Source: The City of Johannesburg
Title: JHB: Masondo: State of the City Address by the Mayor of Johannesburg, in the Council Chambers, Braamfontein
Madam Speaker – Clr Nkele Ntingane
MECs and Members of the Provincial Legislature
Chief Whip of Council: Clr Prema Naidoo
Members of the Mayoral Committee
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Leaders of all Political Parties
All Chairpersons of Council Committees
City Manager: Mr Mavela Dlamini
Managers and Officials of Council
Civil Society Organisations
Ladies and Gentlemen
Madam Speaker, Gerald Garner wrote in his book "Spaces & Places - Johannesburg", that: "Joburg bursts with exuberant energy…..it continues to reveal its many hidden gems. And how sparkling they are!"
Every community activist and true democrat is seized with a similar sense of eternal optimism. We are hopeful and confident about the future of our City and believe that, going forward, things can only change for the better.
Madam Speaker, I am of the opinion that Joburg will continue to revitalise itself, boost its energy, regenerate its lustre, retain its magnetism and incredible vibe.
Johannesburg represents the spirit of South Africa. It is an international brand. This is the capital of Gauteng province and the financial capital of our country. Locals endearingly refer to Johannesburg as Joburg, Jozi, Egoli, Kwa Ndonga Ziyaduma, Jozi maboneng - the city of lights. Its mine dumps are never far away, nor are shiny modern skyscrapers intermingled with 19th century architecture, Indian bazaars and African muti shops. Strangely, Johannesburg is the largest City in the world not situated on a lake, navigable river or by the coast. It is indeed a unique City with unique people and unique challenges and opportunities. This is Joburg, my Joburg! It is all of you, who make Joburg great!
Our Mandate and Context
Madam Speaker, we are mindful that it is less than 60 days before the 2011 local government elections. Preparations for these elections are on course. This City has played no small role in ensuring that this is indeed the case. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to urge all voters to exercise their democratic right. We await the 18th of May with great excitement and anticipation.
Somlomo, sekusele insuku ezingeqile emashumini ayisithupha (60 Days) ngaphi kokuba siye okhethweni lomasipala. Amalungiselelo Okhetho enziwe. Sebenzisa ilungelo lakho. Asiphume sonke siyovota. Usuku lwezi 18 ku May olwamanqamu. Kazi iyozala nkomoni? Kudela owaziyo!
In my 2006 Budget Speech, I said: "there are moments in history that require revisiting. When we do so we discover that a systematic and critical research on our past reveals an unusual wealth of information…..I also said that on the 1st of March 2006, voters from the length and breadth of our City went to the polls to choose candidates and political parties of their choice. The mandate is clear: Govern the City in a manner that accelerates development, improves service delivery and ensures good governance". These words find resonance in today's reality and developments.
In this State of the City Address, we need to collectively assess whether we have indeed accelerated development, improved service delivery and acted in a manner that is in keeping with good governance. In this address, I will also elaborate on the expanded mandate of local government.
State of the Nation and State of the Province Addresses
Delivering his State of the Nation Address last month, President Jacob Zuma identified a number of key priorities. These include a focus on basic education, the fight against crime and substance abuse, the need for anti-corruption measures to prevent fraud, a responsive health system, job creation at scale, especially through the Expanded Public Works Programme, as well as good and quality services.
He said: "Our goal is clear. We want to have a country where millions more South Africans have decent employment opportunities, which has a modern infrastructure and a vibrant economy and where the quality of life is high. We all have a responsibility to work hard to make this a reality."
But he also said that: "there have been lots of complaints over the past few months about local government". We took note of these focus areas as well as the concerns expressed by our President. We have not only heard what has been said, but we are committed to addressing all of these challenges and ensure that we continue to build a local government that is more responsive, accountable, effective and efficient.
Madam Speaker, Premier Mokonyane reiterated President Zuma's call for different spheres of government to make 2011 a year of job creation. She urged local governments in Gauteng to focus on visible delivery, effective implementation of plans as well as being solution-orientated.
She also focused on housing delivery and gave recognition to Johannesburg projects such as Cosmo City, Lufhereng and the Alexandra Renewal Programme. The City of Johannesburg was further commended for a job well done on the development of Soweto.
Madam Speaker, let me assure you, that this will not make us complacent, but will instead inspire us to lift the bar and become even more diligent and focused in addressing the complex challenges that face us.
ANC 2011 Manifesto
Building on the above themes, President Zuma, at the ANC election manifesto launch at the Royal Bakofeng stadium, in Rustenburg, said that in localising its priorities and in meeting key challenges facing our communities, government will:
• Build local economies to create more employment and sustainable livelihoods,
• Improve local public services and broaden access to them,
• Deepen democracy, continue to build united, non-racial, non-sexist, integrated and safer communities,
• Enhance active community participation in local government, and
• Ensure a more effective, accountable and clean local government.
To achieve all of this, we need a strong partnership across all spheres of government, a partnership with organisations of civil society, with business and local communities.
The evolution of Joburg
In the last decade, did anything change for the better?
Back in 2001, we had fewer cars, taxis and buses. Now we have more cars, more and newer taxis and buses. We have the Gautrain and world-class highways. We have the Rea Vaya BRT, new and extended road infrastructure on a scale never seen before.
Yes we have our potholes too. But do consider the following:
• "We are entering a new level of pothole hell" – the Boston Globe 15 February 2008.
• "No city is immune to potholes but every year Toronto's potholes are increasingly epidemic" – a well-known Canadian blogger and social commentator.
• "The potholes in Chicago are ridiculous. I stopped riding down several streets because you might as well be riding off-road." – a contributor to the website Chicagonow.dot.com.
• "Our natural niche is the road verge. The pot-holed, repaired and re-repaired, cracked, junk-littered, ragged edge of this country's cheapskate coarse-chip roads" Andrew Herrick, a columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia's biggest city).
• "I live in LA, and it seems the streets have gotten more and more cracked and pockmarked over the years. I dodge potholes so much while driving, I feel I'm in some kind of warped video game" – reader's comments to Los Angeles Times; and
• A businessman in Dallas, Texas complains to a report at the Dallas Morning News that he has "counted 320 potholes along 400 yards of asphalt outside his business's windows" (26 February 2010)
I raise these examples Madam Speaker, merely to say, let us redouble our efforts as we grapple with the pothole problem, which is not unique to Johannesburg.
The housing provision, judged against earlier interventions, is at a better quality, providing more options and located closer to work. This has gone a long way to change the landscape of Joburg. The examples that come to mind include Pennyville, near New Canada railway station, Cosmo City as well as the mixed housing development in Lufhereng.
Alongside these aforementioned developments, the City has deepened and accelerated its greening programme. This includes the creation of the 24 hour Xtreme makeover parks in areas such as Diepkloof, Claremont, Alexandra and Wilgeheuwel in Roodepoort. Similar upgrades and developments have extended to areas that never had formal parks before for example, in Ivory Park, Lakeside and Orange Farm.
In addition, more people than ever before have access to basic services.
On health, we placed HIV & AIDS firmly on the Joburg local government agenda. This is evident in the work that we have done through the Johannesburg AIDS Council, Jozi Ihlomile Campaign, Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) facilities, provision of anti-retroviral drugs and treatment, interventions aimed at addressing TB cases, the building of clinics and Primary Health Care facilities, vector control and immunisation.
Madam Speaker, the 31st of March 2011, will mark ten years since the City formally established the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD). Over the past few years, we have seen JMPD evolving into a legitimate and credible police force. Its work has been characterised by police visibility, traffic management, growing and meaningful by-law enforcement and crime prevention.
The Inner City regeneration and urban renewal programme have constituted an important part of our work. This is demonstrated through work done at Ghandi Square, Mary Fitzgerald Square, the Constitution Hill Development, the Mandela Bridge, Drill Hall, Main Street Development, the Ellis Park and Doornfontein precinct, the Braamfontein Precinct, the Rissik Street Post Office and through the Chancellor House Heritage Development. These are just a few indications of work done earlier and more recently, through the Inner City Charter Partnership Forum, to address the Inner City Charter commitments.
The period leading to the 2010 FIFA World Cup saw the City utilising the pressure that came with the hosting of this world event, to deepen its own programmes and ensuring a legacy of projects that sought to benefit the residents of Johannesburg, long after the World Cup has come and gone. The iconic Orlando stadium and Soccer City (FNB) stadium are examples of this.
Culturally, the City is also changing. No city in South Africa has experienced urbanisation and migration to the extent that this has been the case in the City of Johannesburg. The reality is, that migration like urbanisation, cannot be stopped and totally controlled. Yes, it can be managed.
Joburg is truly cosmopolitan. Evidence abounds. Seemingly distinct neighbourhoods with unique cultural identity, such as Mozambicans in Bertrams and Troyeville, Somali's and Ethiopians in Mayfair, Congolese in Yeoville, Bangladeshi's and Indians in Fordsburg, the New China town in Derreck Avenue Cyrildene speaks volumes.
Madam Speaker, each of these abovementioned areas has its own unique markets, distinct places of worship and many other interesting spaces. Today we can say, without any fear of contradiction, that many new languages are being spoken on the streets of Johannesburg
The Johannesburg Migration Advisory Committee that is chaired by the Mayor and meets quarterly, provides a valuable platform for engagement by various partners including the City, community based organisations, labour, Wits Migratory Studies, Department of Home Affairs and organisations of migrants. In addition, these meetings have been graced by representatives, though a few, from countries such as Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.
Building better communities
Madam Speaker, over the past decade, the City instituted measures to ensure that we are moving closer to the City's agreed vision. Each step towards our vision statement contributes to the building of better communities. The vision captures the essence of Johannesburg as a city, but it also highlights the need to work boldly to transform Johannesburg to a city where everyone will enjoy the benefits of a high standard of living.
The vision promises that Johannesburg will be the business city, a city of opportunities where the benefits of economic growth will be shared to enable residents to access the ladder of prosperity and where the poor will be supported out of poverty to realise upward social mobility. The vision also directs us to equity, spatial integration, decent accommodation and excellent services, high standards of health and safety, good quality of life and last but not least, good governance.
I will now focus on the following key thematic areas:
• Caring for our people
• Economic growth and opportunities
• Service delivery excellence
• Sustainable human settlements
• Environmental protection and management
• Good governance, and
• Improved communication
Caring for our people – building a more humane and caring society
Madam Speaker, the City has over the last two terms of office responded pro-actively to the challenge of poverty. Despite changes to the political and economic environment, our political leadership and administration has always maintained an unambiguous commitment to the poor.
This commitment has found expression in countless policy and strategy documents and has been operationalised through a number of key City programmes. The City's Human Development and its Growth and Development Strategies constitute clear evidence of this.
The City's Growth and Development Strategy affirms that:
'The City of Johannesburg will not plan on the basis that the poor, vulnerable and excluded will eventually go somewhere else. It will proactively assist new households, new internal and circular migrants, those in hostels, informal settlements and historical ghettoes, unemployed youth, refugees and others to negotiate access to the city and get onto the ladder of urban prosperity.'
The City's Expanded Social Package, the first of its kind in South Africa, has become an ambitious programme for integrating and delivering social services to the most poor and vulnerable citizens living in the City. This programme aims to achieve a 5% improvement on basic poverty measures in the next five years. The City will administer at least one form of Social Service, accessed through the City to at least 500 000 people per year by 2016. To date, nearly 200 000 people have been assisted in one way or another via the Expanded Social Programme. Our City Social Package Programme will spend close to R18 million in the coming financial year with R5 million on the linked NGO support programme which provides funding to non-profit organisations throughout the City.
The City has also committed to spending R28 million on our Youth and Women Skills development. I am also pleased to report that the City's Early Childhood Development Programme is firmly in place.
Madam Speaker, we recognise that promoting social inclusion is more than just providing a social safety net. To this end, arts, culture and heritage has for over a decade, been firmly placed on the policy agenda.
Let me also state that structural poverty remains a challenge, with a large proportion of the City's population still living in material income deprivation. The legacies of Apartheid continue to affect the lives of many residents. The extremely high levels of income inequality is a cause for concern.
The City cannot do it alone. The multi-faceted and complex nature of poverty alleviation needs a far more coordinated approach. We will continue to work with provincial and national government departments, civil society and business to scale up our poverty alleviation programmes.
We do this so that we may move closer to our vision of 'A city where community development, personal growth and social mobility are enhanced so that the challenges of poverty and vulnerability, inequality and social exclusion are fundamentally addressed'
Economic growth and opportunities
The ability of the City of Johannesburg to proactively absorb the poor, in part, depends primarily on sustainable economic growth and a distribution of the benefits of such growth.
In the State of the Nation Address, the President emphasised on the need to "make people's experience of local government a pleasant one, as it touches their homes and their lives directly, every day".
Like all other global cities, the City of Johannesburg is on a recovery path from the global economic crises. After recording an average annual economic growth rate of 5, 39% between the year 2004 and 2008, the City of Johannesburg recorded a negative growth rate of 1, 3% in 2009, owing to the overall downturn in economic activity experienced globally. However, current growth projections indicate that the Joburg economy will grow by an average of 4% annually over the next three years.
Madam Speaker, the current economic recovery is being led globally by the financial sector.
We have also had notable achievements in the last five years. The City has prioritised strong partnerships and collaboration with the business sector through the Johannesburg Business Forum (JBF), which has grown significantly and includes business chambers from Alexandra, Soweto and Roodepoort. We successfully engaged with stakeholders and the business community to come up with policies and plans that consolidate and enhance Johannesburg's position as an internationally recognised finance and business centre.
In order to facilitate the linkage of the local economy to national and international markets, the City committed to promoting inward investment and strengthening export penetration.
We have also over the last 5 years prioritised the regeneration programme of the Inner City due to its status as the economic heartbeat of the City, the Province and the country. The Inner City alone contributes over 23% of the City's GDP. With an integrated urban economic system that provides more jobs than Sandton, Woodmead, Rivonia, and Randburg combined; the Inner City has become an important anchor for the East-West as well as the North-South Corridors.
Reducing unemployment remains a key priority. To this extent, we have resolved to develop a comprehensive plan that outlines the City of Johannesburg's contribution to the 5 million reduction of unemployment. This is in keeping with the New Growth Path targets of reducing unemployment from 25% to 15% nationally over the next 10 years. We think it is important to emphasise the crucial and critical role of the private sector both on the question of growing our economy and in creating jobs.
In this regard, the City will, among other things, identify engines of growth; continue and broaden public investment in infrastructure; target labour-absorbing activities in manufacturing, construction and services as well as promote innovation through "green economy" initiatives. We will do all of this in consultation and in collaboration with the private sector and other stakeholders.
Madam Speaker, we also note that there is a mismatch between the supply and demand for skills in the labour market. In order to create a better match, we launched the Skills Hub in August 2010. The hub is aimed at creating a skilled and employable workforce by supporting skills development that, in addition, recognises prior learning to reduce poverty resulting from structural unemployment. The key growth sectors identified for this are trade, manufacturing, construction, transport and tourism.
The Expanded Public Work Programme (EPWP) programme also played a significant role in creating employment in the City. Through this programme, the City of Joburg has created more jobs than any other municipality in the country. Even though most of these jobs have been temporary.
Madam Speaker, Local Economic Development is more than ever before linked to entrepreneurship. What is needed is an enabling environment.
Some strides have been made with regard to this.
• The City approved the R1 billion "Jozi" SME Equity Fund [in May 2008];
• Provided capital to SMEs from R5 million upwards; and
• Approved a R60 million grant to create a private sector driven and non-profit regional finance institution known as the "Dirang Ba Bohle" (DBB) Finance [Community Bank].
Madam Speaker, approximately 10% of employment in the City is generated through the activities of the second economy. We therefore need to research and deepen our understanding [of this sector] to assist it to coexist and even compliment the formal economy.
Basic Services and Service Delivery Excellence
As mentioned earlier, more people than ever before, now have access to basic services; water and sanitation, electricity and waste.
Water and sanitation
Between the year 2006 to the year 2010:
• Over 29 060 households in informal settlements were provided access to basic water in the form of communal standpipes;
• Over 30 000 households were provided access to basic sanitation in the form of VIPs by Joburg Water.
This has increased the City's percentage coverage to 98% for basic water and 91% coverage for basic sanitation.
City Power has embarked on an equivalent programme to provide electricity.
During this term:
• Over 34 000 households were provided with electricity connections; and
• City Power also rolled out over 25 000 public lighting in targeted areas.
Waste removal and management
• On a weekly basis Pikitup services 709 846 customers [in terms of refuse round collections].
• A further 185 738 households in informal settlements are serviced daily or a minimum of three times per week.
• Pikitup also services 14 822 business customers.
• The total annual waste collected by Pikitup is 281 705 tons, from illegal dumping spots; and
• A total of 384 000 tons has been collected from informal settlements, (over five years) and
• A total of 1.6 million tons of waste is collected annually across the City (all customers).
The City of Johannesburg remains committed to the Polokwane Declaration of zero waste to landfills by the year 2020.
Free Basic Services
Madam Speaker, the City has been able to deliver free basic services to the poor and indigent communities. This has ranged from 10 kilo litres of water to 100 kilo watts per hour of electricity, as well as the related relevant rebate on sanitation.
Madam Speaker, I will now briefly reflect on the Rea Vaya BRT. It boasts of world-class infrastructure design and technology.
Rea Vaya has indeed not just been an ordinary transport intervention. It is about use of alternative energy, connecting communities across the City and helping to integrate the transport system.
It also provides quality, cheaper, reliable, fast, safer and cleaner transport. Finally, it is also about modernising our transport system.
We plan to complete the remaining 5, 4 kms of Rea Vaya BRT Phase 1B roadways and the four stations before the end of June 2011.
Madam Speaker, about three weeks ago, two senior officials from New York City, Ms Janette Sadik-Khan (Commissioner of the Department of Transportation) and Amanda Burden (Chair of the City's Planning Commission), visited the City of Johannesburg. Sadik-Khan, according to Business Day, said "Johannesburg's BRT system is the type of strategy that city's around the world need to follow." And her colleague, Amanda, said "BRT is an impressive achievement ….especially considering the number of stakeholders that were included in the planning and execution of the project."
In addition, the simultaneous construction and implementation of the BRT, Gautrain and the continued rollout of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project means that we are well on our way to integrating our transport system.
Madam Speaker, as the largest municipality, this City is of critical economic and strategic importance to South Africa. The City of Johannesburg is a financial hub of the country and provides a vital gateway to the African continent as a whole.
I think our critics should note the remarks from local government experts Kevin Allan and Karen Heese of the research group, Municipal IQ, who recently published a report titled: "What Johannesburg Can Teach the World about Managing Finances":
"It's sometimes easy to forget that only a decade ago, Johannesburg, the top scoring Metro on the Municipal Productivity Index was almost bankrupt. It is time for the world to take note of what the City has learned in the past ten years."
As we emerge out of the recent global recession, which coincided with a period of targeted high spending aligned to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the City is still feeling the effects although we have managed to stabilise our financial position.
I am pleased to report that because of our prudent financial management principles that have ensured that we at all times strive for efficiency, the financial position of the City remains positive. This is evidenced by our investment grade credit ratings which have remained unchanged at double A minus from the previous year with a stable outlook.
We inherited a City that was deeply divided along racial lines. People were excluded from amenities, from basic services and from participation in the mainstream of economic and social activities based on the colour of their skin. In order to address these imbalances we have made significant capital investment to improve the quality of life for our citizens with particular emphasis on infrastructure.
The spending on capital projects has over the past 10 years been between 90% and 95% of the capital budget, with 62% of the total spent being directed towards infrastructure development.
Of the R31billion spend on capital projects in the last ten years, the critical focus areas of capital spending have been:
• R7 billion has been spent on City Power with an aim of stabilising the distribution network to ensure the continued attraction of economic activities in the City due to reduced levels of power outages.
• Water and sanitation investment of R4.6 billion has increased the level of basic service provision across the City.
• R507 million investment in Refuse removal to include areas previously not covered; and
• Investment in Transportation of R3.6 billion has mainly been focused on the roll out of the improved public transport network in the form of the BRT whilst R3.4 billion has been spent on general road maintenance as well as addressing backlogs in the previously under serviced areas such as Orange Farm and Diepsloot.
In the past 10 years the City has taken great strides to not only improve the quality of life of its citizen but also to continue to be committed to sound financial practices and management as evidenced by the following achievements:
• The City of Johannesburg was the first municipality to tap the South African Debt Markets. Since then the City has been a pioneer in the capital market funding of municipalities, having issued retail bonds and commercial paper.
• The City's bonds are listed instruments which are governed by stringent reporting requirements and thus are subject to scrutiny, amongst others, by the market.
• The City has developed a strong reputation as an issuer, having consistently tapped the market since its debut bond in 2004.
• The City established an externally managed sinking fund to facilitate redemption of the City's bonds.
• The City's successful redemption of COJ01 (valued at R1 billion) in April 2010 (this was the first municipal bond issued in the market).
• Commercial paper to the value of R1.6 billion was successfully redeemed in the 2009/10 financial year.
• The City has highlighted the importance of the Domestic Capital Market to its long term funding strategy; and
• Attainment of unqualified audit for 3 consecutive years.
In the current year, the City submitted the Annual Financial Statements to the Auditor General as required by 31 August 2010. However, due to challenges associated with the transition to the SAP system, delays have been encountered in the resolution of the audit, to which we are confident of a speedy resolution. I am pleased to report that both the City's officials as well as the team from the Auditor General are working on this matter.
Going forward, the key strategic focus should be aimed at ensuring that the City becomes more financially resilient in the future in an environment where there will be huge demands on our budgets, amongst others, to address the issues related to the aging of infrastructure.
Billing and Revenue
Madam Speaker, the recent, and much publicised billing concerns has provided the City with a rare opportunity. This experience has reminded us to become even more customer centred. To date, this is what we are doing:
• We are phoning all affected customers (directly), and updating them on the status of their queries.
• We have set up a billing resolution task team that is working around the clock to resolve customer queries and sort out the systems issues.
• We are engaging our employees on the concepts of customer care and service; and
• We have started to trial the concept of extended working hours. Since February our Customer Service Centres have been opening between 8am to12pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
We have listened and we have heard the customers. I am happy to announce that we will be providing customers with long outstanding queries, with a favourable settlement arrangement.
At the Mayoral Committee meeting held on the 03rd of March 2011, a resolution was taken that, as from March 2011;
• Billing queries aged 90 days to 12 months will receive a 25 % discount; and
• Billing queries aged 12 months and older will receive a 50 % discount.
This arrangement Madam Speaker is subject to the following criteria:
o There must be a logged billing query; and the query must be resolved before a write off can occur, as there is no intention to create any credit balances.
o The consumer must pay in full or make an arrangement to pay all amounts outstanding over 90 days by 30 June 2011, in order to qualify for the write off; and
o The consumer must have provided an identity number, verifiable physical address, postal address, e-mail address and cellphone or land line number.
Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for the inconvenience caused to the Johannesburg residents and citizens by our new billing system. We commit to work diligently and to do everything possible to correct the situation and resolve every single outstanding query.
Sustainable human settlements
Joburg's unique approach to formalising and regularising informal settlements, a recognised best practice, is yet another achievement and an overall pointer of what is possible.
Key deliverables for the next six months of 2011 includes the following:
• Mixed development programme that will deliver 9000 units at Fleurhof and 3000 units at Lehae Phase 2.
• Allocation of beneficiaries to hostel development programme in Dube, Diepkloof, Meadowlands, Orlando and Mzimhlophe Women's Hostel.
• Construction of services and top structure at Elias Motsoaledi Informal Settlement.
• To fast-track the housing delivery process, the City of Johannesburg has now been accredited by national goverment to deliver Level 1 and 2 housing development.
Despite many challenges, the Housing Department managed during the last six months of 2010 to:
• hand over more than 800 houses to beneficiaries from Protea South to Lufhereng,
• 1 977 title deeds were also handed over; and
• 1 588 housing units were constructed.
One of the key achievements was the United Nations 2010 Scroll of Honour Award to JOSHCO. But, Madam Speaker, awards only serve as a motivation to do more and better.
With an ever increasing backlog, the City should be pursuing a new approach that focuses on the demand for accommodation, with a view to a realistic supply-side model. It should also be prioritised that we improve the delivery of rental accommodation as some people coming to urban areas do not intend to settle here permanently.
Environment protection and management
Madam Speaker, the environment is as important to Joburg as its people. The environment needs to sustain us, and therefore we need to look after it. William Ruckelshaus wrote in the USA Business week of 18 June 1990: "Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites".
The protection of rivers and ecosystems remains crucial, particularly in Johannesburg where water scarcity is a given. We should also carefully guard and expand our open spaces, a critical asset in a city with a growing population. We have made substantial progress to "green" Joburg during this term of office. Amongst others, we have done the following:
• We've planted in excess of 203 403 trees against the target of 200 000,
• Cleared more than 8000 ha of alien vegetation through Working for Water and City Parks,
• Supported 770 households with climate proofing in Cosmo City, which involves the installation of solar heaters and ceiling insulation,
• Embarked on programmes to retrofit street lights, install solar powered traffic signals and have recently introduced environmentally friendly buses; and
• Continue to rehabilitate the Jukskei, Kliprivier and Bruma Lake.
The objective of 'greening the city' was, in part, a step towards addressing the environmental and greening imbalances in the City. This has been achieved with resounding success. All we need going forward is consolidation.
Madam Speaker, the impact of global warming is already visible in Johannesburg. We have all witnessed the changing rainfall patterns and the devastating floods, impacting heavily on especially the poor, as well as on the City's infrastructure.
Despite the heavy rains, we sometimes forget that water in Joburg comes all the way from the Lesotho Highlands Scheme. Water is not a renewable resource and we need to use it wisely and focus on both the demand and supply mechanisms to protect it. One such intervention that Council instituted is Project G'cinamanzi, where we implement pre-paid water meters to enable residents to monitor usage. The level of unaccounted for water in Joburg is still unacceptably high, and we need to pay careful attention to this.
Acid mine water is also a new threat to the environment. We however, welcome the Minister of Finance's allocated budget provision and intervention.
Despite our achievements in the sector, we should be gearing towards an all - encompassing green strategy that takes into account issues of sustainability, environmental resilience and the ability to support the green economy.
Madam Speaker, to ensure that we effectively protect and manage our environment, we need to scale up demand side management, ensure waste minimisation and redirect our operations to support a green economy. We need to "Act Now", otherwise the free lunch will no longer be available.
Good governance not only refers to solid relations between the different spheres of government and stakeholders. It also refers to the systems and procedures to enable participatory local governance as well as measures to ensure clean and ethical governance and innovation.
Madam Speaker, this City has developed a comprehensive anti-fraud strategy and strengthened its internal systems and procedures to detect unethical behaviour and to act against perpetrators. This process is continuing and I want to assure members of the Council and the residents of Johannesburg that we are committed to clean administration and will leave no stone unturned to eliminate fraud and corruption.
This has intensified our fight against corruption, nepotism and all forms of misadministration. These are some of the things we have done:
• We have strengthened the procurement and supply chain management processes,
• We have contributed to the ongoing review of the MFMA and other relevant legislation,
• We have taken decisive and bold action against those found to be engaged or involved in untoward conduct and the looting of state resources; and
• We have strengthened the implementation of the ANCs Code of Conduct for Councilors.
The separation of powers model has ensured more oversight and accountability by the Legislature on the activities of the Executive.
Madam Speaker, in order to institutionalise performance management, the City established the Johannesburg Performance Audit Committee in 2003 (Performance Panel), well ahead of any similar initiative in any municipality in the country. This panel of experts was engaged primarily to monitor and evaluate organisational and individual performance.
The integrity of our system has been endorsed by the Auditor General's findings relating to performance information and the performance management system.
The City has also played a very important role in the local government international political arena. We have been part of many international local government organisations and forums, for example; ICLEI for Sustainability, UCLG, C40 Cities, CLGF and others. We have used this opportunity to advance our own local government agenda, to promote sustainable development and refocus attention on global warming and climate change.
Within the past five-year period, the City focussed on the establishment and maintenance of sister city or twinning arrangements, project cooperation and knowledge exchange programmes.
Arrangements were located within three broad categories which included north-south cooperation, south-south co-operation and the African Agenda. Increasingly, there has been a strong shift from north-south relationships, with more attention now being placed on the need for the development of strong south-south relationships. The African Agenda remains a key component of the South African national agenda. It is seen as being necessary for supporting peace and stability, democracy and good governance and social and economic development within the African region and, more importantly, the Southern African sub region.
Mentorship programmes between cities are being actively promoted by organisations such as Cities Alliance, UCLG, SALGA and emerging international donors. Such programmes also create the conditions for active project based support between the cities. Currently, the Johannesburg/Lilongwe programme is internationally recognised as a best practice.
Madam Speaker, this City believes in the concept of empowered citizens who are able to participate actively and effectively, in the democratic process through a range of participatory governance mechanisms. This includes ward committees.
In this City, we place a high value on the regular Mayoral road shows and visits to regions and communities. This process affords the City's political and administrative leadership with the opportunity to listen directly to residents and to be informed and sensitised about the needs of local communities.
Issues raised at these meetings are carefully noted and acted upon by the administration and at subsequent meetings we report back to residents on the progress we are making. This two-way process of communication ensures that the people of Johannesburg have a clear indication of how government operates and what actions it is taking to improve the quality of life of residents. It also enables residents to have a better grasp of government and its related programmes.
Some of the examples include the following:
• budget process where we engage in a consultative process with communities through the Regional Stakeholder Summits as well as
• the City-wide Stakeholder Summit in order to further develop an Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and to consider the preliminary ideas on resource allocations; and
• Ward Committee elections and participatory processes.
Madam Speaker, before I conclude, although it is not possible to mention every individual or group, please allow me to express an appreciation and thank the following persons and stakeholders.
These individuals, structures and organisations, inside and outside of council, have ensured that we were able to register progress and contributed immensely in ensuring that the goals that we have set for ourselves were realised. They include:
• The Council Speaker, Chief Whip, Members f the Mayoral Committee and all Chairpersons of Council Committees
• All leaders of political parties
• All Councillors
• The City Manager, Executive Staff and officials
• Organised business, Community Based Organisations and NGOs
• Members of the diplomatic corps
• All unions
• Our citizens and residents
• Civil Society Organisations
• The Media (for keeping us on our toes) and, last but not least,
• My wife, children and extended family (who have had to endure with the long hours and sacrifices that go with being a Mayor).
Madam Speaker, as we get nearer to the conclusion of the first decade of democratic local governance I think it is safe to say that the Johannesburg of 2011 is a vastly different, and a vastly better place than the Johannesburg of the 5th December 2000.
Madam Speaker, many, including our detractors, would agree, that we have indeed established a solid foundation. We continue to make progress in all aspects of service delivery and City management to the point where we will be able to pass on a strong legacy to the new, incoming leadership and administration.
Together with the people of this great City, we are building better communities and building a better Johannesburg.
In conclusion, Madam Speaker, please allow me to leave you with the following words.
We value debate as an art of persuasion. But we know its limitations. We remain aware that we should triumph through our actions, never through a mere argument.
Robert Green in a book "48 Laws of Power" says: "any momentary triumph you think you have gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory; the resentment and ill-will you stir up are stronger and last longer than any momentary change of opinion. It is much more powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a word. Demonstrate, do not explicate."
Iso liwela umfula ugcwele. Asiyeke ukwanda ngomlomo. Mitirho ya vulavula! Amakholwa empela abonakala ngezenzo!
In this term of political office, it has been an honour to work with all of you. We may have had a difference of opinion here and there, but overall we have worked together and served the people of this City well. It was indeed a privilege to serve the residents and citizens of Johannesburg.
We have indeed established a solid foundation and we challenge those who will come after us to set even higher standards and to never ever forget that government is about the well-being of people and service to the citizen.
Read more: http://www.joburg.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6324&catid=96&Itemid=114#ixzz1GHeMVAZT
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