Shifts since 1994
With the advent of democracy, the city has undergone significant restructuring, leading up to the adoption of Joburg 2030 , a visionary strategy aimed at boosting investment and economic growth.
In 1994 - the first democratic local government elections - local authorities were highly fragmented: white local authorities spent R600 per capita per annum and were 90 percent self-sufficient while their black counterparts spent R100 per capita per annum and were 10 percent self-sufficient.
In 1995 various local authorities were amalgamated to form four councils co-ordinated by a central metropolitan council under a single tax base. To support this tax base, the municipal boundaries of Johannesburg were extended to include Sandton, Randburg, Soweto, Alexandra and Orange Farm.
However, this system was still highly fragmented and much duplication took place. By the 1997/1998 financial year, the effects of this fragmentation were being keenly felt, with the City experiencing a R300-million deficit, a R405-million overdraft and a negligible capital expenditure budget.
A new approach was required and, in 1999, a city manager was appointed and Igoli 2002, a three-year plan to turn the City's finances around, was devised.
In 2000, Johannesburg was restructured to become a single metropolitan authority and elections were held for an executive mayor and unified local government. Again the local municipal boundaries were expanded, this time to include Modderfontein and Midrand.
Since then, the City has enjoyed a financial turnaround, with the creation of credible and stable operating environment. This stability, strong centralised co-ordination and oversight has allowed the City to play a crucial role in building the economy, and implementing policies and structures to support economic growth and poverty alleviation.
This success was brought about by:
The adoption of Igoli 2002 in 1999, aimed at rectifying pressing financial problems. One outcome was to create the organisational space and budget for the council to adopt a more hands-on role for the City in the sphere of economic development.
The creation of the office of executive mayor, and the outlining of a list of mayoral priorities to "stimulate economic growth and address the problems of unemployment and inequality between the rich and poor". This required the City to be an agent for economic growth.
The adoption of Joburg 2030 , an economic development plan aimed at achieving a better quality of life for all the city's residents. This long-term strategy focuses on getting fundamentals in the economic and investment chain right. It identified the three core mechanisms to achieve this: creating a conducive environment; improving the efficiency of investment; and accelerating business activities.