City has made a difference in our lives
City has made a difference in our lives

There will always be concerns but [Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr] Parks Tau’s team has really made a difference in our lives,” Soweto pensioner Sam Modise, 78, said after a 2016-2021 Integrated Development Plan (IDP) meeting in Pimville on Tuesday night.

Ntate Modise was one of scores of residents who attended the IDP meeting, addressed by Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Community Development Councillor Chris Vondo and Regional Director Pat Lephunya. Also present were Safety Portfolio Committee Chairperson Cllr Oupa Tolo, Head of Group Strategy, Policy Coordination and Relations in the City Manager’s Office Toivo Mohapi and several ward and proportional representative councillors.

The meeting was part of a series of 24 IDP community engagement sessions to review the current five-year mayoral term and give residents the platform to make inputs to the City’s plans for the next five years. Many residents at the packed Pimville Hall raised several concerns, including the lack of street lights in some areas, the dominance of the township retail business by foreigners and the lack of employment, especially among the youth.

MMC Vondo said community involvement was crucial to development and transformation.

“The IDP is a social contract between the municipality and the community. We need to hear your views and concerns and to discuss what role citizens can play in achieving the City’s vision,” he said.

“What we’re doing is to consult and engage you so we can agree on things that need to be done,” MMC Vondo said, adding that the City had great plans going forward. The time has come for a new vision as we build on the solid foundation that has been created,” he said.

MMC Vondo said the City had as a result added two items on its Priority Implementation Plan. These were the repositioning of Johannesburg in the global arena and good governance. Other priorities in the plan include employment creation, informal economy and entrepreneurial support, agriculture and food security, financial stability and building of safer communities.

MMC Vondo said in 2014 Johannesburg was ranked the second-most inspiring city in the world and in 2015 the 33rd most economically powerful city in the globe. It was also the first in the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group to issue a Green Bond. Mayor Tau was nominated as the African candidate for the UCLG co-presidency.

Region D Director Lephunya told the meeting that though much had been achieved in the past five years in the region more still needed to be done.

“If we work together, there’s so much we can achieve,” he said.