Mayor reviews the performance of her administration since the elections
SPEECH BY EXECUTIVE MAYOR, ALDERMAN PATRICIA DE LILLE, AT THE LAST COUNCIL MEETING FOR 2011, December 8 2011
Good morning, goeiedag, molweni.
Mr. Speaker, election years are long years. All of us in this chamber went through the long process of campaigning, with all the personal sacrifices one has to make in the process. But that is what democracy requires and I am proud that Cape Town remains the most vibrant place for democratic contest in the country.
After the frenzy of the election, we began to govern. Those of us not in government set down to represent opposing viewpoints. But throughout, all of us have been engaging with each other and working for the people of Cape Town.
I would like to thank all of you for your hard work and dedication: the members of the Mayoral Committee, Sub-Council Chairs, Councillors and of course City officials led by our able City Manager, Achmat Ebrahim.
Officials help keep this city going and help us achieve our objectives for all the people of Cape Town. I would also like to thank the opposition for the role that they have played in the democratic process.
Mr. Speaker, this time of year is a time for reflection: an assessment of what we have done and what we still want to do. All reflections must be honest. We must learn to look at ourselves without compromise, to know our weaknesses so that we can do better next year. Otherwise we would lose ourselves in pointless self-admiration.
For governments must assess performance and improve. We cannot be static entities rolling-on from year to year engaged in the waking dream of business as usual. Reflection must show us our true selves, not the delusion of what we imagine ourselves to be.
This government has only been in office for six months. But in that time, I believe that we have achieved a great deal and that we have laid the foundations of the city we said we wanted to build. We have seen a re-orientation of the City's structures according to the five pillars of our government: the Opportunity City; the Safe City; the Inclusive City; the Caring City; and the Well-run City.
This policy agenda has been reflected in the very departments that comprise the City's bureaucracy. We created new portfolios that would help drive the agenda of the five pillars.
The portfolios of Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning and Events, Marketing and Tourism are working to create the economic environment in which investment grows and jobs can be created.
Those portfolios will be ably assisted by the Economic Development Partnership (EDP), an initiative driven by this administration to help us build on our competitive advantages and generate job-creating growth.
We have also passed a budget that is helping us fulfil our obligations under our five-pillar plan, a budget managed with the utmost professionalism and transparency.
Indeed, I am pleased to announce that for the eighth year in a row, the City of Cape Town has received an unqualified audit from the Auditor-General. This despite an unprecedented level of scrutiny, the extent of which may well see Cape Town stand alone as the only metro in South Africa to be awarded this status.
These are core achievements in a City that is committed to being well-run. A well-run City believes in transparency and accountability. We live by those principles. They inform all that we do. That is why this administration has kept Mayoral Committee meetings open. It is why we were the first metro to have a multi-party oversight committee on spending. It is why we have by far the most open and public tender process of any municipality in South Africa.
Even if metros governed by other political parties refuse to be scrutinised by their people, this government will resist the tendency for secrecy that seems to inform some political philosophies and I assure you that we will never hide behind closed doors or undemocratic legislation.
We are also making steady progress in making Cape Town more inclusive, where all of people feel at home and know that they have a stake in the future. Our redress policy is helping change this city. We have engaged in land restitution in Claremont, showing how cities can be the leaders of change in our society when other levels of government are sometimes too slow to respond to the needs of communities.
We have resolved some long-standing issues that unnecessarily divided the city and were unjustly exploited by some for political gain. The toilets in Khayelitsha have been enclosed and the process of delivering basic services to all continues.
The people of Hangberg and the City have made peace, despite the best efforts of those who would be the enemies of peace for cheap political gain. Indeed, we have signed a historic peace accord with the residents of Hangberg and we are thankful for having a united metro once more.
We are actively changing the landscape of this city with street renaming and new names for new streets and spaces, acting on a process long-needed and long blocked by those resistant to change. Nelson Mandela, Helen Suzman and Dr. Christiaan Barnard have already been honoured.
On Saturday, we will honour that great advocate of peace, the Nobel Laureate, Chief Albert Luthuli right here at the Civic Centre at the heart of our city. And after steady negotiations, the minstrels will have their annual carnival according to the historic route with services provided by the City. And the portfolio of Social and Early Childhood Development is working to place the needs of the most vulnerable of our society firmly on the agenda, helping us become a more caring city.
I am proud to say that the mission to build a more caring city has reached across portfolios. Recent examples of this philosophy in action include the approval of a Drug and Alcohol abuse action plan; an additional R150 000 for youth skills development; an additional R325 000 to promote child health; clinic expansions in Gugulethu; and 700 new houses in Khayelitsha. And we have granted R842 million in rates rebates for those who have not been able to afford to pay.
We have also demonstrated the synergy between our pillars in one of our most innovative policies over the past few months. Our backyarder strategy, which provides services to backyarder communities, is the first of its kind in the country.
Using engineering surveys and then the roll-out of specialised service points providing access to water, sanitation and electricity, we are changing people's lives.
We have completed one pilot project in Factreton and will reach ever more communities over the next five years.
These services build stronger communities. Stronger communities create opportunities. And more opportunity means a more inclusive city. We are also making our city safer by continuing to be leaders in law enforcement and disaster risk management.
This government, in partnership with the provincial government, has initiated the Ceasefire Strategy which is helping to address the problem of gang violence. We have extended the highly successful Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) programme from Khayelitsha to communities like Manenberg and Hanover Park. And we continue to lead the charge of information- and technology-driven policing by employing new technologies, such as the technology that helps us triangulate the position of gun shots. We have indeed been working hard. But I am pleased that even though the year draws to a close, we have not let that interrupt our efforts to build the African city of the future, today.
I am pleased to announce that, as we speak, thousands of people are moving, with the assistance of the City, in RR section in Khayelitsha so that Eskom can build a much-needed sub-station that will provide power to the area and those surrounding it. I would also like to thank Cllr. Monde Nqulwana for all of his hard work in this matter.
We are also privileged to be joined here today by representatives from Enkanini. After years of petition, I am pleased to announce that the people of Enkanini will be receiving electricity after resolving all outstanding issues that have prevented its installation in the past.
I would like to thank Cllr. Mpucuko Nguzo for all of his help with the community. Working with various partners, including Nu-Plan Afrika, we have developed a spatial framework of Enkanini that marks areas that will be developed in phases by the City over the next few years.
We have shared these designs with Eskom who have agreed to adapt designs around this framework to commence electrification. With the help of the community and Eskom, this electrification will help change people's lives and ensure that we as a City are doing all that we can to provide opportunities to all. As we know, however, there is no greater opportunity than having a job.
Several months ago, I announced a special Mayoral work programme creating job opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). These jobs are designed to build this city, build communities and, most importantly, provide immediate economic relief to individuals and families.
In the first quarter, the City reported 154% of targets reached: 6174 opportunities against a target of 4000. By the end of June 2012, an estimated 34 000 job opportunities are to be created from the 228 projects submitted from various city departments.
As we create more long-term opportunities, we can provide immediate relief and thus enshrine the principle of care in our government, especially in these harsh financial times.
Today, I also ask this Council to approve another mayoral programme, the Mayoral Urban Regeneration Programme. The purpose of this initiative is to provide integrated urban management and coordinate planning, community engagement and investment in certain areas of the city.
Working with a range of actors, including the Sub-Councils, specially appointed Area Coordinating Teams will work to uplift formerly neglected and dysfunctional areas to improve safety, quality of life and social and economic conditions. The programme will introduce a sustainable system of operating and maintaining public infrastructure and facilities in partnership with Sub-Councils and the communities, while also providing a platform for effective public and private investment.
Areas identified for the initial roll-out include: Manenberg; Hanover Park; Lotus Park; Bishop Lavis; Valhalla Park; Bonteheuwel; Nigeria Way; Harare Safe Node Area; Kuyasa Interchange Precinct; Bellville Transport Interchange Precinct and Voortrekker Road corridor; Westfleur Business Node; Athlone CBD; Ocean View; and the Mitchells Plain Town Centre.
We cannot let communities and areas fall behind in this city's development and I am confident that with this initiative, we will be able to arrest unnecessary urban decline and help ensure that these centres become local engine-rooms of opportunity. As we go forward, we will need our officials to give their all, as we know they always do. To lead them, we must have the best team in place.
The new Executive Management Team (EMT) proposed for this city will come before this council for approval this afternoon. Though we will discuss the item in the appropriate time, I will say that I believe we have recommended a diverse, highly-skilled team of outstanding individuals who can help us meet our ambitious targets - a truly inclusive management structure.
I would, however, like to take this opportunity to thank the current EMT for all of their hard work and for helping to build a better city for all Capetonians. We have indeed had many successes, and further successes are still to come. The City has received numerous awards throughout the year - some of which I will just mention briefly: winning the bid to be the World Design Capital of the Year in 2014; having Table Mountain named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World; making the New York Times' Top Ten list of Hip Cities That Think About How They Work; being named best tourism destination in TripAdvisor's Traveller's Choice Destinations Awards; and being named by the Abroad101 survey as the 10th most popular destination for students from the United States to study abroad.
And I am pleased to announce for the first time that the City has been named as the host of the prestigious Loerie Awards from next year to 2014 - an event that helps position us as the creative capital of the country and the region.
These accolades, and the many others we have won, represent a greater achievement. They represent a city that is truly aiming to compete as a world-class place to live, work and study. And what is more, a city that is succeeding. The people are recognising this success.
Just last night the governing party, the DA, won an overwhelming victory in a by-election in Ward 71, even winning in a traditional ANC Voting District. And so we must be proud. But there is still much more work to be done.
This government has not been in office for a year and we will have long days and nights ahead to fully implement our policy agenda. That will require hard work, to be sure. But it will also require introspection and an assessment of our performance.
We must forever remain critical of ourselves to properly implement a governing programme that favours the attainment of excellence and delivery to all. To be critical is to be honest. To be honest, we must ensure that we look for our true reflection staring back at us in the mirror and not a dream of what we hoped to be but never were. Because an honest government, open and transparent, is the government people truly deserve.
Issued by the Communication Department, City of Cape Town, December 8 2011
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