Programme Director, Mr Wiseman Simelane
MMC for Housing Cllr Mlungisi Mabaso
Ward Councillor, Ms Joanne Horwitz
Region E Director, Ms Liziwe Makoro
Members of the media
And importantly, our title deeds beneficiaries
The past few weeks, and even this day, bring into sharp focus the complexity of the work that the Multi-Party Government has to do in order to truly repair and rebuild Joburg in a manner that ensures an equitable delivery of services to all 6-million residents of the City, across its seven regions.
For example, while the MMC for Housing, Cllr Mlungisi Mabaso, and I stand here to issue title deeds to 102 beneficiaries, who will now have ownership of their homes, there are residents gathering at the Metro Centre to express an opinion that this relatively new Joburg Multi-Party Government is not delivering services.
Mayoral Priority Number 5 is about building an inclusive City, which means that we are working around the clock to make every corner of Joburg a place where residents have all the amenities they need to live a quality life, with access to housing and job opportunities. This priority applies to the residents of the City, whether here in River Park or in Soweto.
As the City, we will never abdicate our responsibilities, but we also have a duty to deliver services in an equitable manner, especially when it comes to addressing historical backlogs caused by poor leadership and a poor understanding of the needs and aspirations of residents. We will therefore never direct service delivery efforts in a way that compromises one community in favour of another.
This afternoon, residents of Soweto will be marching on the City to express their dissatisfaction with service delivery in the area – particularly around the issues of electricity and policing. It is important to state upfront that Soweto is supplied by Eskom and that the policing issues raised relate to the South African Police Service (SAPS), we have therefore invited these two National Government structures to be present to receive the group’s memorandum of demands.
Equally, as the Multi-Party Government we will receive the memorandum of demand and escalate the issues to the relevant authority. Where matters relate to the municipality, we will address them in order to find long-term and lasting solutions.
As the Multi-Party Government, we will never shy away from our mandated responsibilities to all 6-million residents of Joburg, in fact we are proactive in our delivery of services, but we are also responsive when it is required of us. That is the nimble nature of this multi-party administration that has been entrusted to lead Joburg until 2026.
The issuing of 102 title deeds today, was not something that happened overnight; it is the outcome of consultation between the City and residents, and a response to the needs of this community, who have opted for ownership rather than rental.
A title deed is an important document as it confirms ownership, recognised by law, and provides the title deed holder with security of tenure for generations to come. In many ways, this is the start of breaking generational curses caused by apartheid, a system that sought to limit land and asset ownership among the majority.
While we acknowledge the past and the pain and scarring it still causes, today is about the start of a new era for 102 title deed beneficiaries and their families.
In the same vein, on 1 July, when the Multi-Party Government’s R77,3-billion budget comes into effect, residents will see further improvements in service delivery programmes, which seek to transform Joburg into a City of Golden Opportunities.
The changes will not happen overnight, but it will be a gradual yet deliberate programme of service delivery for all residents across the City, not just some.
MMC Mlungisi Mabaso has been tasked with reimagining housing, so that we can address the housing backlog in an innovative, quicker, and cheaper way that does not compromise the quality and sustainability of housing.
This also means addressing corruption in the system, that often undermines service delivery because those who have been waiting for housing and housing opportunities are often overlooked in favour of those who are willing to pay a bribe. We are working tirelessly to end this practice. When you see and hear these nefarious acts happening, alert the relevant authorities.
I wish you all many happy years in your homes; and as the municipality we commit to delivering the necessary services to ensure you live a quality life.
I thank you.