The City of Johannesburg will reconnect all residents whose water and lights were cut due to nonpayment.
This was relayed on Wednesday, 25 March 2020, during the Executive Mayor, Councillor Geoffrey Makhubo’s meeting with the City’s stakeholders in response to Covid-19 State of National Disaster and the 21 days national lockdown.
Mayor Makhubo says the City cares about its residents and it’s important that they have access to basic needs during this time. “We still encourage residents with outstanding payments to settle their debts as the City we depend on that money for service delivery,” the mayor adds.
On Monday, 23 March, the President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21 days country lockdown starting from Thursday, 26 March at midnight. During this period, all people in the country except emergency workers and essential services providers are encouraged to stay in their homes. People will only be allowed to leave their homes to seek medical care, buy food, medicine or collect social grants.
Cllr Makhubo has also urged businesses to partner with the City and avail more resources that can be used to fight-off the virus and assist the affected people within the City.
“I’m so humbled by business organisations that have already pledged such as the Tourism Business Council, which pledged R30 million and Lanseria International Airport pledging to work with Joburg Water to make sure that residents who stays in informal settlements get water,” Cllr Makhubo adds.
There are 211 informal settlement across the City.
Cllr Makhubo says the City is looking at relaxing some credit control policies to give business some relief during the 21 days lockdown. In addition, the mayor says the City’s is working with the South African Police Service and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) to centralise accreditations applications for businesses that offer essential services so that they will be able to trade during the lockdown.
Stakeholders pleaded with the City to use this time to mobilise residents to clean the inner city and townships such as Alexandra and Soweto. Other stakeholders who attended the meeting included the South African Chamber of Commerce, Diepsloot Chamber of Commerce, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Masingita Group of Companies, Jozi Housing, AngloGold Ashanti, and the City’s entities representatives.
Before meeting the stakeholders, Cllr Makhubo convened an urgent Mayoral Committee that resolved that Pikitup will continue with operations and efforts are being made to ramp up the frequency of collection during the lockdown period.
City Power and Johannesburg Water will continue operations while ensuring that they protect and minimise the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic to our workforce and residents of Johannesburg. Metro Bus and Rea Vaya bus services will be further scaled down while ensuring the availability of buses especially for those essential services staff needing to get to work.
As from Friday, 27 March 2020, Metrobus will run seven buses a day with seven drivers weekly to rotate and three drivers will be on standby daily with intention to connect the following areas:
• Soweto to Sunninghill via Sandton, from 5am leaving Soweto in Protea returning at 16:30pm.
• Westrand, to Johannesburg CBD from 6am and 7am, returning at 12 noon and 17:30pm.
• Gandhi Square to Sandton, at 06:30 and 07:30, returning at 16:00 and 17:00.
• Rosettenville to Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, from 06:00 and 07:00, returning at 12:00 noon and 17:00.
All buses will be sanitised once every 24 hours and washed twice a day. Sanitisers will be provided for commuters on buses as well as at ticket offices and depots. All the City’s Licensing Centres will close down effective today, 25 March 2020, until further notice.
Written by Takalani Sioga