Three years of Real, Meaningful Change for Joburg Residents
27 November 2019
With today marking my last day in office, I think it is appropriate to reflect on the successes achieved by the multi-party government over the past three years.
Upon assuming office in August 2016, nothing could have prepared me for the myriad challenges that were to be encountered on the journey to putting Johannesburg back on track following years of neglect, maladministration and an entrenched culture of corruption.
The multi-party government sought to create an enabling environment where the private sector could return to invest and thrive while creating much-needed jobs. To achieve this, we created policy certainty - ensuring no ambiguity in terms of where we stand on key policy issues, including the role of the private sector in development.
The result is a four-fold increase in the amount of facilitated external investment in the City - from R4.5 billion to R17.3 billion in the year ending June 2019.
Additionally, preliminary figures show that the City of Johannesburg ended its 2018/2019 financial year in a stronger financial position with a closing cash balance of around R4.4 billion.
Our efforts saw revenue levels increase from R35.29 billion in 2017/18 to surpassing the R40 billion collection mark for the first time in 2018/19.
In 2017, the City launched the Inner-City Revitalisation Plan.
From this, 139 properties were awarded to developers for projects which are envisaged to generate over R30 billion in investment, thousands of jobs, and affordable housing units for rental.
We are also expropriating 37 abandoned factories, which will offer nearly 3, 000 housing opportunities in multistory buildings.
This year, Council adopted the Inclusionary Housing Policy, which demands and incentivises private developers to dedicate 30% of new residential developments to affordable housing.
Above all else, it was our pro-poor policies that I am most proud of. Informal settlements across Johannesburg received attention like never before.
Since 2016, we provided 10, 000 homes in informal settlements with electricity. As of 2018/19, 87% of households in informal settlements have access to water, while over 10, 400 toilets have been provided to these communities.
On the housing front, we worked hard to ensure delivery in a portfolio that was known for under-performance.
We delivered 6,261 mixed housing opportunities, over 9,000 title deeds to beneficiaries, and developed 7,857 social housing units.
Additionally, we identified seven areas in the Johannesburg Property Company asset register which will be used for our site and service project. This will provide an accumulative yield of 10,265 serviced stands that will be released to the poor.
A reliable supply of electricity is a must in the pursuit of job-creating investment.
Over the past three years, the multi-party government invested billion in building new substations and refurbished existing ones.
In the 2018/19 financial year, the City installed 2,001 public lights – bringing the number to 6,336 in the past three years. This budget saw a dramatic increase in the allocation to repairs and maintenance of public lighting – up from R1.6 million to R21.8 million.
What’s more, over 1, 013 kilometres of roads have either been resurfaced or tarred. For 2018/19 the JRA was allocated R181 million for bridge rehabilitation and reconstruction.
However, without the rule of law, all of these achievements will be meaningless.
This week, we graduated 1,085 new JMPD officers to bolster the City’s crime-fighting capabilities. This will ensure greater presence of officers throughout other parts of Johannesburg, which have had to contend with high levels of crime.
Access to healthcare and emergency services has always been a top priority.
In June 2019, Emergency Management Services unveiled 42 newly acquired ambulances. This forms part of the fleet replacement programme to substitute an ageing and damaged fleet. It brings the EMS fleet to 101 ambulances servicing the city.
In addition to this, the City has embarked on a record procurement of fire engines and other disaster management vehicles. As of July 2019, the City has placed the purchase order for 40 new fire engines and other disaster management vehicles, of which the first batch has already been received.
Furthermore, the first phase of the R16.4 million upgrades to nine fire stations has begun.
Since the introduction of an extended and integrated service delivery strategy in our primary healthcare facilities, we rolled out extended hours of service to 27 clinics. Furthermore, 10 new mobile clinics continue to be rolled out to forgotten communities.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 30 000 employees of the City of Johannesburg for largely having embraced my vision to re-create Johannesburg into a City that Works, not only for the politically-connected but for all who wish for a truly better life.
It is my wish that this vision is further enhanced in order to continue creating a professional public service.
The delivery of many of the projects under my tenure would not have been possible were it not for the multi-party government I was elected to lead.
Accordingly, I would like to thank the DA caucus as well as members of our coalition government; the IFP, ACDP, COPE, UDM and Freedom Front Plus for their continued support in delivering quality basic services to our residents.
I am also thankful for the contributions of the EFF which, although not a member of the coalition, voted with us on an issue by issue basis.
I am hopeful that the work of this pro-poor government will continue to bring Diphetogo, meaning real and fundamental change, to our residents and I would like to wish whoever assumes the role of Executive Mayor tomorrow all the very best.
Issued by Cllr Herman Mashaba, Executive Mayor, City of Joburg, 27 November 2019