Mayor Mashaba moves to re-ignite inner city spark
The City of Johannesburg is determined to create an enabling environment for small businesses in the inner city to flourish, thereby create permanent jobs, Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba said on Thursday September 15. He said the economic revival of the inner city was crucial in creating an inclusive and prosperous city.
Mayor Mashaba was speaking shortly after meeting more than 100 investors, developers and businesspeople in a new bid to restore the various stakeholders’ confidence in the inner city, where residents and customers have raised concerns around issues such as billing, filthy streets, the lack of streetlights and poor visible policing, leading to crime spiralling out of control.
The Mayor assured the meeting that his administration was committed to turning the inner city into a safe, vibrant and prosperous space for residents, small businesses and institutions. “This was the largest gathering of investors, developers and businesses with an interest in the revitalising of our inner city in many years,” Cllr Mashaba said.
“It shows their faith in the new administration’s commitment to dealing decisively with the challenges they have faced. Their commitment is remarkable and we dare not fail them.” He said working with these stakeholders, he was determined to revitalise the inner city.
“This is vital in our quest to unleash Johannesburg’s economic potential and realise a minimum of 5% economic growth. Together with other relevant stakeholders we will develop a shared vision and plan for the development of our inner city within the next three months,” the Mayor said.
“Our vision must be centred on bringing people and businesses back into our inner city, ultimately benefiting our poorest residents.” The City owns several buildings in the inner city that will be identified and earmarked for low-cost housing development and the creation of affordable commercial spaces for small businesses and shops.
“Our City can be business friendly and pro-poor at the same time. In fact, the two must go hand in hand if we are to create a city of golden opportunities,” Mayor Mashaba said.