aresebetseng banner

 IDP Banner


Tariffbanner 2017



itl click thru




emergency blue

011 375 5911; 10177

general blue

PAIA, 2000 (Act 2 of 2000) 

home > Speeches
other city news
The 2012 'State of the City' address
22 March 2012

State of the City Address by the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Councillor Mpho Parks Tau, Council Chamber, Metro Centre, Braamfontein – Johannesburg.

 Theme for 2012: Committing to a promising future: A City that is resilient, sustainable and livable

Executive mayor Parks Tau Madam Speaker – Cllr Constance Bapela
MECs and Members of the Provincial Legislature
Executive Mayors
Chief Whip of Council: Cllr Prema Naidoo
Members of the Mayoral Committee
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Leaders of all Political Parties
All Chairpersons of Council Committees
Fellow Councillors
City Manager: Mr Trevor Fowler
Managers and Officials of Council
Distinguished Guests
Civil Society Organisations
The Media
Fellow Citizens
Ladies and Gentlemen


Madam Speaker, we all have fond memories and great experiences of this city. We call it by many names, and it represents different things to us.

Originally, tens of thousands of years ago Johannesburg was inhabited by indigenous people. They lived in the Johannesburg area until about AD 1060 when the Tswana speaking people migrated to the area. These early settlements were vulnerable to changes in climate, and population would have waxed and waned over the years. The earlier settlements died out, and it was only in the 1700s that these groups re-established themselves in the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve. Officially the settlement was declared by Paul Kruger on the 4th October 1886 after the discovery of gold mine deposits.

The City has grown from a small prospecting settlement with people coming from all over South and Southern Africa and the world. Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa, with a current population of 3.8 million; the city's households are projected to increase from 1.3 to 1.5 million and its population to 4.1 million by 2015. All over the world, songs and poems have been written about Johannesburg. Many of these capture historical moments, joys and sadness about our city. They also celebrate its beauty and its people. An outstanding musician of our time Hugh Masekela in his song "Stimela" describes the experiences of some of those who came to Johannesburg:

There is a train that comes from Namibia and Malawi
there is a train that comes from Zambia and Zimbabwe
There is a train that comes from Angola and Mozambique,
from Lesotho, from Botswana, from Swaziland,
from all the hinterland of Southern and Central Africa
This train carries young and old, African men,
who are conscripted to come and work on contract
in the golden mineral mines of Johannesburg
and its surrounding metropolis, sixteen hours or more a day
for almost no pay
Deep, deep, deep down in the belly of the earth
when they are digging and drilling that shiny mighty evasive stone,
or when they dish that mish mesh mush food
into their iron plates with the iron shank.
Or when they sit in their stinking, funky, filthy,
flea-ridden barracks and hostels
They think about their loved ones they may never see again
Because they might have already been forcibly removed
from where they last left them

This song about coal trains symbolizes dislocation, forced removals, the leaving of loved ones, insecurity and upheaval.

The late Sol Plaatjie said; "Awaking Friday on 20 of June, 1913, the South African native found himself, not actually a slave, but a pariah in the land of his birth"...On the plight and status of the Native South Africans, Plaatjie went on to write that "The 4 500 000 black South Africans are domiciled as follows: one and three-quarter in locations and reserves, over half a million within the municipalities or in urban areas, and nearly a million as squatters on farms owned by Europeans.

The remainder are employed either on the public roads or railway lines, or as servants by European farmers, qualifying, that is, by hard work and saving to start farming on their own account".

They came from a variety of countries, as part of a cohort of Cape Malay slaves in which the Dutch East India Company traded in 1658. They came as labourers to work on the sugar cane plantations of Natal Colony and later migrated to Transvaal to work in the mines, growing vegetables consumed by the white population. They came to Transvaal in ox-wagon and on horseback as part of the Great Trek that established independent Boer republics.

They came as farmers; they came to mine gold and to trade, mostly young African men. Some of them came in order to earn money to pay lobola. Others came hoping to find jobs so that they could pay their taxes, or buy guns or tools like horses and ploughs for their land. For many years most labourers did not come to stay. They went home as soon as they had earned enough money.

They walked, rode on horseback or came by ox-wagon. Ships from Europe were no longer passing South Africa to Australia and New Zealand; instead boatloads of men arrived at ports and hurried to catch the next coach to the Transvaal hoping to find the riches of their dream. Others came to make money from the needs of the people who mined the gold. The sellers of land, lawyers, traders, shopkeepers, ox-wagon drivers, barbers, and hawkers.

Madam Speaker, when the history of this great city is told, we do not celebrate the fact that Melville Koppies was home to prehistoric people as long ago as 100 000 years. Gold was not new to the Transvaal. Africans had mined gold hundreds of years earlier. In most cases this gold ran out, forcing small towns to close down. The evidence of dry stone walling at the Koppies suggests permanent settlements in the area. The same walling can be seen at the 600-hectare Klipriviersberg Nature
Reserve, just south of the city. This is indeed an indication that Johannesburg has a rich history far older than colonialism and the gold rush would have us believe. The evidence of these early settlements can be seen in the artefacts of iron-smelting debris - fragments of charcoal, slag raw iron and broken blowpipes on the floor of the furnaces in Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve. The difference is that the gold discovered in 1886 ran for miles underground, almost endlessly.

It must be poignant Madam Speaker that the untold history of this city is found hidden in its Nature Reserves. That part of our past in tucked in the middle of these reserves that continue to preserve the biodiversity that nature offers us. These treasures of nature are home to Namaqua Rock Mouse , African Civet, Lesser Spotted Genet, Slender Mongoose, Black-headed Heron, Purple Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, African Sacred Ibis, Bushveld-Bunkenveld vegetation type and others.They are about our collective heritage we share with the animal species including the Rhino (Tshukudu) in our country. May I add Madam Speaker that it is correct that we should fight for the preservation of our collective heritage including the Rhino, which is under threat of extinction.

Eighteen years into our democracy, it is therefore appropriate to indicate that as we gather here today, this occasion is taking place at an important time in the history of our country, as we celebrate 100 years of selfless struggle by the people of South Africa in pursuit of freedom, democracy and unity. In January this year, the oldest liberation movement on our continent celebrated its centenary. Yesterday we celebrated Human Rights Day.

The significance of Human Rights Day has resulted in the United Nations designating March 21st as the International Day for the elimination of racism and racial discrimination.

Therefore, to us these celebrations:

  • are a product of the labour and sweat of South African men and women from all walks of life;
  • should serve as a collective memory that together we fought against injustice and repression of the apartheid government; and
  • should serve as a reminder that we are capable of tackling the challenges of poverty, inequality, exclusion and underdevelopment.

Human Rights Day emphasizes that the rights contained in our constitution has come at a great cost in lives and misery. These human rights, therefore, comes with great responsibility to protect our democracy by never violating the rights of others, never destroying our hard won gains by damaging the people's property and always ensure our voices are heard through peaceful means.

Madam Speaker, we speak here of our past so that we can understand the present. We consider the present to enable us to chart our future. Speaking in 1978 in Canada, former President Thabo Mbeki said: "If the saying 'Out of nothing nothing comes' is true, then it must follow that the future is formed and derives its first impulse in the womb of the present. All societies therefore bear the imprint, the birthmarks of their own past".

Ours is a history rooted in the creation of life, in the birth of humanity, rich biodiversity, rich mineral wealth, but sadly, it is also a history of racism, racial discrimination, separate development and sexism. It is a history of separate and own affairs authorities. Ours is a past of separate local authorities. It is also a history of struggle for a single tax base and integrated local authorities. It is about the historic moments of negotiating in the local government chamber to building integrated metropolitan areas, finally realized during the local government elections in the year 2000.

Madam Speaker, our history has and continues to be a significant sign post for the City of Johannesburg as we look to improve the lives of our residents. Ours is also a future of hope. A future of prosperity, of non-racialism, non-sexism and democracy. It is a vision to build a society fundamentally different from the one we have inherited – a society where your ability to achieve, your talent, potential and skill is not inhibited by race, gender or class.

As we commit to a promising future, we take lesson in the Reconstruction and Development Programme we adopted just after we became a democracy, where we committed "to mobilise all our people and our country's resources towards the final eradication of apartheid and the building of a democratic, non-racial and non-sexist future".

We made this declaration because we believe that "our people, with their aspirations and collective determination, are our most important resource". It is therefore in our ability to mobilise the collective energies and efforts of the people of Joburg that we can overcome the obstacles that lay ahead with respect to our transformation agenda.

Building on a solid foundation
Madam Speaker, while the new democratic South Africa has ensured political participation, created access to economic participation and enabled the freedom of movement of people, the transformation has not been equally beneficial for all. This is mirrored within the City. Thus, while Johannesburg has changed politically, transformation from a spatial, socio-economic perspective, remains a dream to be fulfilled.

In his closing remarks at his last state of the city address in this chamber, our former Mayor - Amos Masondo, who led this City from 2000 to 2011 said: "We have indeed established a solid foundation and challenge those who come after us to set even higher standards ..." Madam speaker, if we are to rise to this challenge, it is necessary for us to reflect on this foundation.

Institutional Development
We inherited a City that was deeply divided along racial lines. People were excluded from amenities, from basic services and from participation in the mainstream of
economic and social activities based on the colour of their skin. The city of Johannesburg now exists as a single metropolitan municipality. The establishment of the uni-city after the 2000 election was a key milestone of the transformation process that began in the early nineties.

The city's transformation plan was aimed at enhanced and cost-effective service delivery through reduced fragmentation, the elimination of duplication, improved accountability, increased focus on human resource development and the provision of

incentives for performance. From an organisational perspective it sought to put in place 'sensible' structures that could deliver services at greater levels of efficiency. These structures included the establishment of municipal entities, as well as the creation of a central uni-city administration and administrative regions.

Financial sustainability
From the broke and financially dependent Black Local Authorities and the financial crisis of 1997, we boast a municipality with stable finances which has been described as exemplary. The City of Johannesburg was the first municipality to tap into the South African Capital Markets. Today we can say with much confidence that our institution and entities are much stronger and our financial position is sound. This is demonstrated aptly by the five municipal bonds that we have issued. In fact, the City is a pioneer in the capital market funding of municipalities in our country.

Urban Regeneration
The Inner City of Johannesburg faced, what one can describe, as accelerated degeneration from the early 1990's and today we can celebrate the turn-around as demonstrated by Newtown, Brickfields, Marshalltown and the Art on Main in Doornfontein. Reflecting on what the new developments mean to this city, renowned philosopher and political scientist Archille Mbembe wrote: "The meanings of the Nelson Mandela Bridge lies in the city's transformation (transmogrification) from a racist society to a future motivated by the celebration of freedom and prosperity under the banner of democracy ..."

It is important to note that part of our legacy is constituted of the following: Joburg is South Africa's largest and wealthiest City; it accounts for 16% of the country's GDP; and it is the headquarters to and hosts the nation's largest corporations, financial institutions, media houses, law firms, the Johannesburg Securities Exchange and many other organisations.

Headquarters of some of our biggest companies remain in central Johannesburg. These include: Standard Bank, ABSA (Barclays), First National Bank, Transnet, Anglo American, Billiton, The Star newspaper, the Chamber of Mines, and Credit Suisse.

The significance of the Inner City to the economy and position of Johannesburg is demonstrated by the fact that the real estate investors have been showing a healthy appetite for buildings in central Johannesburg, which some people say nobody wants to occupy because of crime. Many buildings are entirely occupied and functional. These range from the Carlton Centre, which is more than 95% fully utilised by Transnet, SARS and others, to many other smaller office blocks.

Together with our partners we have made significant strides in revitalising the Inner City, attracting new investment, significantly reducing crime levels and taking strong action against urban grime and decay. Madam Speaker, the Inner City continues to grow from strength to strength as the economic core. Madam Speaker: Let me make the point: the character of the CBD is changing from being exclusive and conservative to an inclusive, vibrant, multi-cultural African city centre.

Some of our model housing developments are evident in the development of Cosmo City, Pennyville, Tsutsumani and more. We speak of Brickfields, Lehae and now Fleurhof and Lufhereng. The housing provision is of better quality, providing more options and is located closer to work. These are just typical housing projects but demonstrate our continued commitment to building sustainable human settlements and creating a better life for all. This has gone a long way to change the landscape of Joburg.

During the elections, I went to all the corners of our City. Through our direct contact with the people – in townships, in suburbs, in the informal settlements, in churches, in schools as well as business communities, we received feedback on the progress and the message was consistent: "We appreciate the work you doing, but we want faster change". Madam Speaker, I received a letter from a resident in Lehae. I would have liked her to be here but we heard that there is a death of a close relative. We like to take this moment to pass on our condolences to her and the family of the deceased.

Madam Speaker, more people than ever before now have access to basic services; water and sanitation, electricity and waste removal. Over 30 000 households in the informal settlements have been provided access to basic water in the form of communal standpipes and over 30 000 households were provided access to basic sanitation.

We have also increased the City's coverage to 98% for basic water and 91% for basic sanitation. Most households in the City now have access to electricity. The City has also been able to deliver free basic services to the poor and indigent communities. This includes 10 kilo litres of water and 100 kilo watts per hour of electricity per month, as well as the related rebate on sanitation and rates.

Transportation and the Rea Vaya BRT
Rea Vaya has indeed not just been an ordinary transport intervention. It is about the use of alternative energy, connecting communities across the City and helping to integrate the transport system. It also provides quality, cheap, reliable, fast, safe and clean transport. It is also about the broad-based black economic empowerment in a modern transport system which has empowered Taxi operators to be integrated in bus transport business. Finally, it is also about modernising our transport system. Madam Speaker: Let me a tribute to the taxi operators and passengers who paid the ultimate price – their lives – in taking this bold step to modernise our transport system.

Rea Vaya, is one of the City of Johannesburg's legacy projects that truly represents a new chapter in the history of public transport. The journey that led us to this has been one of tireless commitment and determination by the City, our partners and the residents of Johannesburg.

Health and Social Development
Madam Speaker, in our commitment to fight the HIV and AIDS pandemic and increase awareness about the disease, Johannesburg operates 50 clinics where people can access ARV treatment, testing and counselling.

We recognise that promoting social inclusion is more than just providing a social safety net. It is also about the creative industries and the role of arts, culture and heritage in building better communities. It is also critical in ensuring that inequality and social exclusion are fundamentally addressed.

Expanded Social Package
Madam Speaker, structural poverty remains a challenge, with a large proportion of the City's population still living in material income deprivation. The extremely high levels of income inequality are indeed a cause for concern.

In this regard the city recognises that the multi-faceted and complex nature of poverty alleviation needs a far more coordinated approach where community development, personal growth and social mobility are enhanced. Our partnership with provincial and national government departments, civil society and business will continue as we scale up our poverty alleviation programmes.

The redevelopment of Soweto probably is the microcosm of the work undertaken in this period. It cannot just be described by the number of kilometres of roads. It is also about what these developments represent. They boast the now world recognised Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit system anchored in Soweto and the Inner City.

We boast of World Class facilities, like the Orlando Stadium. Soweto has been host to the FIFA concert that featured the likes of Shakira and Freshly Ground. Two weekends ago Soweto hosted the world famous singer Usher. It is in this same stadium that the Bulls played against the Crusaders on 23 May 2010, in what was the first ever foray by first class rugby into historically black townships and, if I may say, the Super 14 nogal. The experiences of the many rugby followers and the hosts - the residents of Soweto - will go down as one the important moments in our transitional history.

Madam Speaker, we have hosted in Soweto World Class tennis events and will in the next few weeks be host to the Davis Cup tie between South Africa and Slovenia. I acknowledge the role played by Councillor Zondi and his colleagues in the SA Tennis Association in bringing this tournament to Soweto. This will go a long way in opening up opportunities for our children to take part in sport, and in the fight against crime, drug abuse, obesity and lack of exercise.

Soweto is a township that has world class Olympic size swimming pools, as well as standard heated swimming pool in Pimville. In the next few weeks, we will be launching a state of the art theatre in Soweto.

Sowetans today do not have to leave for the suburbs on their wedding day to find a picturesque spot for wedding photos, as they have well established parks like Dorothy Nyembe and Thokoza Park in their own area.

Soweto is now a melting pot of South African cultures and has developed its own sub-cultures - especially for the young. It is now also the place to be when you want to wine, dine, be entertained and participate in sport. It is now a welcoming place where people mingle and interact in the streets. These developments have spurred community pride in Soweto, increased value in their community – Soweto is the place to be – it has status!

We like former President Nelson Mandela note that "Every summit that we climb leads to a realisation that there are many more summits yet to ascend". As we celebrate the progress we have made, we should not become complacent. Our Progress should instead inspire us to lift the bar and become even more diligent and focused in addressing the complex challenges that face us.

Madam Speaker, I suppose that the most important lessons we have to learn from the challenges presented to us by former Mayor Masondo was aptly reflected in a recent report published by Kevin Allan and Karen Heese from Municipal IQ which attributes the progress in Johannesburg - despite challenges - to political will, an ambitious focus on finance and innovation.

2011 Local Government: Agenda Setting
The people of Johannesburg, during the election campaign articulated to us quite clearly that they need value for their money. We must therefore lift the bar. They also indicated that they want us to:

  • lead a municipality that is functional and responsive to the needs of our citizens;
  • provide quality services and address the basics;
  • Continue with the agenda for transformation;
  • communicate and engage citizens on the developmental agenda for the City; and
  • Partner with them in tackling developmental challenges.

Accelerated Service Delivery Programme
Madam Speaker, we also said fundamental transformation of the city cannot happen if we continue to operate in a sub-optimal service environment. Hence, early in this term of office, we focussed on improving service delivery provision. Based on the challenges we are facing, we collectively developed a comprehensive and integrated approach to service delivery.

Although a number of gains have been recorded around service delivery, we remain extremely concerned about some of the on-going challenges that impact on the quality of services that our residents are experiencing on a daily basis.

Madam speaker: We acknowledge the billing and customer services remain source of frustration for many of our valued customers. We share their concerns. Therefore, billing and customer services remain one of our top focus areas in ensuring that we regain the trust and confidence of our residents. It is not acceptable for people to wait long periods of time to have calls answered, or have calls dropped when they eventually get through.

The announced roadmap is designed to bring about a 'step-change' in Johannesburg's billing and revenue collection system and to improve the quality of the customers' interaction with the City. Madam Speaker, we are making steady progress in improving customer interface, in strengthening our revenue collection service and restoring confidence in the integrity of our billing system.

Institutional Renewal
Madam Speaker: This council approved a high level institutional design to give effect to the Joburg 2040. Since then we have appointed the city manager and senior management which will enhance the City's financial health and sustainability, administration processes and accountability as well as the delivery of services. We are also finalizing the appointment of the remainder of senior management and the Board Members of the Municipal Entities.

We will ensure that all employees in our city serve the people of Johannesburg with honesty and diligence and that they work even harder to ensure that we improve service delivery so as to pave the way for the long-term realisation of Joburg 2040. The Cornerstone of our Developmental Trajectory: "Joburg 2040: 3 Decades of Change".

We committed at the acceptance speech to initiate a process of review of the Growth and Development Strategy. This process was preceded by extensive research which laid the basis for the discussions that ensued and ultimately the actual Joburg 2040 as adopted.

Madam Speaker, our research confirmed that the poor continue to eat "Mish Mash Mush" food as eloquently stated by Bra Hugh Masekela in his song – Stimela. Sometimes it is all they have to eat. A study conducted by the Independent Development Trust (IDT) indicates that about 42% of the poor people in Johannesburg are food insecure – they don't have a meal three to four days in a month.

The following are some of the challenges facing the city currently:

Madam Speaker, the City of Johannesburg is characterised by rapid population growth, both through migration and natural increase. Currently the City has a population of about 3.8 million people.

Migration is mainly the result of social and political upheaval, poverty, war and colonialism. As people moved to the cities they brought with them their culture,  their mannerisms and their longing for a better life.

The majority of the migrants are poor, unskilled and young, and come from other provinces in search of employment opportunities. Others come to Johannesburg in search of economic opportunities or due to instability and political unrest, persecution, intimidation, torture, and human rights abuses in their countries.

Although these migrants do not all live, as in Masekela's song, in "stinking, funky, filthy, flea-ridden barracks and hostels", the majority of them are forced to live in squalid conditions, high-jacked inner city buildings and in informal settlements.

All of these come with their own set of challenges, including the need to expand the provision of services. These residents have competing aspirations and make different claims to the City. In Johannesburg, we acknowledge the migrants bring cultural, political and social plurality to our City.

Aging infrastructure
Madam Speaker, the growth in our population implies an increasing urgency for us to develop and expand our socio-economic infrastructure. The Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is a grim legacy, as in Masekela's song, of "the digging and drilling of the shiny, mighty evasive stone" from porous dolomite along the 75 km 'ridge of white waters' in and around Johannesburg.

There is an urgent need for investment in the upgrading of water reticulation systems, storm water, electricity substations, the road infrastructure network and waste treatment plans in order for us to facilitate local economic activity and create an enabling environment for economic growth.

To this end, it is estimated that over the next 10 years the City will need to invest over R100 billion on infrastructure development and upgrading.

Inequality and poverty
In his State of the Nation Address earlier this year, President Zuma stated the following: "I would like to appeal to all our people to join hands as they always do, as we deal decisively with the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality. Nobody will do this for us, it is in our hands. And we are all equal to the task."

In the last 10 years (2000-2010), the City of Johannesburg has made huge investments in infrastructure and housing development; however poverty remains and inequality has been increasing steadily.

High unemployment contributes to high inequality levels, evident in the City's gap in income between the rich and the poor – a Gini coefficient of 0.63 in 2009 – one of the highest in the world. An important point to note is that poverty in the City of Johannesburg is geographically concentrated. This follows the pattern of residential segregation enforced during the apartheid period.

Madam Speaker, our socio-economic reality mirrors that of South Africa - one that consists of two separate economies; an advanced, increasingly globally integrated first economy and an informal, marginalised second economy, with a structural disconnection between the two.

Climate change and environment
Climate change has emerged as a significant factor in city management globally. High temperature variability and unpredictability have led to disasters which in 2009 claimed thousands of lives globally and led to economic losses of USD billions.

Madam Speaker, the impact of global warming is already visible in Johannesburg.

We have all witnessed the changing rainfall patterns and the devastating floods, impacting heavily on especially the poor, as well as on the City's infrastructure. Despite the heavy rains, we sometimes forget that part of the water in Joburg comes all the way from the Lesotho Highlands Scheme. We need to use it wisely and focus on both the demand and supply mechanisms to protect it.

Therefore, the impact of climate change requires adaptive capacity and skills in the city, especially regarding our infrastructure system, but most importantly empowering communities with knowledge and the necessary skills in responding to these unpredictable weather patterns.

We also argue that the appreciation as well as a collective understanding of what the now presents (in terms of challenges) creates an opportunity to advance the common goals of socio-economic prosperity, advancement and inclusion.

Central to this is our ability to develop the knowledge and skills to adapt and plan for change and future uncertainties in an increasingly inter-connected, unpredictable and globalised world.

Fellow residents, with these in mind, we recognise the need to achieve a balance between the social and governance focus of management and adopting a business approach to the operational aspects of managing the City. Like any public sector business, the City needs to allocate and utilise its resources in the most efficient manner possible to achieve its strategic objectives as well as fulfill the requirements of transparency and accountability. This requires consensus on how to realize this vision.

As with the first GDS, we articulated a paradigm for developmental local government which was broadly agreed by all stakeholders. We have agreed on a common vision for the future. Our collective vision is about:

"Johannesburg - a World Class African City of the Future – a vibrant, equitable African city, strengthened through its diversity; a city that provides real quality of life; a city that provides sustainability for all its citizens; a resilient and adaptive society."

Joburg. My City – Our Future!

Madam Speaker, to us Joburg 2040 is about achieving resilience, sustainability and liveability:

Resilience: is about our ability to work together and support each other in times of need. It is also about our ability to adapt to difficult situations by recognizing the strengths and assets and by having the capacity to mobilize them in times of need.

Sustainability: is about getting rid of inequalities and poverty as well as the creation of better life for all. It is about striving for a healthy and good lifestyle. It also about acknowledging that the City must continue, therefore we must harness natural resources that can be sustained into the future; and

Liveability: it is about an environment that promotes civic engagement and a sense of place through safe, sustainable choices of socio-economic opportunities. It is about having access to an adequate, affordable and environmentally sustainable and coordinated transportation system, as well as housing and economic opportunities.

The pillars to achieve this goal is Human and Social Development, Environment and sustainable services, inclusive economic growth and good governance. The executive system is organised by cluster in response to the Joburg 2040 pillars. As former President Mbeki said: "...the future is formed and derives its first impulse in the womb of the present". Therefore, we must act now to ensure Johannesburg, in 2040, will be a World Class African City that is resilient, sustainable and liveable.

The vision has been developed by capturing the important values, aspirations and ideals that various stakeholders expressed throughout the GDS outreach process.

Real quality of life requires that everyone enjoys easy access to a range of services that improves their quality of life and enhances their sense of belonging and patriotism. We will partner with the people of this city to constantly find new ways of expressing and celebrating our diversity.

Equally we commit ourselves to embracing the important position of our City on the African continent; that we are a city that embraces its African identity and represents the spontaneity and vibrancy of our diverse cities across this continent.

We will be a sustainable, liveable and resilient society by 2040. To achieve all of this, we need a strong partnership across all spheres of government, a partnership with organisations of civil society, with business and local communities.

To be sustainable we will ensure that the collective citizen's needs of the future are not compromised by the actions of individuals. We will be a society that acts in unison as a collective and places the needs of the collective before the needs of individuals.

Madam Speaker, the time has come for the City to build on the foundation that I have outlined to "change the City's course." Changing the City's course for us is about:

  • Redirecting and reorienting our collective energies to a new service delivery approach;
  • Reprioritising our expenditure to address revenue maximisation, infrastructure development underdevelopment;
  • Improving stakeholder relations and enhancing the quality of interaction with residents and clients in the spirit of Batho Pele; and
  • Implementing short to medium term flagship initiatives so as to pave the way for the long-term realisation of Joburg 2040.

Our approach to implementation
We have adopted an integrated planning and budgeting process that ensures we develop and adopt a series of plans that will contribute towards meeting Joburg 2040 outcomes. The detail will be engaged next week with the tabling of the IDP's and business plans. We have agreed that these programmes should be:

  • Transformative: address issues of poverty, empowerment women, youth and people with disabilities, of redress, urban spatial re-engineering
  • Ensure continuity and change: capitalise on economies of scale and reduce the cost of delivering services
  • Integrative and cross-cutting: inter-cluster and multi-sectoral in nature to maximise impact
  • Build capacity for inclusion: recognition of the need to ensure stakeholder and community partnerships.
  • Enable development state capacity: this includes political leadership, human capital, institutional, technical, administrative capacity and resources to deliver on selected interventions
  • Risk assessment: ensure that the related programmes address issues of sustainability (environment, social and economic)

Institutionalising the Joburg 2040 Strategy
Madam Speaker, borrowing again from Bra Hugh's song, Johannesburg is the product, not only of the people of the city, but of South Africa and the entire "hinterland of Southern Africa", Africa and the world.

A solid foundation has been laid upon which the executive, in partnership with key stakeholders, needs to take the necessary steps in realising our strategic objectives of building an inclusive and prosperous City.

In this regard, as part of institutionalising the Joburg 2040 strategy in the organisation, we met with all senior management including municipal entities and boards to ascertain the levels of development across the city. It was interesting to note that there are exciting things we are doing as the city.

We are currently finalising the institutional review and part of this work is to ensure that efficiencies become an integral part our work, but most importantly we want to build a high performing metropolitan government that is responsive and accountable to its residents.

The municipal entities and departments will sign Service Level Agreements (SLA's) by end June 2012 committing senior management and the boards of municipal entities to service standards and clear targets. In the event of service levels or turnaround times not being met, we will act against any individual implicated or involved and them to account.

Madam Speaker, we are also developing a baseline for all the interventions we putting forward. We will also streamline the performance evaluation of employees, operations of services depots and resources allocation. We will also ensure that we progressively cascade the performance management in the entire organisation and also set a baseline of all the interventions in order to assist us in evaluating the performance of all the employees.

In taking these next steps, we need to build credibility with our stakeholders and demonstrate that we care about their needs. The City has the responsibility to focus on "lifting the bar" and taking service delivery to the next level and improve operational efficiencies.

All of this will be done within the context of fiscal responsibility and according to the highest standards of prudent financial management on the road to  developmental local government, while changing the spatial structure of a divided city of the past.

2011/16 Programme of action: Key IDP flagship projects
Fellow residents, you will recall that when we embarked on an inclusive strategy formulation process and future agenda setting we asked some difficult questions about our ability to fulfil our agenda of socio-economic transformation and dismantling of the apartheid city.

Emerging from this process we collectively agreed that the future sustainable development of the City requires a concerted effort from all who have a vested interest in the future of the City of Johannesburg.

Madam Speaker, these flagship programmes are an indication of what Joburg residents are going to experience as we begin the implementation of the Joburg 2040 strategy and the imperatives of changing the City's course.

We have detailed the strategy by identifying a set of flagship programmes to anchor the Joburg 2040 implementation in partnership with communities.

Sustainable Services

Shift to Low Carbon Infrastructure
About three years ago, load-shedding was a common occurrence in various parts of the City. We will foster integrated and environmentally appropriate development with regard to retrofits, infrastructure development and ecosystem maintenance.

The drive to green the South African economy represents a critical lever for bringing about the structural transformation needed for a more equitable and inclusive economy. This will drive the diversification of our energy mix, and implement energy efficiency measures and investments in new and cleaner technologies and industries.

In the short term, we will implement measures to ensure the efficient and effective utilisation of energy as well as reduction of usage and shift towards diversification of energy sources which will also contribute to our revenue optimisation, greater service delivery and reduced carbon emissions. We will also implement electricity demand side management measures as well as smart metering across the City. The introduction of new technology in households as well as time of use management will be rolled out across the City in the medium term.

The City will be retrofitting all of its buildings with energy-saving measures setting an example towards a more efficient economy.

Integrated Waste Management
The City of Johannesburg remains committed to the Polokwane Declaration of zero waste to landfill sites. The City will take leadership, but the public needs to be part of the solution. In this regard we will implement separation at source projects across the City. We are convinced that if we mobilise communities to sort waste at a household level, this will go a long way in waste reduction and the creation of a clean city.

As we do so, we work with those who eke out a living by selling waste and create sustainable opportunities for them. In this regard, we will explore all legal avenues to ensure that we manage waste differently but most importantly we want communities to drive this initiative.

Then they may earn themselves a food voucher or income to put bread on the table. Various education and awareness campaigns as well as recycling initiatives will be intensified to get each and every citizen involved in this initiative.

Green Ways and Mobility
As you are all aware, and indeed have experienced, the legacy of apartheid spatial planning meant the poor were forced to live in areas far from their workplace, with very little historical investment made in public transport infrastructure. Our people have to deal with the quality of life issues created by this legacy on a daily basis – heavy congestion, long travel times, difficult transfers - particularly in the Inner City – and a substantial portion of income spent on transport. Our main intention is to reduce the proportion of income spent on transport by the poor, to reduce traffic congestion by investing in new and efficient transport options for our city's residents and also an enhanced urban environment.

The green ways and mobility programme has a number of focus areas in the short term. They include continuing to focus on quality service delivery of the Rea Vaya BRT system as well as the building of pedestrian bridges for Alex and Ivory Park. Resealing of roads to prevent continued deterioration, a complete street approach to the upgrading of gravel roads will be rolled out. We will continue with programmes to promote behavioural change towards road safety and public transport usage.

From Informal Settlements to Sustainable Human Settlements
The spatial shape of a city plays an important role in creating liveability, the design of the city, streets, and buildings. Liveability means different things to different people as their day-to-day experiences will differ according to their circumstances. We define liveability in terms of giving citizens access and connectivity to a range of cultural and social services and facilities. Therefore, our main focus is to transform deprived spaces in our City by creating efficient liveable and safe neighbourhoods.

We will also continue with our programme of building social housing and revitalisation of rental housing stock on well located land and to support Transit Orientated Development. The proximity of the Marlboro Gautrain station to Alexandra has not led to an integration with the surrounding neighbourhood nor has it yielded the benefits as seen with other stations. In this year as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Alexandra, our approach to the Alex Renewal Programme must be to the benefit and integration of the surrounding areas and the ability for people to prosper. Alex must yield benefits from its close proximity to one of the wealthiest suburbs in South Africa which has world class infrastructure. Through the Alex Renewal Project (ARP) we will also focus on the provision of basic services towards the people of Alexandra and surrounding informal settlements.

Madam Speaker: This flagship programme will also focus on the provision of basic services to vulnerable households. In addition, this programme will focus on the upgrading of marginalised areas/ areas of high deprivation (e.g. public hostels) as well in-situ upgrading.

Urban Water Management
In South Africa, water scarcity is a reality and water security in Johannesburg will come at a huge cost. Therefore, water management will be a key area of focus going into the future.

Also, the quality of available water due to the contamination of water sources through factors such as acid mine drainage is a worry. We welcome the Minister of Finance's budget allocations and intervention on the acid mine draining challenge. In tackling these challenges, we will engage with industry to implement demand side measures. These engagements will includes among others issues, water conservation and preservation measures. We will also assist large industry water users, as well as property owners on how to implement demand side management programmes.

We will also focus on the repair and maintenance of the water network to reduce water losses as well as repair and maintain dams that play a critical role in storm water management and public safety such as New Canada Dam in relation to Klipvalley.

Madam Speaker, to ensure that we effectively protect and manage our environment; we will scale up demand side management, ensure waste minimisation and redirect our operations to support a green economy. We need to "Act Now".

Economic Growth
Madam Speaker, until we have confronted levels of poverty, underdevelopment and disease, we have not attained what we struggled for: freedom and prosperity. We want to build a City that is fundamentally different from what it was before.

Delivering his 2012 State of the Nation Address, President Zuma said: "For the year 2012 and beyond, we invite the nation to join government in a massive infrastructure development drive...The massive investment in infrastructure must leave more than just power stations, rail-lines, dams and roads. It must industrialise the country, generate skills and boost much needed job creation".

Madam Speaker, we have identified key trade, manufacturing, construction, transport and tourism areas as engines for growths and we will be targeting labour-absorbing activities as well as promote innovation through "green economy" initiatives. We will, over the next 10 year, invest over R100 billion in economic and social infrastructure. We will do all of this in consultation and in collaboration with the private sector and other stakeholders.

We have the northwest quadrant of our city including Ruimsig, Cosmocity, Sunninghill and Diepsloot for expansion and growth. To guide investments and development in these regions, we have developed regional economic development plans. In this regard, Madam Speaker, in partnership with relevant stakeholders, we will commence with development of a regional economic node in Lanseria which will be anchored by hotels, a conference centre, a research and development park, an agri-hub, a shopping mall, aerospace innovation and a training hub, a medical precinct as well as the upgrading of the existing run-ways. Working in partnership with the private sector ad communities, the City will kick-off the R1.2 billion Oasis in Soweto initiative.

This project which is located in Soweto is focused on offices, townhouse apartments, the Oasis Heroes Bridge, a boutique hotel, retail opportunities, residential developments, a convention centre and Khumalo street upgrading in Rockville.

Greater Alexandra will benefit from a new multimillion rand retail development, the Alexandra Shopping Mall at Vincent Tshabalala Road.

Both the Greater Alexandra and Greater Ivory Park (Region E and A respectively) will benefit from new automotive industrial node developments. These initiatives are already supported by the City and the National Treasury and capitalise on the national automotive industry development programme. In partnership with the private sector and the community. The Poortjie Economic Activity Node (Neighbourhood Level Shopping Centre) will be developed so that basic retail services can be readily accessible to the Poortjie community.

We will accelerate the implementation of Skills Hub to address the issues of skills mismatch between the supply and demand.

Another important initiative is the rolling out of the municipal broadband capabilities under the Joburg Broadband Network project. This project is intended to reduce the high telecommunication costs and stimulate the SMMEs sector which creates jobs.

Importantly, it will create an affordable and far more conducive environment for faster information flow. It will also give the City an opportunity to provide access to disadvantaged youth and adults who must become familiar with and use Information Communications and Technology (ICT) in order to be more competitive for jobs.

Human and social Development
We will build a safe, secure and resilient City that protects, serves, and empowers communities.

Madam Speaker, we will create safer communities. In partnership with communities and various stakeholders, we want to reclaim our streets, parks and squares. We will ensure that our children are safe on the streets.

Through the JMPD we will deploy at least 10 Police Officers per ward throughout the City. They will work with community policing forums, street patrollers, neighbourhood watches and all security sector people based at ward level including security companies contracted to households. This is to ensure crime prevention is achieved and to develop creative ways of taking back the streets in our City. We will continue to partner with the South African Police Services.

Testimony to this commitment is the partnership between the City and IBM who have assisted us in developing a smart city safety strategy through their global corporate social investment programmes.

New insights into crime prevention by way of urban design and management will be investigated and finalised for implementation.

Intergovernmental relations and integration with other role players that contribute to safer environments will also be addressed.

The City's Expanded Social Package, the first of its kind in South Africa, is an ambitious programme for integrating and delivering social services to the poor and vulnerable citizens living in the City. Our City Social Package Programme is also linked to a number of NGO's that work in communities throughout the City. The City will continue to support those in the informal economy to integrate into the formal economy. Systematic help for people to access jobs is a pathway out of poverty.

The City is working with national and provincial government, the Independent Development Trust (IDT) and the Global Coalition for Health and other partners to address poverty and health.

Financial Sustainability
We have set ourselves ambitious programmes and targets towards a high performing metropolitan muncipality. We call upon all residents to contribute towards building a solid financial base. We call on all residents in the city, including areas where people were previously not paying, to pay timeously for their rates and service charges. As we have done before, we place great focus on fiscal responsibility and develop high standards of prudent financial management demonstrated by our R2.3 bn redemption fund – in other words, cash in the bank.

The gains achieved in the revenue step change process, collection from alternative revenue streams and the implementation of integrated financial management systems has already demonstrated an improved revenue collection of R486 million over budget in the 2012-13 half yearly results.

Citizen Participation and Empowerment
The fundamental principles of good governance, as reflected in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, include the rule of law, accountability transparency, predictability, and responsiveness to people's needs. Good governance therefore underpins everything the City does.

With this flagship programme we will ensure that we manage our administrative processes of planning and budgeting in a manner that gives priority to the basic needs of the community, and to promote the social and economic development of our communities.

In the next year, the City will develop its community based planning and budgeting approach for implementation in the medium term. The City also intends to focus on reviving 1-stop Centres (People's Centres) and education of City employees on its services, to enable staff to offer a positive service experience to citizens. Targeted citizen partnerships and engagements will also be continued.

Strategic communications and marketing
In order for us to implement Joburg 2040, we have to communicate better with our residents, engender a culture shift and change behaviour. As part of this programme, we will develop and implement an integrated communication and marketing strategy as a means to mobilise external and internal stakeholders around the flagship programmes.

Human Capital Development and Management
Madam Speaker, we are committed to building a high performance organisation and improve the culture of performance management and accountability. As part of this flagship programme, we will embark on a skills audit to identify skills requirements within the City needed to support the implementation of Joburg 2040.

There will also be a City wide roll-out of standard efficiency and productivity assessment, monitoring procedures and practices as well as a comprehensive change management programme which will be implemented across the City. This flagship programme will also align talent management in support of the City's imperatives by developing, retaining and acquiring the appropriate skills.

We commit to enhance the agenda for a developmental state but will look to enhance this by ensuring political leadership, human capital, institutional, technical, administrative capacity and resources to deliver on the agreed interventions.

Collaborative relationship and partnerships working with communities Madam Speaker, the real work towards Joburg 2040 starts now. We have a collective responsibility to make choices and the future sustainable development of the City requires a concerted effort from all, through social partnerships between
residents, communities, businesses, organised civil society and other spheres of government.

A number of lives were lost during the struggle for democracy and freedom; we therefore have a collective responsibility to contribute to the development of a City which is inclusive and creates opportunities for all.

Madam Speaker, we were inspired by our forbears who in the face of repression and oppression, recognised the need for unity of all the people of South Africa. We have accepted a collective responsibility to make the choices we are called upon to make. We are committed to ensuring that mechanisms are put in place to implement and continuously evaluate our work. We have a clear roadmap for delivery – both in the immediate, short term, as well as the long term.

Madam Speaker, you will also agree with me that the City of Johannesburg holds the hopes, potential and aspirations of all its people. We would like to see the commitment, made during the outreach process by both the public and private sector, to continue contributing to the realisation of the 2040 vision.

We can now all look forward to a day when the sound of a Gautrain and Rea Vaya BRT obscures the curse of the "Choo-Choo coal train". We can look forward to a day where we will all celebrate the Joburg landscape that is truly home to the diversity of cultures, languages, and economic and social activities that make us a truly World Class African City.

In 2040 we will be listening to new songs praising our new urban landscape and celebrating citizens' daily experiences as they interact with the Constitution Hill, Mandela Bridge, Ghandi Square, Soweto Theatre, Soccer City, Mary Fitzgerald Square, Pennyville, Soweto, Cosmo City, Maponya Mall, Melrose Arch and others.

Furthermore, we will celebrate our new urban nodes such as Midrand, Wilgehuewel, Ruimsig, Honeydew, Sandton, Fourways, Greater Randburg, Strijdom Park as part of a truly growing metro region. The benefits of the Gautrain and Rea Vaya BRT, connecting us with the Aerotropolis in Ekurhuleni and Tshwane - the capital city, will contribute to integrating the entire Gauteng City Region.

As former president Thabo Mbeki said, ". the future is formed and derives its first impulse in the womb of the present." Therefore let us all roll up our sleeves today and work together to build the future – resilient, sustainable and liveable communities.

Thank you

Bookmark and Share
Last Updated on 04 January 2013