DOCUMENTS

City stands on the cusp of great change – Herman Mashaba

Mayor says task of turning Joburg around, and overcoming legacy left to us by previous govt, proved to be enormous

State of the City Address

30 April 2019

Speaker of Council, Councillor Vasco Da Gama, 

Chief Whip of Council, Councillor Kevin Wax, 

Chair of Chairs, Councillor Alex Christians, 

Members of the Mayoral Committee, 

Fellow Councillors, 

City Manager, Dr Ndivho Lukhwareni, 

Distinguished Guests, 

Members of the Media, 

But most importantly, the residents of our City of Johannesburg. 

Today, I stand before you to deliver the 3rd State of the City Address under this multi-party government.

Today’s occasion has its origins in the Local Government Elections of the 3rd of August 2016 - in which the majority of the people of this great City, demanded change.

It was not just the demand for change to redress the painful legacy of our past.

It was a demand for change from the previous 22 years of the failed government that took our City in the wrong direction.

Those elections were a lesson to all of us. It was a lesson that our hard-won political freedom is not enough. Our freedom has to translate into the dignity of work that provides for families and the sense of belonging that comes from government delivering critical services.

Those elections were about that significant moment in April 1994 being destroyed by the arrogance, corruption, and neglect of a government that promised the world but, just, never seemed to get around to delivering. 

Our residents exercised their power by installing a multi-party coalition government, as a means to check two-decades of arrogance that had arisen from single-party dominance.

Our mandate was made crystal clear from day one; deliver change - deliver it widely and deliver it quickly.

In the beginning, we had to come to terms with the challenges that we would have to overcome along the way.

Unless these institutional barriers to success were quantified, unless strategies were developed to address them, the change would remain a dream.

I have spoken of these institutional barriers at length and will continue to do so at every turn.

I do this because the quantum of these backlogs is so great, and it's legacy so severe, that overcoming them is a journey we must travel together.

Infrastructure backlogs exceeding R170 billion characterised the service delivery landscape.

4,000 km of broken roads and 700 crumbling bridges arose from a R18 billion backlog in our transport network.

A staggering housing backlog of over 300 000 units has led to a legacy of land desperation, backyard dwellings, and shack farming. Far more housing is needed for those belonging to the missing middle and those in need of student accommodation.

Electricity outages produced from a R60 billion backlog in our electricity network results in over 170 000 power outages each year.

We had to contend with water stoppages resulting from a water network backlog of R18 billion which sprung over 45 000 leaks, losing 107 billion litres of this precious resource, each year.

We found just over 200 informal settlements in which our residents lived in the most appalling conditions. Many of our fellow residents were forced to live without the dignity that arises from even the most basic forms of services or sanitation.

This was the truly daunting inheritance the multi-party government had to come to terms with. 

Added to this, were institutionalised levels of fraud, corruption, and maladministration which now total more than R24 billion in transactions under investigation.

There can be no doubt, after what we have seen, that the culture of looting went right to the top.

Needless to say, the task of turning the City around, and overcoming the legacy left to us by previous governments, proved to be enormous.

Put simply, the multi-party government has to, not only redress the legacy of our unjust past that still defines the most unequal City in the world.   

It also has to correct the legacy of the last 2 decades, which delivered little more after the attainment of political freedom.

Our path to delivering change is a journey.

And, like any journey, there are hills and valleys.

But by knowing where we come from, by planning the route ahead, together, we will arrive at our destination.

A destination of a City where all of its residents prosper from the change that stops corruption, delivers services and creates jobs.

We call it, Diphetogo.

It means real, transformative and lasting changes.

Diphetogo recognises that we must prioritise the basics of local government that have been so neglected. We must concentrate expenditure on the most pressing needs of our communities, making the trade-offs required in the process.

Upon coming into office, the multi-party government was able to identify over R400 million in non-essential, government expenditure and programs which could be re-directed towards improving essential service delivery to communities.

In the 2017/18 financial year, we continued these efforts, achieving further savings.

We ended the City’s delusions of grandeur, delusions which saw the delivery of bicycle lanes before the delivery of toilets in our informal settlements.

This is how our multi-party government has increased Capex budget allocations on Housing, Transport, Electricity, Water and Roads from 58% in 2015/16 to 71% in 2019/20 budget.

This is how our multi-party government has increased the budget for electrifying informal settlements from a feeble R260 million over 3 years, to a budget now proposing R750 million over the next 3 years.

This is how our multi-party government has achieved higher levels of investment in road resurfacing, electricity grid stabilisation and sewer line replacement than have ever been achieved in the City’s history.

As we look ahead to the coming financial year, our multi-party government will continue to focus on getting the basics of local government right.

Under the theme of “Advancing Diphetogo”, we have committed ourselves to work harder to accelerate the City’s delivery of change to our residents.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I have always maintained that it is the change that delivers jobs, that holds the greatest prospect for our City and its people.

Ultimately, when people find the dignity of work, they have the means to improve their own lives better than the government has ever proven capable of achieving.

When this happens, the resources of the government can be focussed on a declining number of people who need our help the most.

When this happens, increasing levels of economic activity produce a demand for more businesses that employ more people.

The role of an effective government is to create an enabling environment, in which the economic potential of individuals and businesses flourish.

This is a key aspect of how we intend on bringing Diphetogo to the City.

On this score, the City has turned around its atrocious record of job losses.

It is with enormous pride that I tell you today that in 2018, the City of Johannesburg achieved the creation of 110, 000 net new jobs, reducing unemployment by 1.1%.

The economic growth rate of our City is growing for the first time in a long time.

In the 2017/18 financial year, our economic growth rate increased from 1.4% to 1.7%.  I look forward to the 2018/19 data in which we anticipate continued growth.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is Real Change.

In the 2016/17 financial year, the City achieved R4.5 billion in facilitated investment. At the time this was considered an achievement.

By the end of the 2017/18 financial year, the City had facilitated investment worth R8.7 billion.

Not being satisfied with this, we set our targets even higher, targeting R16 billion for this current financial year.

I am pleased to inform you that as of February this year, our unaudited level of facilitated investment stands at a record-breaking R12 billion, very much on track to achieve R16 billion by June 2019.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is Real Change.

2 weeks ago I was able to announce that the 84 properties that have been released to the private sector for low-cost affordable accommodation, have a guaranteed level of investment of R20 billion.

I am informed that this is the largest property investment, facilitated by any municipality in the history of our country.

The construction sector, which is in decline across our Country, is growing in Johannesburg. From these 84 buildings alone, we will create over 11 000 jobs in Johannesburg.

Despite these very positive indications, the reality is that a lot more has to be done.

Of particular concern is the epidemic of youth unemployment.

Recognising our role in addressing this epidemic, we established the Opportunity Centres.

These are spaces where youth and SMMEs can be connected to opportunities and services which can help them gain the critical skills which are proven to be the difference between a small business succeeding or failing.

This initiative has been supported by SARS, CIPC, SAICA, SEDA, the Innovation Hub and a number of private sector partners – offering a full suite of services to incubate small businesses and access funding.

Beyond this, expert trainers assist these small businesses to be more competitive in tendering for City contracts, opening the field to more small business to compete in an environment which previously they could not access.

It is an achievement worth noting that, in this current financial year, 22% of our procurement spend has been directed at SMMEs.

Since the launch of our first Opportunity Centre in Marshalltown last year, we have gone on to open 3 further Opportunity Centres in Roodepoort and Diepsloot as well as the Orange Farm Business Centre in partnership with Discovery.

We are finishing the construction of 3 further Opportunity Centres in Alexandra, Soweto and Randburg by the end of this financial year. This will mean that every one of the City’s 7 regions will have an Opportunity Centre up and running before July this year.

Through these efforts, 23 277 SMMEs have, to date, been supported since we took office, with the kind of support that increases the prospects of harnessing the potential of small business to generate considerable employment.

I cannot express my gratitude enough, to the government organisations and private sector businesses which have offered their expertise in order to make these Opportunity Centres a success.

Mrs Thandi Ntunzela first visited the Isiqalo Opportunity Centre in Roodepoort in July 2018.

She runs 2 small businesses.

When she first approached Isiqalo Opportunity Centre, Ms Ntunzela couldn't yet afford to have a permanent office of her own. She began booking the Hlanganani Small Boardroom and using the free Wi-Fi facilities on a day by day basis, as a workspace to attend to her business and client needs.

Ms Ntunzela has received support from the Opportunity Centre in a number of different areas of her businesses, including assistance with legal contracts.

Ms Ntunzela has received support to accredit her businesses with the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) and will also soon meet all requirements to gain accreditation as a training services provider with the Services SETA.

Ms Ntunzela is an entrepreneur with an ability to see opportunity where others only see risk. During March of 2019, Ms Ntunzela landed a contract to travel to the Eastern Cape to offer industry-related training.

With ongoing support from the Isiqalo Opportunity Centre, and by putting in a tremendous effort herself, Mrs Ntunzela is steadily achieving her goals to grow her businesses to the point where she will now be able to open her own office.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change.

Our multi-party government has instituted programs which specifically aim to target and benefit unemployed young people within our City.

In the past year, 200 youth underwent artisan training administered by the City as part of a joint pilot project with the University of Johannesburg.

These 200 artisans will emerge as plumbers, electricians, brick-layers and tilers into an industry in which most are approaching retirement age.

JOSHCO has also registered 7, 377 youth through the Greater Eldorado Park Youth Skills Development Centre. These young men and women will be trained in Project Management and Call Centre Operations, skills that are much sought after in a modern economy.

By the end of this financial year, the City will also be poised to launch the much-awaited Work Seekers Database.

The City will go out into communities, and avail our facilities, for qualifying residents to come forward to register.

No membership cards will be required, the only criteria will be for unemployed South African citizens.

This database will be made available to the private sector and serve to promote the unemployed in Johannesburg, to companies that are hiring.

It is our belief that we will be able to link thousands of work seekers with employment opportunities through this database in a manner unlike anything seen before.

The database will serve as a resource, where qualifying persons, can register to benefit from temporary work opportunities in the City on a fair and rotational basis.

It will connect our unemployed residents to an ever-growing need to match expanding levels of service delivery which requires workers.

Most critically, these temporary work opportunities will be accompanied by training and certification that improve the prospects of those workers to be competitive in the market when the time comes for others to benefit.

Under the multi-party government, we have already provided 44 030 EPWP work opportunities, with ambitious plans to expand further in meeting our aggressive service delivery plans.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Johannesburg has served as our country’s economic hub, in spite of government and not because of it. This is changing, because we must compete in an ever more competitive world, and be a desirable destination to set up a business.

In 2018, the World Bank has recorded an improvement in the score measuring the ease of doing business in Johannesburg. However, we know that more could be done to turn red tape, into red carpets for those capable of employing the unemployed in Johannesburg.

To achieve this, we are finalising the capacitation of an investment facilitation unit in Johannesburg.

This multi-disciplinary team will involve experts from the relevant Departments and Municipal Entities.

Their work will be to receive investment and development proposals in Johannesburg and ensure the fast-tracking of applications.

By doing so, Johannesburg will outcompete other municipalities as a destination for investment that guarantees the red carpet treatment.

The City remains committed to creating an enabling environment for economic growth and job creation.

Central to this commitment is ensuring that we reduce the cost of doing business, incentivise investment, and remove the bureaucratic red-tape that prevents the City from reaching its economic growth target.

To give effect to this commitment, in the 2019/20 financial year, the City will be introducing a new Investment Incentives Package.

This package is aimed at incentivising labour absorptive sectors that have the potential for growth and providing these sectors with the incentives and support that will allow them to flourish here in Johannesburg.

In the year 2019, it is out-dated for the country’s economic hub to only be able to process paper-based applications for development. Developers currently have to follow up, in person, to understand the progress of applications.

This is not how the country’s economic hub should be operating.

Before the end of 2019, our Development Planning Department will be launching its new online application process. This process will begin with all development applications of less than 500m2, which form the majority of all applications.

The system will ensure that online progress reports are available to applicants and that the structure of the Department is oriented around achieving the fastest turn-around times.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change. 

We are all too aware of how many residents still live under the legacy of apartheid-era spatial planning.

Apartheid-era spatial planning sought to push many communities to the very fringes of the City and locked them far away from economic opportunities.

Johannesburg is said to have in inward population migration of 3000 people per month. I regard this to be a massively understated figure.

This represents a challenge for how we envision spatial planning and housing for the City.

I have always held that addressing these challenges cannot possibly be met by government alone.

It is for this reason, as a City, we have sought to partner with the private sector in order to create quality affordable housing within the Inner City and along the corridors of freedom.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Johannesburg inner-city is full of potential.

With 500 derelict buildings, we have the opportunity to provide quality low-cost housing opportunities for the many people who form the ‘missing middle’ of the housing market.

It holds the potential to be a space for small businesses and start-ups, unable to afford the rentals of Rosebank and Sandton.

In December 2016, I made the announcement that the multi-party government will turn the Inner City of Johannesburg into a construction site.

People laughed at us, they called us mad.

Undeterred, we began the process of expropriating derelict buildings and releasing city-owned buildings to the private sector.

Through long-term leases, we have been able to ensure that rentals benefit those most in need of these opportunities, and we are engaging Provincial Human Settlements for further subsidisation.

I trust the Provincial Government will support this initiative.

Today, with the support of this Council, I am pleased to announce that 154 properties have been released since the program began.

Today, with the support of this Council, 84 properties have been awarded to the private sector, generating R20 billion in investment, creating over 11 000 construction jobs and producing more than 6500 housing units.

These spaces will help generate quality low-cost housing for our poorest residents, close to places of work, at a scale and speed that the government simply cannot.

It will also allow us to provide much-needed student accommodation within the inner city as well as support SMMEs that are desperate for space to grow.

I am immensely proud to stand before you and be able to say that, in 6 months from now, our iconic skyline will feature the cranes of construction.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the work of turning to the inner city into a construction site has begun.

One of the reasons I am so passionate about the Inner City project is because our spatial inequality persists so painfully 25 years after the attainment of our political freedom.

Relegated to the outskirts of the City, forgotten communities exist, where 45% of precious household income is spent on public transport to seek work opportunities, 3 or 4 taxi rides away.

The perpetuation of apartheid spatial planning has forced the multi-party government to take decisive action to halt this unsustainable situation.

In February, this year, Council adopted the Inclusionary Housing policy.

This policy demands, but also incentivizes, developers, to dedicate 30% of new residential developments to affordable housing.

The policy seeks to ensure that densities are increased in a manner that facilitates the co-existence of people belonging to varied income profiles.

The densification process will be implemented in and around current nodes, as well as the new ‘general urban zone’ in areas like Orlando East in Soweto.

The adoption of the Inclusionary Housing policy affirms the commitment of the multi-party government to building an inclusive society.

While the Inclusionary Housing policy is meant to deal with future housing developments, the City has been hard at work to address present demand and past backlogs.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you would know, the City has a housing backlog conservatively estimated at 300, 000 units with 160 000 people still on our housing list.

Despite our challenges, including an ever declining grant funding by the Provincial and National Government, we must see to it that people’s expectations of the City are met.

In this regard, the current medium-term budget proposes the biggest budget in the City’s history allocated to Housing and Informal Settlement Upgrading. 

Our approach to addressing the complex housing challenges of our city needs to be multi-dimensional. I say this because the delivery of 2000 RDP houses a year is not going to address this challenge in even a thousand years.

Our strategy has to involve a combination of RDP housing, social housing, informal settlement upgrading, site and service projects, as well as partnerships with the private sector.

In the mixed-income housing space, the City has provided over 6261 units over the last two years, despite declining HSDG funding from the National Government. These opportunities have arisen, largely, from the City’s mega projects including Fleurhof, Lufhereng, South Hills and Riverside.

The work of delivering RDP housing has to be complemented by our site and service projects, entailing pieces of land being demarcated and title deeds being issued to beneficiaries. Services are then installed on each plot providing sewer, water and electricity connections.

The owners of the plots will construct their own structures over the site, with the assistance of government. In a phased approach, the government can then begin by delivering tarred roads, street lights, and other services to develop these sites into a community.

I am pleased to announce that the City will be delivering over 4000 sites and service stands in the 2019 calendar year, substantially more than could be delivered by way of traditional RDP housing.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change.

In the month of March this year, I was joined by Councillors in this chamber to launch the first site and service project in Zandspruit. This site has been commissioned to deliver 701 fully serviced stands for which the City is partnering with the community of Zandspruit.

Earlier this month, we were able to launch the second site and service project in Vlakfontein, which will see over 100 fully serviced stands to the beneficiaries of this community.

There is no question that site and service have to be a viable option going forward, to address the crisis we face in our housing backlogs and desperation for land, arising from our painful past.

One particular project this multi-party government has taken to new heights is the delivery of title needs.

To date, the multi-party government has handed out 6659 title deeds since coming into office. This has ensured that thousands of Johannesburg residents experience the joy of homeownership.

There are times when numbers and statistics do not adequately capture the meaning of the change that we are delivering in Johannesburg.

I would like to share with you, one such occasion.

In 2018, while distributing title deeds in Ennerdale, I gave a woman a title deed that she had been trying to receive from the government for over 30 years. She wept in my arms, crying out that her countless visits to the City, over 3 decades, had finally paid off.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change.

On 1 December 2016, I made a remark about illegal immigration that generated controversy in our City.

After 2 and a half years in government, I remain convinced, now more than ever, that our City faces a crisis of illegal immigration.

In order to quantify the problem, 66 City-operated clinics in Johannesburg measured over the period of 2016 that over 32 000 undocumented foreigners received treatment at our clinics.

In 2018, this figure rose to 83 000 which translated into 15-30% of all patients receiving medical treatment at our clinics.

An audit of our social and RDP housing is underway, but early indications would demonstrate that a large number of the occupants of these facilities are undocumented foreign nationals.

There can be no doubt that the immigration crisis in our country is contributing to pressures on government to provide services with limited funding.

We remain committed to our Constitutional obligations, and recognise many law-abiding foreigners who want to contribute to our City but struggle because Home Affairs cannot process them as Asylum Seekers.

As for me, I will not back down and be silenced on a matter that is impacting our City so fundamentally.

I have engaged National Government for over 2 years, and with 3 different Ministers of Home Affairs. I have found no support arising from these efforts.

I have come to the view that illegal immigration will not be treated with any level of importance, until a different party occupies the Union Buildings. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are beginning to roll back years of underspending on our critical service delivery infrastructure. Infrastructure failure has to be fixed in Johannesburg for the sake of our residents, and for the sake of our economy.

The job of keeping it functioning smoothly will require a delicate balance between repairs and maintenance, alongside investment into refurbishing our aged infrastructure.

The multi-party government has increased spending on repairs and maintenance from 2% spend on repairs and maintenance to over 5% by the end of this financial year.

The City’s spending on electricity, water, roads, transport and housing is now sitting at the highest levels in the history of our City, through our Diphetogo program.

Our aged electricity network had to see our focus refurbishing our electricity sub-stations.

Old sub-stations, built decades ago, have not been able to keep up with the increasing demands of the growing communities they now serve.

The greatest number of power outages arise from times where demand exceeds the supply of our aged sub-stations, and this is why we have focussed on refurbishing sub-stations as the first phase of stabilising our electricity grid.

In this financial year, City Power will have concluded the refurbishment of the Roosevelt, Sebenza, Wilropark, Nancefield, Heriotdale, Mondeor, Mulbarton, Pennyville and the Waterval Sub-Stations.

By the beginning of the 2019/20 financial year, City Power will have concluded its work on the Eldorado Park and Hopefield Sub-Stations.

You will recall these were the 2 sub-stations which saw brazen criminals in the City make payments to the amount of R88 million for nowhere near this level of work having been done.

It is a tragedy that more critical funding had to be allocated to these projects, while the NPA withdrew the case against the Directors of Setheo Engineering.

The Sebenza substation was launched on the 7th of Feb 2019. The City invested more than R1.2 billion for this new, state of the art substation, the biggest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

Among the areas that will benefit from Sebenza are Alexandra, Gresswold, Sandringham, Athol Oaklands, Rosebank, Melrose and Parkhurst. This mega substation will energise 30% of the population of the City of Johannesburg.

Ladies and gentlemen, our strategy is working.

In the 2017 calendar year, each household in Johannesburg experienced, on average, 6.2 power outages per year, averaging 42 hours without electricity.

In 2018, in spite of load shedding beginning in December of that year, this number was brought down to 5.9 outages per year and the resulting downtime was reduced to 30.5 hours.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change.

These improvements are imperative, but I believe the real changes will arise from the completion of our sub-station refurbishments in July this year.

In the 2019/20 financial year, City Power’s focus will shift to the replacement of high and medium power lines across the City of Johannesburg, using aluminium instead of copper to reduce cable theft.

This approach is based on the view that aged power lines are the second greatest cause of power outages in the City.

What gives me confidence is that City Power is systematically working through their backlogs, and will have fundamentally reversed the number of power outages experienced by our residents and businesses by the end of this term of office.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

ESKOM did our City no favours, with the recent rolling blackouts that rose to the highest levels in our Country’s history.

Residents and businesses were left in the dark, and so too was the City as we received no briefings, no projections and no assurances.

Our aged infrastructure, predictably, did not fare well with the power being switched on and off repeatedly and we were left with secondary outages arising from the damage.

Our City’s dependence upon ESKOM is a disaster, one that we now have to mitigate against.

The reality is that load-shedding will be a reality for many years to come. It is clear that the National Government have no plan, which necessitates our multi-party government to develop its own.

In December 2018, we received a letter from ESKOM stating that the City could not offset our load shedding requirements with the power generated from the Kelvin Power Station.

Kelvin is an independent power producer that the City had been contracted to from previous rounds of load shedding. Upon taking office, ESKOM withdrew from funding this arrangement and left the City to foot the bill.

I have initiated a team of people from the City to meet with ESKOM to inform them that we will offset our load shedding with the power produced by Kelvin.

If our residents are paying for it, and it is not being generated by ESKOM, there is no rational basis to preventing us from using the 200MW produced at Kelvin to mitigate the crippling effects of load shedding.

This is equivalent of what we have to shed in Johannesburg, during stage 2 load-shedding.

Should this not be achieved, I have informed our legal teams of my intent to see us in court with ESKOM so that we can mitigate load shedding in Johannesburg.

My intent goes beyond this. I have dispatched a team from the City to engage Kelvin to see whether a new contract could be negotiated that would see their output increased, and sold to the City at a cheaper rate than ESKOM.

If this is achieved, the City has the license to procure 600MW from Kelvin, which has the ability to prevent all load shedding up to, and including Stage 6.

Can you imagine, as a City, being able to tell our residents and businesses that load-shedding will never be experienced in Johannesburg again?

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change.

Joburg Water has achieved amazing feats in addressing our water network across the City.

The number of water leaks and bursts in our network has increased until the staggering level of 45 000 per year when we took office.

Through their coordinated replacement of water pipes throughout the City, a project that has seen 65 km of pipe replacements since taking office, for the first time, the leaks and bursts are declining by as much as 2000 leaks or bursts in 2017/18.

In our current financial year, we are projecting leaks and bursts in our water network to be brought down by a staggering 10 000 this year.  

For the first time in recent history, non-revenue water losses are on the decline in Johannesburg.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change.

The replacement of sewer pipelines in the City has exceeded the annual targets of each year, replacing 45km in 2017/18. With the additional investment in our adjustments budget this year, we are currently on track to exceed this in the 2018/19 financial year.

This is imperative to our ability to reduce sewer leaks that have been prolific in many informal settlements and have undermined the dignity of our people for so long. 

The work of the Johannesburg Roads Agency in addressing our road and bridge network has been impressive.

Over the next three financial years, the City will invest R1.2 billion for road resurfacing, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

The length of roads classified to be in poor or very poor condition has been reduced from the 4000km inherited, by 806km of road resurfacing by the JRA.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change.

I am also pleased to inform you that the City is eating away at the gravel roads, mostly located in informal areas.

Nearly 70km of gravel roads have been tarred to date, and the JRA has been allocated a staggering R1.2 billion to continue this work in the medium-term.

Of course, much still needs to be done with respect to managing signal downtime at our robots and intersections throughout the City. We witnessed recently the impact of load shedding on our traffic light network, and the resulting congestion on our roads.

However, I am pleased to report that we are beginning to see some progress with a 20% reduction in traffic signal downtime relating to technical faults.

The ‘no join policy’ continues to see the cabling of our busiest traffic intersections in Johannesburg being dug up and re-laid to ensure less downtime, and the installation of uninterrupted power supply to prevent downtime at all.

With over 3500 traffic light intersections in our City, there is still much to do, but I am pleased that a strategy has been developed, it is producing results and we are poised to expand the project significantly.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change,

Our bridge repair work has taken centre stage of late. With over 900 bridges and only 6% of them in good condition, it is no wonder that they are crumbling to the point of requiring emergency repairs.

Our work on the M2 Bridge is the clearest example of this. Causing major inconvenience to businesses and residents alike, we had to take the decision to shut down the M2 in order to protect the lives of our residents.

I stood on that bridge, I felt the vibrations, and I saw first-hand the cracks in the supporting structures. There is no doubt that this was a life-saving and very necessary decision.

The emergency repairs on this bridge are set to be finished by October this year. I am pleased by the offers from the private sector that have come forward with offerings of time, funding and expertise to expedite the completion of this project.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As matters stand, 92.6% of residents within the City have access to basic refuse removal.

In addition, through the assistance of our residents, 4, 355 tons of waste was diverted from landfill, through our Separation at Source initiatives.

This represents a 14% reduction in waste reaching landfill sites within the City.

Pikitup management has steadied the uncertainty within the entity’s labour environment, arising from the exploitative reliance on temporary workers.

To this end, Pikitup undertook the insourcing of former [email protected] and so-called “2010 employees” following a feasibility study on Pikitup’s current capacity requirements and budget availability.

The so-called “2010 employees” had previously been awarded a judgment whereby Pikitup was required to insource this group of employees. This matter had not been addressed for some years, and the new administration was now forced into a position where it needed to find a solution to the problem.

Through the recent insourcing project at this entity, a total of 1, 544 individuals were offered employment. The beneficiaries have commenced work and were deployed at various Pikitup depots across the City. 

The increased capacity is now beginning to produce results that were previously hampered due to a lack of capacity in the entity to meet the refuse removal demands of our residents.

This is being achieved while providing former temporary workers, who were abused for years under [email protected], with the benefits of full-time employment in our City.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change.

The City continues to encourage our residents to participate in our efforts to keep the City clean through our A Re Sebetseng initiative, which was started two years ago.

A Re Sebetseng – which in Sesotho means “Let us work” – takes place on the 3rd Saturday of each month, closely modelled after Rwanda’s Umuganda. It encourages each of our residents to volunteer their time in order to make their communities cleaner and better.

I have been deeply moved by the spirit of our people, who without fail, have answered this monthly call to help make our communities more liveable.

I would like to extend my gratitude to the likes of Coca-Cola, Anglo Ashanti, Adcock Ingram, Avis Fleet, Miss Earth SA, universities, places of worship, the Ratepayers Associations and Community Organisations which have also heeded the City’s call to volunteering their time and resources towards making this project a success.

Through A Re Sebetseng, 28 000 bags of waste have been collected and 21, 500 residents have participated across the City in this initiative.

Last year, I announced the diversification of A Re Sebetseng into further areas of volunteerism that will complement our existing clean-up campaign.

With this in mind, I am pleased to inform Council of the City’s plan to engage with members of the medical profession, in order to encourage them to offer their expertise on a pro bono basis at our local clinics.

Over and above this, the City is now at an advanced stage of launching A Re Sebetseng Schools, a program set to launch at the beginning of our coming financial year.

In these monthly operations, we will work together to improve the learning environment for some of our poorest schools.

It is through A Re Sebetseng, that we will continue to unite people in our City by a common cause of volunteerism and a spirit of community, shared between all people.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As a part of addressing the staggering inequality in our City, it is our work in informal settlements which leaves me very proud.

Arising from our long-term planning approach to Diphetogo, I can stand before you and say that every informal settlement in Johannesburg, will have access to basic water and sanitation at a ratio of 1 standpipe and 1 toilet for every 8 households by 2021.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change.

Services to informal settlements cannot be regarded as some kind of special achievement, it is a human right, and the current situation is the legacy of 2 decades of under-investment which the multi-party government must now reverse.

When the multi-party government took office, we initiated a program of investment into electrifying our informal settlements. This program saw the investment in this priority tripling, with a record-breaking R750 million budgeted over the next 3 years.

In 2016/17, we doubled this by electrifying 4800 households in our informal settlements.

In 2017/18 we electrified a further 2600 households in our informal settlements.

In our current financial year, our plans are to conclude the electrification of 9 further informal settlements with a record-breaking 6500 households to be electrified.

These informal settlements include Meriting, Alexandra, Rugby Club, Tsepisong, Matholesville, Heavenly Valley, Rabie Ridge, Princess and Kliptown.

That is correct, it will be this multi-party government, who will electrify the home of the Freedom Charter, 25 years after democracy in our country.

The multi-party government has changed the City’s approach to informal settlements. No longer can they be left without services, awaiting housing opportunities from RDP housing delivery. In-situ upgrades have to be prioritized to provide the dignity that is so desperately required in these communities.

Last year, when we finished the electrification of Slovo Park, I was invited into the shack of an old lady, Mrs Ruth Mohlape, who had bought a kettle to share her first pot of tea with me after the electrification.

She said to me, “This is the first time I have had electricity since 1994. I feel like a human being today."

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change,

Joburg Water, has made available 151 million litres of water through stationary tanks in informal settlements in order to meet the very basic needs of some of our informal communities. This is critical while the work of providing standpipes is being rolled out.

57, 000 VIP toilets and 7, 178 chemical toilets have been delivered and are being serviced routinely in our informal settlements.

It is our hope that these interim measures will help start placing these poor communities towards the path of attaining the dignity which they have been deprived of, and dignity that they truly deserve.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change.

You will recall that this multi-party government initiated the extended hours of services at City-owned Clinics.

It started with just one, the Princess Clinic, as a pilot project and the results demonstrated the need for this service throughout the City.

The City has now extended the operating hours of 22 clinics in our City, with a further 4 to be rolled out before the end of this financial year.

When you consider that these clinics are treating, on average, over 100 000 patients every year, you can work it out to understanding that over 2.6 million patients are being served in our extended hours clinics.

Through the extended hours offered at our health facilities, we are able to afford patients the flexibility of attending to their personal needs, whether it be work or study commitments, instead of wasting time at a clinic.

Accessing services, during extended hours, also eases overcrowding at facilities with high patient volumes and has a potential to improve the retention of in-care treatment - particularly of patients with chronic conditions such as TB and HIV/AIDS.

Since the beginning of the extended hours program within the City, our facilities have seen nearly 300 000 patients receiving treatment during the extended hours of operation.

During these extended hours of operation, our clinics have dealt with 522 emergency cases, which involved life-threatening conditions, that otherwise would have resulted in death.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change.

There can be no doubt that not enough has been done by the national and provincial government to effectively combat the scourge of drugs in our communities.

In each of our communities, our youth fall prey to addiction and criminality often associated with substance abuse.

I could not believe that when the multi-party government took office, there were no substance abuse facilities operated by the City of Johannesburg.

Can you imagine this, with the magnitude of the substance abuse problems that are experienced in our communities?

As a City, we took the decision that we could not stand by idly and watch as another child dies of this scourge.

I am happy to report that as part of our previous commitment, the City has provided 5 free substance abuse clinics to the communities of Eldorado Park Extension 9, Tladi, River Park in Alexandra, Randburg and surrounds and Joubert Park as a means of providing much-needed care and treatment to those who suffer from substance abuse.

I am also happy to report that by the end of this financial year, we will be opening 3 more substance abuse clinics in the communities of Thuthukani, Westbury, and Poortjie.

When Mr Amon Mthembu learnt about the opening of Tladi Drug Rehabilitation Centre in Tladi Soweto, he says his prayers were answered.

For months his family was troubled by his son Bongani, who was an addict, stealing valuable items in the house to feed his addiction.

Baba Mthembu says his family was left devastated and helpless.

When he heard about the opening of Tladi Rehabilitation Centre he enrolled his son into the program.

Bongani’s journey to recovery was difficult and challenging, but with the professional help he received, the Mthembu family is now on a road to recovery.

In February this year, Bongani together with other patients graduated from the drug rehabilitation program, run by the City of Johannesburg in Tladi Soweto.

Bongani says his life is now with purpose and he is back in school.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change.

Last year, in response to a motion by the EFF in Council, I committed to initiating the procurement of mobile health clinics which would be able to take healthcare to our poorest communities.

Today I can report to Council that the City can expect to have a mobile clinic operating in each of the 7 regions by July 2019.

From savings achieved in this procurement, I am pleased to report that the City will be able to increase these mobile clinics to 10, taking primary medical care to communities far removed from clinics or hospitals.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change.

Coming into office, we found an under-capacitated JMPD which had a fraction of the officers needed to properly police our streets.

With the shift system, JMPD averages only around 800 officers on duty on any given day.

When you consider this, against the geographical area of Johannesburg, and the wide-ranging responsibilities of the JMPD, it is no wonder that there has been a breakdown of the rule of law.

In our first adjustment budget, I committed this administration to recruit 1, 500 additional police officers to make sure JMPD was properly capacitated.

Our residents needed to see and feel a police presence, and the criminals needed to learn that Johannesburg will no longer be a soft target.

I am pleased to inform the Council that our recruitment efforts are soon to bear fruit.

After having started their training which began in November of 2017, by the end of October this year, we can expect 1, 500 new officers to join the ranks of the existing JMPD officers policing our streets.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change.

In addition to this, the City will be better capacitated to ensure that the rule of law within the City is maintained and that by-law enforcement exceeds the already 18 129 of by-law enforcement operations which have already taken place.

This is to also add to the 10 333 traffic operations which have been conducted by the JMPD across the City since the beginning of the last financial year to date.

Our K9 unit has seized nearly 460kg of drugs from our streets and continues to prove effective in waging war with the drug trade in Johannesburg.

Of course, additional policing manpower means very little unless we can ensure that those found violating our laws are appropriately dealt with through the legal system.

By-law enforcement must be aided by municipal courts to ensure that offenders are made to answer to the law.

To this end, the City has been working to improve the effectiveness of the Municipal Courts in the City and ensuring that our existing JMPD officers training necessary to up-skill our officers’ ability ensure citations are properly recorded.

Through this intervention, the prosecution success rate within municipal courts has increased from 4% in November 2018 to over 25% in February.

Efforts with the City’s Group Legal Service Department and the JMPD are set to continue so that we may build on this success. 

Our success is assured by our efforts to achieve high prosecution rates in these cases. Firstly, we have tabled a new fines schedule that has been approved by the Chief Magistrate in Johannesburg.

This fines schedule will see fines that are punitive, where for example the fine for illegal dumping has risen from R2 000 to R10 000.

We have embarked upon extensive training of JMPD officers to ensure their processes around issuing citations and fines are correct and will be upheld in the court proceedings.

Finally, we have redesigned the fines book which had misalignments with the different magisterial districts. This was the cause of the majority of cases having to be withdrawn.

I am confident that, with these efforts, we will begin to see our municipal courts being kept busy, on a full-time basis, successfully prosecuting those who disregard our by-laws.

We have introduced a monthly reporting of crime statistics in Johannesburg, which sees the JMPD accounting to the public about the levels of criminality and our efforts to combat this.

This has seen a new era of transparency with policing that will serve to provide our residents with the assurance that we are working to make their streets safe.

Already, these monthly statistics were able to demonstrate how, through our road safety campaigns, fatalities on our roads were reduced by 20% over the festive season last year, and not one single casualty over this recent Easter Weekend.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Real Change.

As I have said on many an occasion, the local government elections of 2016 signified not only our residents’ demand for change, but it also signified our residents' rejection of the corruption which the past administrations had become associated with.

Recognising this, we immediately established an anti-corruption unit within the City, headed by General Shadrack Sibiya, to ensure we fight corruption in every corner of the City’s administration.

There would be no place for corrupt officials and dirty politicians to hide. Those who stole from our residents could be assured that the full might of the law would be used to hold them accountable and recover monies owed to residents.

Since the unit’s launch just over 2 years ago 5, 335 cases have been investigated, involving more than R24 billion in transactions.

Through the work done by Group Forensic and Investigation Services, under the General’s leadership, a number of prosecution-ready cases have been handed to our law enforcement authorities for prosecution.

However, to date, our criminal justice system has failed the City of Johannesburg and its residents by delaying the prosecution of officials, politicians, and tenderpreneurs who have stolen public money.

It is not enough for me that officials have been dismissed, or tenderpreneurs blacklisted with National Treasury. It is not even enough when we civilly pursue the funds that have been lost to fraud and corruption.

This multi-party government will not rest until those who have violated the public trust, those who have looted from the funds intended for service delivery, are where they belong, in jail.

Some of them are seated in this chamber today.

I have written to the NPA head in Gauteng, Advocate Andrew Chauke and our new National Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Shamila Batohi to raise these concerns. The responses I received confirmed my belief that, to date, no real progress has been achieved in these cases.

I have written back to the NPA, affording them until today, 30 April 2019, to confirm whether they will be prosecuting these cases. I have done so, openly communicating my intent to pursue a private prosecution if the NPA will not prosecute these cases.

It will be an indictment on the NPA, and its new impetus to fix our criminal justice system, if the City of Johannesburg has to prosecute the cases that they are unwilling to prosecute.

There can be no doubt that this multi-party government has brought about a serious investigations capacity. We have begun to reverse the culture of looting, and are seeing real consequences for those who violate the public trust.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change.

Our efforts to tackle the broken customer care and billing system in our City are beginning to bear fruit. Regional integration with municipal entities will see the historical disconnect between customer care and resolution of queries.

There is no doubt that the billing system of our City is a deep-rooted. Already, we have reduced the number of incorrect bills to less than 0.5% of all accounts.

Our investments into the back office resolution of queries are starting to pay off. Outstanding queries have been brought down from over 100 000 when we came into office, now standing at 9 000.

While long-term investment in our IT infrastructure remains key, Regional Open Days are being held across the City to assist our residents. Our Regional Offices are also being capacitated with officials from Revenue and the municipal entities to improve our ability to resolve billing issues on site.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Real Change.

Allow me to mark the special occasion that comes tomorrow, when our Country celebrates Workers Day.

This multi-party government, working with the EFF, has achieved enormous feats for the workers in our City who have been abused by exploitative temporary work and compromised labour relations from the tripartite alliance.

In 2017, we announced the insourcing of security personnel in the City of Johannesburg. It was a departure from the previous model of contracting security companies owned by politically-connected individuals who would receive, on average, R12 000 per security guard. The guards themselves were only paid R4000 per month and often treated poorly by these companies.

As I stand before you today, 2800 security guards have been insourced and are enjoying take home salaries that have increased by a minimum of 50%, along with the benefits of full-time employment.

I stood with these guards when this phase of insourcing was implemented, and what it meant to them and their families cannot be described in words.

Today, I am pleased to inform you that a further 800 security guards have received their appointment letters to start their employment in the City on 1 July 2019. They too will enjoy the dignity that this insourcing program has achieved in Johannesburg.

Simultaneously, we have initiated the insourcing of cleaning services in Johannesburg that will see approximately 1500 cleaners benefit from this program. They too will enjoy taking home salaries increasing by a minimum of 50%, and the benefits of full-time employment.

The insourcing program, when combining Pikitup, Security Personnel and Cleaning will see the lives of 6 600 families benefit from improved household income, and the dignity of full-time employment.

These individuals will serve the City and its residents with pride because we have been able to restore their dignity. This is something to celebrate on the eve of Workers Day 2019.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the EFF for the role they have played in this insourcing program. Your contribution is a demonstration that political parties can work together for the benefit of our residents in Johannesburg.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This multi-party government has, without doubt, succeeded in bringing change to the residents of our City. We have brought the change that is stopping corruption, delivering services and creating jobs.

At the same time, this multi-party government is sensitive to the fact that we still have a long journey ahead of us to achieve the kind of City where all of our residents prosper from this change.

It is essential that I take this opportunity to pay tribute to each and every one of our coalition partners. As a part of this, it is critical to locate the successes of this government against the background of the coalition.

We honour the wishes of our residents, as a multi-party coalition, we hold each other to account in ways that simply don’t happen with a single party dominant system.

As a government, we benefit from the contribution each party brings to the table, proposing solutions to the complex variety of challenges that confront our residents on a daily basis.

After the past 2 and a half years, it is my hope that the coalition government becomes the future of politics in South Africa because it produces a better government.

Cllr Meshack van Wyk of the ACDP, Councillor Nonhlanhla Makhuba and Mzobanzi Ntuli of the IFP, Cllr Jay Maharaj of COPE, Cllr Thandi Nontenja of the UDM and Cllr Franco de Lange of the Freedom Front Plus, to each and every one of you, I express my most profound appreciation.

You have demonstrated your commitment to delivering change to the residents of our City, you enrich our plans and are true leaders in your own right.

To my own caucus, I express my most sincere appreciation for your support. The job of overcoming daily barriers and delivering change is not easy, but knowing you are behind me has made it easier.

To the EFF and the AIC, although not coalition partners, your support of the agenda, on an issue by issue basis, has proved essential to the delivery of change in Johannesburg. You have stuck to your principles and have backed ideas that benefit our residents while being frank when you do not agree.

Your contribution to delivering change in Johannesburg must be acknowledged and appreciated, both in the past 2 and a half years and going forward.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In many ways, our City stands on the cusp of great change.

We stand poised to reap the rewards of this change, for which we have sowed the seeds over the past 2 and a half years.

There can be no doubt, that this City is now moving in the right direction.

After many years of this City being led down the wrong path, this is something that must be celebrated.

However, we must soberly understand that we have a long way to go. For many residents, the evidence of change can be seen, but not yet felt.

It is for these residents that we must understand, that every day going forward is a further opportunity to bring change to the residents of Johannesburg.

While the enormity of this task is daunting, our multi-party government derives its strength from the residents of Johannesburg.

It is the delivery of change that drives this government, and the efforts to realise a day when all of our residents enjoy the prosperity and dignity that will come with this change.

I thank you.

Issued by Herman Mashaba, Mayor of Johannesburg, 30 April 2019