THE JOZI AT Work returns!
This was the assurance by the Mayor of Joburg, Geoff Makhubo during his State of the City Address on Tuesday.
The Jozi At Work programme returns after it was muted by the previous regime.
Its’ purpose is to accelerate service delivery in a manner that citizens no longer become passive recipients but active participants.
In his opening speech Makhubo sent messages of condolences to frontline workers in the city, who passed on.
Although most of interruptions by opposition parties at time got the better of him, the Mayor was resolute and pointed out that, as the City, they will provide reliable and quality basic services, improve and invest in water, sewer, electricity and refuse infrastructure, repairs and maintenance of roads, potholes in partnership with private sector, reduction in network outages and invest in technologies like Smart Meter rollout.
“Despite the challenging institutional and macro- economic environment due to the pandemic, the City managed to collect 86.3% of the revenue against an adjusted Covid-19 risk target of 88% for the 2019/20 financial year, as well as acquired surplus of R3.7bn for 2019/2020 FY. The City’s financial position is on solid ground,“ says Makhubo.
He said the most unprecedented disruption was the Covid-19 pandemic, which occurred a mere three months into the ‘new administration’. It had disastrous effects on their plans to recover Johannesburg’s promising future from the disruption.
Makhubo’s administration will be entering its final phase in the next six- months and has prioritised 13 strategic programmes to govern the City:
- Combating Gender Based Violence
- Formalisation of informal settlements and accelerated land increase
- Combat illegal land invasion and promote regulated land use
- Combat corruption, fraud and maladministration,
- Combat drug abuse
- Manage displaced communities and homelessness
- Community based planning and enhanced community engagement through Mayoral Imbizo
- Develop and support SMMEs
- Job opportunities and creation
- A safer City by introducing (Joburg 10+) effective by law enforcement
- Impact the housing market including the integration, development and maintenance of hostels and flats
- Improve and strengthen financial position of the City
- Accelerate basic service delivery
He also noted the Smart City project at Lanseria is on-going that will create much needed job opportunities.
The Mayor also outlined Urban Development Framework plans as part of area-based developments in areas such as Orange Farm, Greater Kliptown, Eldorado Park and Greater Ivory Park.
The City, as part of social compact through Service Level Agreement, has signed an understanding with TVET colleges offering vocational training in the City and an MOU was signed between the City and colleges, as part of skills development for youth’s.
He also lauded Mapiki Sambu from ‘Bontle Ke Tlhago’ Co-operative in Diepsloot, a recycling business that has created jobs for 15 staff members that earn R4500 a month.
On continued electricity crises- Makhubo said, they’ve begun engaging Eskom to find a lasting solution with the view of taking full control of electricity as a City.
But the mentioning of using the City as tourism destination was not pointed out- since Joburg and Gauteng are ideal business and leisure tourism spots.
A handful of ActionSA members were peacefully protesting outside the chambers chanting “City of Johannesburg has become characterised by crime, grime, lawlessness and hopelessness,” under Makhubo, whilst the DA, EFF inside the chambers labelled him a ‘tsotsi’.
Image SLM (Mayor Geoff Makhubo during his SOCA in Braamfontein).