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All eyes on Mayor Mashaba’s first State of the City Address Print E-mail
02 May 2017

Johannesburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba will deliver his highly anticipated maiden State of the City of Address (SOCA) at the newly built R280-million state-of-the-art council chamber tomorrow, May 3.

The speech, which comes nine months after he ascended high office following the 3 August 2016 local government elections, is expected to set the tone for his administration for the next four years. It is delivered shortly after thousands of Johannesburg residents gave the City during the rollout of month-long Integrated Development Plan (IDP) consultative sessions a diverse shopping list of service delivery projects they want implemented to enhance their quality of life.

It also comes about two weeks before Member of the Mayoral Committee for Finance Dr Rabelani Dagada presents the City’s 2017-2018 Budget, also his first. This is the first time since the advent of democracy in 1994 that Johannesburg is not run by South Africa’s governing party – the African National Congress (ANC) – but by a coalition government led by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and includes the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Mayor Mashaba’s speech is in the main expected to centre on his administration’s Nine Key Priorities, chief among which is the promotion of economic development and attraction of investment to achieve 5% growth and 6% unemployment reduction by 2021.

The Mayor, who always maintains that “a Johannesburg that works is a South Africa than works”, is expected to spell out how these targets will be reached during the current five-year municipal term. He is also expected to highlight the changes and achievements that have been made in areas such as public safety, housing, financial sustainability, environment, fight against corruption and business and economic development since the new administration took over the reins nine months ago.

Considering the number of observations he has made and gaps he has identified since becoming Mayor, residents can expect Mashaba to make major announcements regarding a number of issues, including the radical rejuvenation of the Johannesburg inner city, which he believes holds the key to unlock the city’s massive economic potential.

Following the canning of Jozi@Work, a mass empowerment and job-creation programme established during the previous administration, Mayor Mashaba might use the SOCA to announce its replacement.

Other aspects that he might also touch on include the City’s integrated transport system, green and Smart City initiatives, the future of the Corridors of Freedom, spatial development, the “formalisation” of informal settlements, to mention a few.

The Mayor could also use the platform to further clarify his stance on foreign nationals after he was widely criticised of being xenophobic. In his pronouncements on the issue, Mashaba has always emphasised that only documented and law-abiding migrants are allowed in Johannesburg.

The issue was brought back into the public discourse last week when new Police Minister Fikile Mbalula was quoted as saying: “There are people from Zimbabwe who crossed the line here. They run away from the military in Zimbabwe and promote criminality in South Africa.”

Security is expected to be tight to ensure the SOCA is delivered without any disruptions.


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Last Updated on 03 May 2017