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Mayor Mashaba says residents deserve a better city


Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba has urged councillors from all political parties to put their differences and squabbles aside and start building the city to improve the quality of life of its residents.
Delivering his inaugural speech during a council meeting on Tuesday September 13 following the August 3 local government elections, Mayor Mashaba said the responsibility to provide quality services and “take our people out of poverty lies with every one of us”.
He said his party, the Democratic Alliance, had a vision to deliver quality services and was committed to getting rid of corruption.  The Mayor said the City would work with small businesses to create jobs and enable the economy to grow.   “I have made an agreement with the heads of departments to achieve economic growth of 5%.
Johannesburg should be the engine of South Africa’s economic growth. Our residents deserve a better city that serves them well.”  To this end, he said he and his mayoral committee had engaged several investors who were keen on investing in Johannesburg.  “As a matter of urgency, all City entities will make service delivery their top priority. Gone are the days of cadre deployment and jobs for family members and pals. I want to say unapologetically that the majority of the city budget will be directed to poor communities,” Mayor Mashaba said.
“I’ll never abuse your money and have committed myself and my executive to empowering the youth to be successful entrepreneurs in this city,” he said.
The Mayor said his administration would rehabilitate all hijacked buildings in the inner City and develop low-cost housing for the benefit of the poor.  He added that the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department would intensify its law enforcement measures to “rid the city of law-breakers”.
The Mayor said within three months, the City would start laying out new water pipes to reduce water leaks and Pikitup would intensify its cleaning and removal of garbage in the City. 
The Mayor announced that he had put the R70-million project to continue building bicycle lanes on hold because “we can’t afford to spend that amount of money while our people are living in poverty”.  “The severe shortage of houses and the problem of streetlights should be addressed. Right now we are ready to issue 2 000 title deeds and do away with corruption of allocation of houses,” he said.
The Mayor said he would soon convene a summit to deal with the billing challenge. He was also adamant that the City would not co-operate with the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) on e-tolls.