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The Growth and Development Strategy will be re-examined at a stakeholder summit, as "a changing environment requires a fresh look", in the words of the mayor.
A STAKEHOLDER summit, scheduled by Executive Mayor Parks Tau, will review the City’s Growth and Development Strategy (GDS) to ensure its objectives and guidelines meet the “needs of a dynamic urban environment”.


Executive mayor Parks tauExecutive mayor Parks Tau: City needs support of residentsEach year, the mayor hosts a summit with various stakeholders, including community leaders, ward committees, members of community-based and faith-based organisations, non-governmental organisations, leaders of various political parties, people with disabilities, representatives of labour, women, business and youth groups, to discuss the City’s plans, outline its strategic direction and chart a way forward.

The exact date for the summit is yet to be confirmed; however, it will form part of the City’s extensive consultative and public participation process.

Tau says although the City is cognisant of the successes of the past decade, it will adapt to new challenges. “It is equally true that a changing environment requires a fresh look at the interventions we are implementing.”

Outcomes of the summit will help Joburg to revise its GDS and adopt new approaches where required. “The City recognises that it cannot deal with the challenges it faces alone and it needs to find new ways of working across the traditional public-private divide and across boundaries that separate it from its neighbours,” says Tau.

The GDS, adopted at a stakeholder summit in 2006, stipulates that the City must find solutions to enable the pro-active absorption of the poor, both from inside South Africa and beyond, as it has become a magnet for poor people seeking a better life. It must also ensure balanced and shared growth and break down the divide between the first and second economies.

In addition, the strategy binds Joburg to facilitate social mobility and equality and meet its obligations to serve the poor better. It also requires that the metro become more sustainable by anticipating and managing the effects of environmental change.

Its vision statement reads: “In future, Johannesburg will continue to lead as South Africa’s primary business City, 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 the excluded will be supported out of poverty to realise upward social mobility. The result will be a more equitable and spatially integrated City, very different from the divided City of the past.”

“These issues remain very relevant to this day,” says Tau, “but I believe the time has come for us to have a fresh look at the GDS to ensure that its objectives and guidelines still meet the needs of a dynamic urban environment.”

Through the GDS, the City seeks to address urbanisation and migration, economic development and job creation, service delivery, poverty, urban renewal and regeneration, the impact of globalisation, the need for information technology and the bridging of the digital divide and other related challenges.

Gabu Tugwana, Joburg’s communication boss, says the summit will be an inclusive process involving all communities and stakeholders “to enable Johannesburg to redefine its priorities across the entire spectrum of City activities and programmes”.

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