving customer service levels.

Through these and other measures, the City wishes to ensure that it reaches a satisfactory level of payment and that our customers are given a professional service they deserve. 

Economic Development

Economic development in the City will continue through the last two quarters of the 2002/3 financial year, specifically through

· Visible implementation of 2030 projects and the
· Establishment of The Johannesburg Tourism Company,

Initiatives identified for implementation include:

Improving the skills base in the long term. A partnership with the CIDA City Campus (an innovative university serving low-income students in the heart of the inner city) will be concluded soon. Bursaries to attend CIDA to the value of R100 000 will be awarded this year.

The City will also be working closely with the Gauteng Department of Education to support selected schools and assist them to produce larger numbers of matriculation maths graduates, particularly from disadvantaged areas.

Successful partnerships with Investec Bank and Technikon South Africa has been established. This will ensure that we are able to boost the performance of small businesses in Joburg.

The Informal Trading Development Programme which is being rolled out, will allow us, through capacity building, to support traders as well as to manage the trading environment.

If we are to succeed in our endeavour to position the City as an agent of economic growth, we will have to lend our support and ensure that the big business sectors are thriving and growing.

The City's economic development team has a major focus on encouraging further investment in sectors that are already significant. These include information and communication technologies (ICT), financial services, food and beverage manufacture, medical services as well as to explore the much talked about international call centre industry.

The critical role of the City will be centred on its own ability to identify, after careful study, what will constitute catalytic projects.

This is necessary to ensure that the Joburg economy continues to provide an engine of growth, resulting in a virtuous circle of investment, employment and vibrant development.

PROVIDING A SOCIAL PACKAGE FOR THE POOR

Alleviation of poverty, if not its eradication, remains the central goal of local government and underlies the work that we do in Council.

In 2002/2003 budget, we announced the following:

A total of R335m was set aside to cover the cost of this social package that is meant to benefit approximately 250 000 households throughout the City.

We announced the following details:

· 100% rebate for property valued less than R20 001,
· 50kwh of electricity free per month to residents,
· 6 kilolitres of water to each household without any payment
· Sanitation and refuse removal for the elderly and the poor.

We call on all citizens, especially the poorest of the poor, to come forward and register at the relevant People's Centres to benefit from this government programme.

HOUSING

Housing is the second most important concern of our people after jobs. This matter requires special attention and a multi-pronged approach. The individual, the government, the private sector as well as non-governmental organisations and the community have an important role to play in addressing this matter.

Over the next three years we will be formalising informal settlements. This entails the provision of serviced stands and encouraging the residents to mobilise their resources and build their own houses.

We remain committed to converting hostels into family units, thereby integrating hostels within the fabric of communities.

We will continue to take stern action against land invasion and any informal illegal settlements. Having said this, let me restate that in dealing with this question, we will always abide by a humane approach.

We will also be exploring other innovative ways of dealing with this problem. This includes the development of a manual. Such a manual will, inter alia, deal with positioning of the dwelling on the site, north orientation for warmth, insulation against heat and cold, rain roofing, exclusion of rising damp and construction of foundations. Once the manual has been finished, it is envisaged that it will be distributed via the People's Centres, as well as NGOs and other agencies. It is envisaged that in the long term, building inspectors will be trained to advise residents on constructing a better quality of shelter.

PROMOTING SERVICE DELIVERY EXCELLENCE AND BATHO PELE

About twelve months ago we established a Call Centre. Since its establishment, the Call Centre has been inundated with calls from the public. When we say that every call from our customer means a lot to us, it is not just a cliché. We mean every word.

In time, we envisage that the Call Centre would be in a position to handle all customer queries efficiently, and thus inspire confidence in the ratepayers for the City indeed values every call.

I will be the first to admit that there is room for improvement with regard to the Call Centre. I must assure the public out there that measures are being taken to ensure that the Call Centre meets customer expectations.

I must also assure the citizens of Johannesburg that corrective measures will be taken in areas where there is underperformance.

HEALTH AND THE CHALLENGE OF HIV AND AIDS

HIV and AIDS remains one of the single biggest challenges facing the health of the citizens in Johannesburg.

On the 1st of December every year the City participates in the activities on World AIDS Day. In 2002, the City became part of a door to door campaign entitled ‘Siyakhuleka ekhaya'.

This activity was aimed at deepening the community's understanding of preventative measures against HIV/AIDS.

Through the Siyakhuleka campaign, the City and its partners was able to reach out to a substantial number of citizens throughout Johannesburg. The City allocated about R4 million to be used for:

· Door-to-door campaigns,
· The training of volunteers, and
· Campaign materials and publicity.

In the first half of this year, we will engage in a number of campaigns, including:

· Ensuring that 90% of fixed health institutions provide HIV/AIDS care, treatment of sexually transmitted infections, promotion and provision of condoms and provision of HIV counselling and testing services;

· Developing an integrated programme of HIV/AIDS Care by strengthening our initiative of establishing the Centre of Excellence in Hillbrow. We are confident that the ongoing work that is being done, will bear results.

· We will continue to support efforts aimed at accelerating research and testing on vaccines.

· Through the work that is being done in the Johannesburg AIDS Council we will be seeking to root out discrimination and stigma by building psycho-social support and developing an effective workplace programme.

· Collaborating with programmes targeting the youth.

· Reducing the number of identified buildings not complying with health regulations by 25%;

· Opening six clinics in the City i.e. Mzimhlophe, Tshepisong, Kaalfontein (Midrand), Vlakfontein (Region 11), Meadowlands (Phase 3 development) and Weilers Farm.

Our ultimate goal is to reach out to every citizen in the City and to provide information, care and support. 

FIGHTING CRIME

Men and women behind the badge continue to do the City proud. As more and more policemen and women swell the ranks of the Metro police, we have seen a steady improvement in law and by-law enforcement within the City.

Over the past months notorious hotels have been closed down and court orders have been issued for eviction of illegal tenants. Many buildings that contravene the City's by-laws have been dealt with.

Last August, the JMPD announced a year round multi focused campaign code named Operation Nude Ants. The campaign addresses all by-law violations such as outstanding warrants, illegal dumping, environmental health hazards, sale of live stock in residential buildings and open fire cooking on pavements and street corners, illegal occupation of land and hazardous buildings, liquor license violations, illegal taxi ranks, illegal connection of telephones and electricity, illegal trading and other crimes.

We are grateful to the commitment that has been shown to the city of Johannesburg by the other spheres of government in addressing the complex problems experienced in the inner city.

Social Workers will continue to assist with the necessary professional assistance, the Department of Home Affairs will intervene in matters related to illegal immigrants and we expect that the Department of Trade and Industry will make its own contribution by dealing with counterfeit goods. The South African Police Services (SAPS) and the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) will assist when additional law enforcement is required.

Since Monday 27 January 2003, we have stepped up the pace of ridding the City of crime and grime, especially in the Inner City and this campaign will further intensify. The message is clear: crime, any type of crime, has no place in our City.

The installed surveillance cameras have brought down violent crime by 80% over the past 18 months in the inner city. The City, working together with Business Against Crime is planning to install an additional 160 cameras in the city centre by June 2003.

On 21 November 2002 Council resolved to table the following twelve draft by-laws for consideration at the section 80 council committees:
· Cemeteries and crematoria;
· Culture and recreation;
· Emergency services;
· Encroachment on property;
· Metered taxi, minibus and bus;
· Parking grounds;
· Public health;
· Public open spaces;
· Public road and miscellaneous;
· Street trading;
· Waste management, and
· Water services.
The draft City by-laws have been extensively publicised in the media to allow members of the public to comment. The closing date for the submission of written comments is 14 February 2003.

Ward councillors and representatives from ward committees will receive a detailed briefing on these by-laws on 31 January 2003.

Public hearings will take place from 24-26 February 2003 as follows:

  • 24 February 2003: Representative bodies and other community groups;
  • 25 February 2003: Political parties
  • 26 February 2003: Members of the Public
We envisage finalising this process at the latest, by June 2003.

We are engaged in this elaborate process to ensure that the people are part of a process of crafting the laws that governs all residents in this city.

REJUVENATING THE INNER CITY

There are currently seven City Improvement Districts (CIDs)within the Inner City encompassing some forty blocks. Formal applications have been lodged with the City for Central and South Western CIDs. In addition, a number of property owners and business associations have approached the City to constitute other City Improvement Districts in 2003; these include Fordsburg and the ‘Chinatown' precinct.

The City is on the upturn. The demand for office space is growing and this is matched by an increase in rentals.

In order to effectively regulate the taxi industry, the City is developing a Taxi Rank Allocation Policy. In this way we will be setting, in close collaboration with the Gauteng Department of Public Roads, Works and Transport, uniform standards and criteria that will ensure transparency and fairness when ranking space is allocated. This will assist to eliminate conflict and potential strife.

The Johannesburg Development Agency is implementing a number of economic projects, including the development of Jeppe Station, Faraday Markets and Taxi Ranks, which will be completed by June 2003.

In Newtown, the upgrading of the public environment and the major new road infrastructure, consisting of the M1 Interchange and the Nelson Mandela Bridge are presently under way and will be formally opened on 20 July 2003.

Furthermore, Newtown is fast developing into a vibrant Cultural Precinct. The Fashion District, which is located in the City Centre is one of our catalytic projects. Most of these projects are carried out in collaboration with the Gauteng Provincial Government through Blue IQ.

In partnership with the City, SAPPI is developing its head office and upgrading Braamfontein Park. This links well with the Johannesburg Civic Theatre, Civic Centre and the Constitutional Hill.

By the end of 2005, JDA shall have completed the bulk of the Constitutional Hill Project, including retail developments and the development of residential units.

The redevelopment of the Drill Hall will be completed in the third quarter of 2003.

OTHER SPECIAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

The City is presently engaged in various special development projects in and around the City as well as in disadvantaged communities. These range from economic and social projects to infrastructure development. 

Soweto Development Programmes

In November 2002, Council approved the implementation of the Soweto Development Programme at a cost of R25m by the end of this financial year. The community of Soweto, through their participation in the Local Integrated Development Planning process, identified the areas that are targeted as priority.

Some of these projects include:
· Tarring of gravel roads around Moroka Dam and Orlando East;
· Installation of Public Lighting in Pimville, Mofolo North and Central, Chiawelo, Zola-Mndeni, Moroka, Moletsane, Jabavu and Phiri- Mapetla;
· Development and upgrading of 3.5 hectares NEAC Park located in Ward 45.
· Greening of Soweto and the development of parks, planting of trees, improvement of recreational amenities, restoration of ecological systems, and promotion of eco-tourism.
· River and wetland restoration projects involving the improved management of wetlands, bank stabilisation and clearing of alien vegetation, water quality and upgrading of infrastructure to reduce pollution impacts on rivers.
· Reduction of waste streams and promotion of recycling of waste material. 

Kliptown Project

The Kliptown Project is being undertaken jointly with the Gauteng Provincial Government through the Blue IQ. This project will bring to the community of Kliptown improved quality of life.

The Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication Project in Kliptown, will have been completed to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the Congress of the People on the 26th of June 2005. 

Moroka Dam Project

The Moroka Dam Project was perhaps the most successful project implemented to date and implemented with exceptional speed. This project was implemented on the eve of the hosting of the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in August-September 2002.

An amount of R20m was allocated into developing Moroka Dam. In a few months, this place had transformed considerably. Now Moroka Dam is one of the key leisure assets to surrounding communities. This project has provided us with key lessons and inspired great ideas for other possible projects presently under consideration.

COUNCIL UTILITIES, AGENCIES AND CORPORATISED ENTITIES

Council companies continue to perform well in supporting the key strategic objectives of Council. 

Johannesburg Water

In the first half of this year, Johannesburg Water will engage in the following projects:

· Commencement of prototype project for the rehabilitation of water and sanitation network, as well as site plumbing in Soweto;
· Conversion from deemed consumption to metered consumption.
· Commencement of a multi-year water conservation project entitled Operation Gcina'manzi to the tune of R350m.
· Delivery of sewer system to Stretford 4 and Orange Farm.

In addition, during the latter half of this year the City will:

· Introduce a simplified structure and reduced tariffs for all new connections;
· Commence a R50m Leeuwkop Retief Outfall Sewer to relieve capacity constraints in Northern drainage basin.

During the remaining three years of this Council's term of office, Johannesburg Water will have:

· significantly reduced the amount of unaccounted for water through operation gcina'manzi and similar programmes;
· upgraded services in informal settlements. 

City Power

In the period between July and December 2002, City Power has successfully implemented the following projects:

· Electrification of Vlakfontein Phase 1;
· Takeover of the Tsutsumani network in Alexandra and the quality supply and services;
· Implementation of the 50kw Free electricity,

In addition, City Power has provided electricity to over a thousand new conventional and electrification customers; benefiting areas mostly in disadvantaged communities such as Alexandra as well as advantaged areas such as Bryanston and Randburg.

In the next six months, further electrifications will take place in areas such as Matholeville, Vlakfontein, Kliptown, Randburg and Soweto.

In the next three years, City Power will:

· Implement Automatic Meter Reading and vending;
· Complete the Westfield Substation in Modderfontein;
· Upgrade and refurbish networks;
· Electrify the newly proclaimed areas;
· Install public lights 

Pikitup

In the first six months of 2003, Pikitup will:

· Finalise the rollout of 180 000 “240 litre bins” in Midrand, Randburg, Waterval and Norwood residential areas;
· Establish Waste Management User Forums

In the last six months of 2003, Pikitup will:

· Continue with the establishment of garden sites/recycling and buy back centres;
· Commercialise the Composite Plant in Roodepoort.

Over the next three years, Pikitup will:

· Start the process of establishing new landfill sites to replace the Linbro Park and Robinson Deep landfill sites;
· Carry out a feasibility study for a hazardous waste facility for the City;
· Assess the viability of public Private Partnerships with regard to regional landfill sites. 

Johannesburg Roads Agency and development projects

In the next six months the City will complete Phase 2 of the K43 route linking Soweto from the Old Potchefstroom Road into Union Road in Kliptown.

R54m will be invested into upgrading gravel roads across the City, with a main focus on the Soweto area.

In order to improve the maintenance and operation of the City's traffic signal system, the Johannesburg Roads Agency will explore the use of modern technology – the GSM Traffic Signal Monitoring System. The system makes use of the GSM cell-phone technology to automatically and immediately inform the control centre of problem in traffic signals.

This will enable our technical staff to be more effective in addressing problems related to traffic signals. This technology will benefit both the road users by reducing travel cost as well as Council by improving economic life in the City.

Already 133 units of this technology are being installed in areas where there are high failure incidents.

These and other development projects and programmes undertaken by the UACs have played a major role in bringing the City closer to its goal of creating a better life for all.

IMPORTANT ISSUES

Let me now turn to other important issues of the City. 

Soweto bombs

The ten bombs that went off in Soweto on 29 October 2002 and led to a serious injury and the loss of one life, deserves special mention.

It is gratifying however, to know that every councillor who spoke on this issue, irrespective of political affiliation, unequivocally condemned this dastardly deed.

We remain unanimous that acts of terror are not only inhuman, but also remain inimical to the democratic practice and the values of freedom. 

Floor Crossing Legislation

The watershed legislation was passed in 2002 allowing public representatives from political parties to switch allegiances and join other parties. This was an important step in processes seeking to further deepen our democracy.

In exercising their democratic right individuals from various political parties crossed the floor to join political parties of their choice. 

DA case

Let me state that despite the service delivery challenges, this Council has also been faced with a landmark case. I am making particular reference to the ”DA case”, which I described in my address on 14 December 2001 as a “low point in the work that we had done in council”.

The courts, in upholding the principle of democracy and majority rule, on 12 December 2002, closed the chapter when it ruled against the DA by indicating that a minority party was not entitled to any representation onto the mayoral committee. I am not raising this issue to reopen old wounds, but merely to make the point that now that the constitutional court has made its ruling, we should commit ourselves as councillors across the political spectrum to do everything in our power to address the bread and butter issues by putting services above self. 

Mayoral committee

It would be appropriate for me at this point Madame Speaker to make an important announcement in relation to the mayoral committee. In stepping up our efforts to maximise the important work being done by members of the mayoral committee, I've come to the conclusion that this committee requires a reshuffle.

Let me emphasise and reassure all of you that this minor change seeks to effectively harness the collective talent to the best interest of citizens. In this respect the reshuffle will affect two portfolios, namely Public Safety and Housing.

This decision follows a thorough consultation and discussions as is the tradition in the African National Congress. The decision therefore is: that with effect from 01 February 2003, Clr Sizakele Nkosi and Clr Strike Ralegoma will assume responsibilities for the portfolios of Public Safety and Housing respectively. 

New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and City-to-City Co-operation

As Council, we do not operate outside the country's strategic goals or development frameworks. In other words, Council is not working in isolation from the rest of the country, and indeed the globalising world. External factors and exigencies have a direct bearing on the City.

In pursuit to the goals of NEPAD this City will co-operate with other cities in Africa and elsewhere to make the African Renaissance a reality. In this hour, as we celebrate the excellent work being done by our President and his cabinet, to search for peace and put a lot of emphasis on development, the wisdom of following such a course becomes self evident. One only has to look at the impending war in Iraq to appreciate fully the pioneering role of our national political leaders.

The newly established South African Cities Network (SACN) is already pioneering the field of forging links between cities in Africa and beyond. Its aim is to promote good governance, improve competitiveness of South African cities within a globalising environment and seeks to redimension the role of municipalities to encompass economic development. 

World Summit on Sustainable Development

During the 26th of August to the 4th of September 2002, the City had the honour and privilege of hosting the Worlds Summit on Sustainable Development.

The Summit being the biggest-ever global gathering in the City, invariably the question that occurred in people's minds is: Are we ready to host this event as we claimed we are capable of doing?

The Summit has come and gone, and the world is unanimous that Johannesburg did a wonderful job.

Besides the financial spin offs which accrued from hosting the Summit, the name Johannesburg is etched to the memory of humanity and we have increased our understanding and strengthened our commitment to create a sustainable City. Now as we work locally, we think globally. We are committed to ensuring that the work that we do at local level find resonance with global trends and international best practice. 

ICC Cricket World Cup 2003

The City of Johannesburg is scheduled to host yet another international event - the eighth ICC Cricket World Cup in February and March of 2003. Again the City will be under the international spot light. We must succeed.

The United Cricket Board of South Africa, under the leadership of its President, Advocate Percy Sonn and the Executive Director of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, Dr Ali Bacher, have given us the assurance that all stops will be pulled to ensure that this event becomes a success.

Let me take this opportunity to welcome the leadership of the United Cricket Board of South Africa, the Captains of Canada and Pakistan and pledge on behalf of all citizens of our exciting and beautiful city, our unqualified support.

CONCLUSION

Madame Speaker, allow me conclude by reminding all of us that we have a moral responsibility to serve our people and ensure that the resources available are utilised to optimum levels. A better tomorrow is beckoning. Let us build a better life for all.

I thank you.

 


 

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Last Updated on 15 May 2007