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2011-07-27: Conversations about the future of Johannesburg

ON Tuesday 2 August 2011, the City will launch its Growth and Development Strategy (GDS) at the Turbine Hall in Newtown Johannesburg.

This will serve as a platform for intense discussions with academic institutions, finance corporations, residents, religious groups, youth, business, security agencies, environmentalists, town planners and a host of other stakeholders to determine the future of Johannesburg.

Some of the key challenges and opportunities that will be discussed are; water shortages, climate change, affordable energy supply, inequality, pollution, conservation, economic development, infrastructure, urbanization, investment, transport and other numerous topics of sustainability and technology.

Each week for the next eight weeks starting from the 10 August, a specific topic will be discussed and end with a summarized feedback for media publicity.

These will fall under nine themes namely; Economic Growth, Community Safety, Resource Sustainability, Transport, Governance, Smart Cities, Liveable Cities, Environment as well as Health and Poverty. The GDS launch will culminate in a summit in October before being officially adopted for the next five years.

The GDS was developed in 2006 together with the City's five year Integrated Development Plan (IDP) in relation to the five year political term of office. This alignment allows the long term goals to be effectively translated into realistic medium term programmes, planning and budgeting.

It is therefore important for the City to have this conversation about its future to assess whether the GDS still provides a clear guide towards the future or whether it requires a review to keep in line with rapid developments shifts and expectations over the next five years.

As always public participation and input is critical for local government to work. It is hoped that the GDS process will be broad enough to source multiple opinions and divergent views.

The City of Joburg's vision as contained in the GDS is as follows:

"In future Johannesburg will continue to lead as South Africa's primary business centre, a dynamic centre of production, innovation, trade, finance and services. This will be a city of opportunity where the benefits of balanced economic growth will be shared in a way that enables all residents to gain access to the ladder of prosperity and where the poor, vulnerable and excluded will be supported out of poverty to realize upward social mobility. The result will be a more equitable and spatially integrated city very different from the divided city of the past. In this world class African city, everyone will be able to enjoy decent accommodation, excellent services, the highest standards of health and safety and quality community life in sustainable neighbourhoods and vibrant urban spaces."

Such was and continues to be the confidence that was expressed by the City in 2000. Joburg has come a long way since and along the way has received many international and local awards in recognition of its efforts to become a world class African city.


"Joburg, a City where community development, personal growth and social mobility are enhanced so that challenges of poverty, vulnerability, inequality and social exclusion are fundamentally addressed".

Issued on behalf of:
Councillor Mpho Parks Tau
Executive Mayor
City of Johannesburg

Issued by:
Virgil James
City of Joburg
082 467 9415/011 407 7226​