City’s Budget will respond to your needs – MMC Makhubo
The blue and green economies, youth empowerment as well as key programmes such as the Corridors of Freedom, Jozi@work, the Johannesburg Inner City Roadmap and Smart City initiatives are expected to feature prominently when Member of the Mayoral Committee for Finance Councillor Geoffrey Makhubo delivers the City of Johannesburg’s 2015-2016 Budget on Tuesday 26 May.
This will be the last Budget speech of the current mayoral term in what has been described as “The Final Push” – ahead of the 2016 local government elections – to complete or accelerate programmes identified in the 2011-2016 Integrated Development Plan (IDP).
MMC Makhubo’s Budget speech comes on the back of extensive, citywide Budget and IDP review processes held in March and April during which residents were invited to make inputs to take the City’s service delivery to a higher level.
“Your voice was heard through the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) process. The City is now ready to allocate budgets in response to your needs,” the MMC said this week.
MMC Makhubo is also expected to take the cue from the 2015-2016 State of the City Address in which Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau committed his administration to undertaking critical programmes that would “ensure that today is better than yesterday and that tomorrow is better than today” in line with the City’s Growth and Development Strategy 2040 (GDS 2040). Youth empowerment emerged as one of the key priorities during the address, especially in the wake of the astronomical unemployment levels among the city’s young people. To turn this challenge into an opportunity, Mayor Tau announced the rollout of Vulindlel’ eJozi, an innovative response to the scourge of youth unemployment.
Jozi@work, a unique and innovative empowerment and job-creation programme launched last year with an initial budget of R1 billion, is beginning to change the lives of many owners of small township businesses and members of cooperatives.
During a visit to some of the Jozi@work projects in Soweto, Mayor Tau indicated that the programme’s budget might increase threefold in the next financial year to deal decisively with unemployment, inequality and poverty.
In the clearest indication of the City’s embrace of the blue economy, the Executive Mayor announced the first cohort of projects to enhance the quality of life of residents.
The development of the City’s Corridors of Freedom has moved up a gear, with massive projects already under way along the Louis Botha, Turffontein and Empire Perth corridors. Another capital injection by MMC Makhubo will give the programme renewed impetus.
With the city determined to draw investors back to the Johannesburg inner city, Clr Makhubo is expected to pump in more resources into the revitalisation and rejuvenation of the Johannesburg CBD under the new Johannesburg Inner City Roadmap.
Recently, the City signed a R1,5 billion loan agreement with the French Development Agency to restore the Johannesburg inner city to its former glory.
In his State of the City Address, Mayor Tau said digital access was becoming “as much an equity issue in our society as access to water and electricity”. To this end, MMC Makhubo is expected to announce significant investments in the broadband network in pursuance of Johannesburg’s Smart City vision.
The MMC will also announce new tariffs and property rates.
The speech, to be delivered at 11am, will be broadcast live on a number of community radio stations.