The desired outcome of the Inner City Partnership Forum is accelerated, inclusive, shared and sustainable growth of the City of Johannesburg, Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba told the third Inner City Partnership Forum at Museum Africa recently.
To achieve that, Mayor Mashaba said, the city is working with individuals, corporations, concerned citizens and the community to find sustainable solutions to meet the city’s social, economic and physical needs so that the lives of all can be improved.
The forum gave feedback on the progress the City has made to date in the 2017/2018 financial year, following the launch of the Inner City Transformation Roadmap, a plan geared at tackling the housing challenge within the inner city and creating safe, clean and connected communities to access economic opportunities.
The mayor further outlined the City’s progress in restoring law and order back to the inner city following the launch of Operation Buya Mthetho, a multi-departmental initiative aimed at enforcing by-laws and bringing back the rule of law to the City of Johannesburg.
“Through Operation Buya Mthetho, we have already collected R160 million from some of the more than 200 businesses whose accounts were not on our system,” said Mashaba.
In dealing with issues of hijacked buildings, plans are already underway to expropriate derelict buildings in the inner city to develop quality low-cost housing, student accommodation and affordable rental space for small businesses
The City has also made great progress with a number of projects and programmes aligned to the city’s key strategies during the 2017/18 financial year.
The City’s Group Forensics and Investigations Services Unit has done sterling work to push back the frontier of property hijackings. Some of the unit’s notable successes include:
- The arrest of 15 property hijackers;
- The return of 12 properties to their respective owners;
- Nine criminal dockets successfully put before the courts; and
- The successful prosecution and conviction of a property hijacker and his accomplice to 15 and years, respectively, for fraud.
In addressing the housing challenge, and alleviating the shortage of student accommodation, the City will set aside an additional R87 million to the Johannesburg Social Housing Company (JOSHCO) to continue with its project of acquiring buildings in the Inner City.
Committed to building an inclusive city, 31 buildings will be offered to the private sector to develop affordable units with low cost rental fees of between R800 and R1 000 a month.
Some of the successful interventions the City has undertaken are the registration of 513 poor inner city residents on the Expanded Social Package which have been linked to various support and developmental programmes.
To promote economic growth, the Department of Economic Development has deployed 60 tourism monitors in the inner city at key tourist attractions in Newtown and Constitutional Hill. There has also been significant progress with various interventions that are positively delivering on the IDP’s 5% growth convergence path.
The Department of Transport is making great strides in providing well-developed public transport facilities with the development of the Johannesburg International Transport Interchange, which is at an advanced stage set to be completed in August 2018.
“I hope all of you will support us in building a safe, inclusive City for all those who call Johannesburg home,” concluded Mashaba.
Issued by the City of Joburg