04/05/2016: State of the City Address delivered by the Executive Mayor Clr Mpho Parks Tau
JOBURG’S NEW ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY IS RISING
In 2011, at the start of the current term of office, we convened 9 weeks of intensive, open conversations with citizens across the City. We asked you to help us imagine the best possible Joburg of 2040, and to understand the choices we have to make to get there. The result was the Growth and Development Strategy – Joburg 2040 – a covenant between you, the citizens, and your City.
This was a covenant to enable and build a new economic democracy, drawing directly on our 2011 manifesto.
On the basis of this covenant, we have begun redesigning the city through corridors of freedom, recognised as a globally leading innovation by the United Nations, whose Global Environment Facility have committed an initial 100 million rands.
We have rolled out the most ambitious youth empowerment programme in the country, partnering with over 250 companies, breaking down the barriers to jobs in companies large and small. This has been recognised by the Citibank Foundation and the Economist Intelligence Unit as the number 1 city-level youth strategy globally, alongside Toronto.
We have aggressively enabled small businesses in general and the township economy in particular, and will soon be adding our new JoziBread bakeries and township micro-mechanics as the newest community enterprises empowered by our Jozi@work programme.
We are building links between this new township economy and our continent leading corporate sector. The Global Financial Centres Index this year found that Johannesburg is the most economically powerful city in Africa.
We celebrate the 14 billion rands worth of investment that has flowed into the Inner City through the Urban Development Zone tax incentive – bringing us Maboneng, a new Braamfontein and so much else. We are complementing this with a better street trading management system for the inner city – a trading sector where three of the CBD streets alone turn over in excess of ten billion rands per year.
We have installed our own high-capacity fibre network, which we are now deploying as an asset to develop and democratise the economy of this City, bridging the digital divide.
We have built on our experience as the first bus rapid transit implementer on the continent, making the expanding Rea Vaya Bus system the backbone of our new development vision for the city.
We have pushed ourselves to become the largest per capita infrastructure spender in government, after national government itself. We are the city least dependent on national government grants, and the highest spender – proportionately – on social housing, community facilities and equipment to enable frontline services.
We have pushed access to basic services, including electricity, to unprecedented levels, including through our new micro-grids in informal settlements. We were the first city to mitigate load-shedding, with the help of our new smart meters. We have also focused investment on the roads and traffic signals which are the arteries of life and commerce in this great city, upgrading our key bridges and highways as we go.
We have thoroughly audited our informal housing market of 168 000 shacks and over the last five years upgraded nearly 30 000 informal homes in situ. This is largest and most inclusive informal settlement upgrade programme in the country.
We have joined the Cities of the world to take deliberate action against climate change, and we have started implementing real programmes to do it.
We generate electricity from sewerage.
We capture methane gas from our landfill site.
We fuel our new generation of buses with gas.
We power part of our fleet with electricity.
We electrify informal settlements and traffic lights with the power of the sun.
This is the practical demonstration of our commitment to the Paris Action Agenda. It is how we are creating a sustainable future for this and coming generations.
We have reduced food insecurity for over 66 000 people.
We have reduced street crime in the CBD significantly through smart policing.
We have played a major part in raising average life expectancy in this City from 52 to 62 years of age over the last decade.
We have demonstrated our leadership across various networks of Cities globally, where we have the opportunity to shape the agenda as the leading City on the African continent. We are co-president of Metropolis, co-chair of the UN Safer Cities programme. We sit on the Executive of United Cities in Local Government and UCLG Africa.
Fitch, one of the world’s most respected ratings agencies, found that Joburg is South Africa’s number one metro when it comes to financial management – recognising the successful implementation of our Financial Development Plan.
We have this term, executed our covenant with you, the citizens of Joburg – and we proudly report on that today.
Building on this record, this government intends to accelerate these ambitious programmes as we build a city which is liveable, sustainable and resilient. A rising new economic democracy where all citizens can be assured that tomorrow will be better than today.
Madam Speaker Clr Constance Bapela
MECs and Members of the Provincial Legislature
Chief Whip of Council: Clr Prema Naidoo
Members of the Mayoral Committee
Chair of Chairs
All Chairpersons of Council Committees
ANC Regional Secretary, Mr Dada Morero
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Leaders of all Political Parties
City Manager: Mr Trevor Fowler
Managers and Officials of Council
Let me also acknowledge in the audience today, my wife, Pilisiwe, my mother Mammule Tau and my sister Tilly Michaels. I wish my mother, and all the mothers of this City a Happy Mother’s Day this coming weekend.
We have made major strides since the establishment of democratic local government to address poverty and inequality. We know and agree that, in the words of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Freeman of the City and Father of our Nation, “…overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right – the right to dignity and a decent life. Because while poverty persists there is no true freedom.”
We, as the government of Johannesburg, our great City, have understood that to eradicate poverty we must create prosperity.
Fellow councillors, we declare today - Joburg’s new economic democracy is rising.
Our new economic democracy is rising as we implement spatial justice in Johannesburg.
Madam Speaker, we stand today at Turffontein racecourse. More than 100 years ago this was the notorious site of one of the largest concentration camps during the South African War of 1899 to 1902. This is one of the many sites that speak to the injustices of that colonial war, a war fought over control of the resources of this nation.
It is fitting, then, that we here report that we are undoing the great injustice of how apartheid designed and developed our cities.
The deepest part of apartheid’s long shadow has always been the very spatial design of our cities - the worst of which was wrought by the Group Areas Act and the Native Laws Amendment Act. For decades, our cities have warehoused the poor on cheap land at the edges of the city - far from opportunities.
We lead the City in the 20th year of a unified, democratic Johannesburg. Our predecessors had to unify Joburg into one city, one tax base – with all its complexities. They began the task of remaking the City, and also succeeded in completely transforming and integrating Soweto into a vibrant part of the City’s present and its future. We celebrate a Soweto of 2016 which boasts tarred roads, a world class theatre, extensive public transport networks, and some of the City’s best parks and retail, tourism and entertainment centres.
Soweto was our pioneering intervention in redesigning the City, and it remains the leading national example. We are completing the task started at the very beginning of the democratic era – linking the inner city of Johannesburg to all the fragmented smaller towns and townships that are now part of the City: Roodepoort, Randburg and Cosmo City; Lenasia, Stretford and Ivory Park; Diepsloot and Midrand; Bosmont and Brixton; Sophiatown, Sandton and Alexandra.
The dense core of the City – bustling with hundreds of thousands of people, and enterprises – combining living and working spaces - must be linked by efficient public transport networks to these other smaller centres in the rest of the City. These centres, too, become the focus of their own bustling new developments, new homes, new businesses – combining market price rentals with social housing; providing opportunities for people to move in from the edges of the City. As we do this, we respect and develop the natural environment of the City – and integrate it into our plans.
The Corridors of Freedom programme is the next step we have taken to translate this vision into glass and concrete, into vibrant new living spaces in the here and the now.
The Corridors of Freedom programme is bringing new life to Fleurhof and South Hills, to Kliptown and Jabulani, to Turffontein and Rosettenville. To the student halls and shopping squares of Empire Road; to Randburg, Jabulani, Orlando East and Park Station. It is bringing new mixed-use change all along the Louis Botha Corridor, connecting the Inner City, Orange Grove, Alexandra and Sandton.
As we develop the Louis Botha Corridor with the rollout of Rea Vaya Phase 1C, the redevelopment of the Paterson Park node in Orange Grove and Norwood has already started. We are rebuilding a state-of-the-art clinic as part of a high-rise commercial space - redeveloping the public recreation and sports facilities and started with the massive revitalization of Paterson Park and its waterways. It is about multi-storey buildings rising along the corridor combining commercial space, green-space, recreation and cultural amenities, market-rate rentals and social housing. This means more people across a range of incomes are able to live richer lives much closer to where they can live, work and play. This is one major development which is bridging Norwood, Houghton, Orange Grove, Bellevue and Yeoville.
The new South Hills and Fleurhof mixed-use, mixed-income housing developments both demonstrate what can be done through creative partnerships with the private sector. In South Hills, we have supplied the land and the private sector has funded and built the development, supplying social housing and RDP’s as a condition of the deal. In Fleurhof, the City has contributed bulk infrastructure to privately owned land to get to a similar outcome.
Following the same logic, we engaged with the developers of new towns in Waterfall Estate and Modderfontein to ensure there will be affordable housing included in these new mega-developments.
Indeed, such a renewal is happening exactly where we now stand – at the heart of the Turffontein Corridor. We are converting the central part of De Villiers Street into a linear park along which retail, small-scale trading and a range of other uses will prosper, with dedicated areas for those cycling and walking. This will create new, street-level life in this area. We are acquiring properties in this area to create social housing and new social amenities. We are investing heavily in Wemmer Pan to increase its value as an area for social and recreational activities. We are transforming this former concentration camp into a symbol of our integrated future. As our new economic democracy rises, so will Turffontein!
Joburg’s new economic democracy is rising, because we are democratizing access to shelter.
We are developing quality, integrated housing in Fleurhof, South Hills, Lufhereng Riverside and Malibongwe Ridge adding to our successes in areas such as Lehae, Cosmo City and the Golden Triangle - easily the most ambitious mixed-income housing projects of our time. These new mega-projects have a yield of almost 70 000 units.
We have, as a City, done a comprehensive audit of our 181 informal settlements, and can confirm that they house 168 000 households, the vast majority of whom have access to basic water and sanitation. We have electrified 15 of these from Sejwetla to Lawley Station and Thembelihle, with another six to be completed before end of term.
It is therefore encouraging to note that we have formalised nearly 29 000 informal sector homes where they stood, and relocated over 600 other households to linked housing projects.
We are also actively engaging communities including those of Zandspruit, Hopefield, Kapok and Slovoville to find long-term solutions to their settlements.
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is not often recognised that the majority of those living informally in Johannesburg now live in backyard shacks attached to formal dwellings. We are working with a range of partners to support upgrading these backyard informal dwellings to new kinds of formal dwelling, based on designs submitted to an open competition we ran last year. This represents an informal sector providing over 350 000 households with rental accommodation.
Democratising our rental and shelter economy will be a long term effort, but a new economic democracy is indeed rising in the housing sector.
Looking back over the past five years, since the genesis of the city’s Joburg 2040, it is clear that we have covered a vast distance in a very short space of time. We committed to an inclusive, job-intensive, resilient and competitive economy that harnesses the potential of its citizens. This requires a covenant with a wide range of partners including the corporate sector.
Joburg’s new economic democracy is rising because local government and the private sector are partnering to democratise our economy for the youth of this City.
An economy which is double the size it was in the first year of our political democracy, where – notwithstanding the massive increase in the black middle class – economic opportunity is still only a reality for a few. Last year we announced a far-sighted partnership with the Harambee youth employment accelerator, known as the Vulindlel’ eJozi programme.
We are pleased to announce that this programme has already registered over 127 000 young people, of the targeted 200 000 announced last year. We encourage our young people to continue to raise up their hands and register on vulindlelejozi.mobi. We have already engaged over 31 000 youth in opportunity channels and the majority of the remainder are being attached to a foundational skills and matric rewrite programme, breaking down a major barrier to work and skills development opportunities.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Speaking from the dock in 1964 at the conclusion of the Rivonia trial, Madiba reflected:
“There are two ways to break out of poverty. The first is by formal education, and the second is by the worker acquiring a greater skill at his work and thus higher wages. “
Certainly the most current research and analysis bear Madiba out, 52 years later. The Vulindlel’ eJozi programme rollout has confirmed that the lack of relevant skills and qualifications remain a major barrier to participation in the economy. Our young people bear the greatest brunt of this exclusion. It is thus that we have identified vocational skills development and the bridging of foundational learning to be critical interventions in breaking down barriers to employment for youth.
Our Massive Open Online Varsity - or MOOV initiative - which is at the heart of the Vulindlel’ eJozi programme – is already opening up opportunities for 4 000 young Joburgers. MOOV uses state-of-the-art, video enabled, learning – to turn our libraries and community centres into online universities and technical schools.
Our new tech savvy economic democracy is rising because we are partnering with the ICT sector.
We welcome the confirmed commitments by Microsoft and IBM to train thousands of youth through the MOOV initiative on basic digital administrative and vocational skills.
We have partnered with the European tech giant SAP to deploy the first SAP Skills for Africa programme in the country. This programme already is the best performing on the continent. Thirty young, disadvantaged, unemployed graduates have gone through intensive training and have now progressed into international careers as SAP specialists. This complements the opportunity paths we have created through the City of Joburg Educating Digital Interns – or COJEDI –programme. Here we have partnered with Microsoft, CISCO and a cluster of technology sector leads to train 1 000 unemployed youth per year as fibre installers, application developers and software and systems engineers.
Joburg’s economic democracy is rising because we have heeded, and acted on the warning of celebrated thinker Thomas Piketty that political democracies that do not democratise their economies are inherently unstable.
We have enabled a wide -ranging support environment for the development and growth of SMME’s.
The city’s Jozi@Work programme is maturing and fulfilling its promise to bootstrap local community enterprises as co-producers of municipal services. I am pleased to confirm that over one thousand cooperatives and small enterprises are providing profit share and earning opportunities for thousands of our residents. This, as the programme accelerates the number of work packages available.
Our network of SMME hubs is there to make sure thousands – and ultimately tens of thousands - of new enterprises have the chance to open for business. Already, we have supported over 14 000 small companies through these hubs, enabling them to be part of Joburg’s rising economic democracy.
Collectively as the City, we have directly supported and assisted over 24 000 small- and medium- sized enterprises over the course of this term.
Joburg’s new economic democracy is rising because we are empowering our citizens as innovators.
To quote the management guru most associated with the idea of disruption as a positive force, Harvard’s Clayton Christensen – “Innovators need a heavy dose of faith. They need to trust their intuition that they are working on a big idea. That faith need not be blind.”
Through our partnership with Resolution Circle at the University of Johannesburg, we are combining faith in the ingenuity and innovation of our people with cutting- edge science and commercial thinking.
We are incubating ground-breaking service delivery initiatives, proposed by community members themselves through our JoziMyBeginning Community Innovation Fund. These include mobile temporary traffic lights, a new cable-theft prevention system, a shack-fire response vehicle and new methods for surfacing roads and fixing potholes using recycled material.
In partnership with Wits University we have created a Research Chair in Economic Development and attracted one of the world’s leading investment experts to fill this position. This will support the City through a research agenda which analyses opportunities and monitors performance.
The next generation of Green Industrialists are being incubated through our Green City Start-up Challenge. We have already supported 10 entrepreneurs that have developed and patented new green technologies.
We are evolving the next wave of digital moguls through our Hack. Jozi competition, which supports the development of new digital applications and awards cash grants to the winners. Twenty finalists were given support to develop their digital businesses during the first year of the programme in 2015. Our second year intake is currently going through the same process.
These are almost 50 enterprises based on innovations, directly supported and funded by the City.
Billions of rands worth of purchasing power hidden in our townships and informal settlements are being unleashed. The new economic democracy is rising.
The City is working with large corporates including Massmart, VW and Tsogo Sun – to build cohorts of capable small businesses that can be integrated into their supply chains.
Thirty micro-bakeries selling the new Joburg bread are being commercialised by the City. These new enterprises, as announced last year, are retail outlets for a healthier, cheaper form of bread.
Another township enterprise initiative we are implementing as part of our Jozi@work programme is being rolled out through AVIS as our Capability Support Agent. Sixteen township auto-mechanics and specialists are being developed to service the city’s fleet.
This is part of how we play our role in the democratization of the township economy, as led by Premier Makhura.
Looking at the City’s economy more broadly, this new economic democracy is increasingly accountable to all those who are keen to invest and prosper in our city. Our new business services desk is the frontline of our commitment to remain the leading commercial city on the continent, and to slash the red tape that might get in the way of that.
Joburg’s new economic democracy is rising because we are bridging the digital divide.
This began with the investments we have made to transform Joburg into a smart city, with over 1 100km of broadband and Fibre-optic cable in place. This is becoming the backbone of the MOOV system, of high-speed internet access in local libraries, of our e-health systems and of the command centres which use information from CCTV cameras to make the streets of Joburg safer.
Our newly created municipal entity, MTC, is managing and optimising the fibre network, to lower the cost of digital communications and bridge the divide.
We have connected 66 of our 87 local libraries citywide to high-speed internet, provided at no cost to the public in areas such as Orange Farm, Lenasia, Diepsloot, Randburg, Westbury, Emmarentia, Cosmo City, Ennerdale, Florida, Roodepoort and all across Soweto.
Our Maru a Jozi platform is already helping those with little experience of the internet at the city’s 408 free Wi-Fi hotspots including the wireless mesh over Braamfontein. These have logged 1.3 million hits since the start of this financial year. Our first cohort of Digital Ambassadors has already trained more than 24 800 internet deprived users on how to navigate the mobile web and use the Wi-Fi to improve their lives.
The movement of data and information will define the fate of cities in the 21st century – just as the movement of people has defined the nature of cities for as long as they have existed.
We are empowering all classes of citizens to change the way they move for the better. Joburg’s new economic democracy is rising.
The backbone of our Corridors of Freedom and the enabler of access to our rising economic democracy is reliable, affordable and dignified public transport. The Rea Vaya Phase 1A and 1B began quality services between Soweto, Riverlea, Noordgesig, Westbury, Auckland Park and the CBD. Currently our passenger numbers are over 50 000 per day. Our trunk route services are almost 100% full during peak hours.
The City, in support of the Louis-Botha corridor, is currently implementing the third phase of the Rea Vaya system extending it to Alexandra, Sandton, Midrand, Ivory Park and Randburg. This will include three new iconic bridges over the M1, two dedicated for walking and cyclists and the third for Rea Vaya.
At the Sandton CBD a dedicated loop for all forms of public transport is under construction and dedicated cycling and wider sidewalks are being completed. This will transform Sandton from a car-centred hub into one which can be easily and safely accessed by all commuters. A successful EcoMobility World Festival was held in October last year where the use of streets was changed in the Sandton CBD to show that reducing reliance on the private car is possible. This has given us key insights into how to improve mobility through Sandton, especially considering the estimated 600 000 square metres of additional office, commercial and residential space currently being developed.
Central to the introduction of the Rea Vaya system has been the empowerment of over 400 previously disadvantaged public transport operators, who became shareholders and managers of the Bus Operating Companies. The turnover of the two existing bus companies over the past two years has been R620-million. This, too, is part of our new economic democracy.
Our complete streets programme – which has integrated space for walking and cycling into the design of streets citywide – is a deliberate part of our new economic democracy. One of our Green City Start-up finalists took this logic even further – and has designed a specialised bicycle for informal waste collectors. These entrepreneurs can use the cycle lanes to conduct their business safely.
In addition to cycling lanes, the City has partnered with NGOs, provincial government and the private sector to distribute over 500 bikes to disadvantaged learners in Orlando and Tshepisong. This initiative is now being expanded to Alexandra and other communities.
Pedestrian bridges across rivers and busy roads to improve safety have been built - or will soon be constructed- in Klipspruit West, Slovo Park, Ivory Park, Westbury and surrounds, Alexandra and Diepsloot. We have also built a new bridge linking Naledi with Protea North and the new Le Roux Bridge in Midrand, along with the new wider Coleraine Bridge in Bryanston. We will soon be building the new Jabulani Bridge and the Conrad Drive Bridge in Randburg.
Our new economic democracy demands that all users are able to move smoothly on our roads and do so in a safe environment. This means basic things like traffic lights really have to function effectively. As a city we have invested heavily in improving our traffic signals system. A total of 930 Traffic Signal Control instruments have been replaced.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We remain extremely concerned about the level of vandalism and cable theft on municipal infrastructure – particularly traffic signals and substations. This should be seen as economic sabotage because it robs citizens of access to basic services and opportunities to improve their economic status. We welcome the new law recently approved by Cabinet to criminalise vandalism and cable theft and impose stiff sentences for offenders.
We are democratizing the quality of services in Johannesburg. Our new economic democracy is rising. When we endorsed JOBURG 2040, we committed the City to become a resilient, liveable and sustainable urban environment – underpinned by infrastructure that supports a low-carbon economy.
In creating the conditions for this new economic democracy – this new spatial democracy – to rise, we are aware that we must build on a platform of well-delivered basic services. Investing in this platform means both renewing ageing infrastructure in older suburbs and townships, and building new infrastructure for communities who have never had access to services.
At the end of this term, we would have spent more than R30-billion on improving this city’s infrastructure. This is part of a R100-billion capital commitment over 10 years. Over one-fifth of that is allocated to the electrical grid, bringing light and heat to those who have never had power, and ensuring the lights stay on for everyone else.
More than half of the City Power electricity meters deployed in the City are now smart meters. This has resulted in a 13 % increase in meter accuracy over the last three months, because the smart meters can be read remotely without the need to enter a property. This is assisting the City of Johannesburg to ensure accurate metering and reduced estimation – which means lower costs and fewer frustrations for you, the citizen and paying customer.
City Power billing queries older than 120 days are now resolved because focus teams have been set up to deal with logged calls at the contact centre.
The City has also lit the way nationally with innovations that minimise – and, wherever possible, eliminate – the need for load shedding. Smart meters, ripple controls and additional power generation from the Kelvin power station allowed us to actively mitigate load-shedding last winter. Fifty-four percent of stage 1 load shedding and fifteen percent of stage 2 load shedding was avoided in 2015 through our creativity as a City.
We can celebrate the fact that 99.4% of citizens have access to water, and 94.5% have access to basic sanitation. Our investment has been on water networks, sewer networks, storage capacity and treatment capacity. We have focused on improving service to marginalised areas including Soweto, Ivory Park, Orange Farm, Diepsloot and Alexandra. The drinking water quality remained above the national standard of 99% and Joburg retained our Blue Drop Certification for the three years it was assessed.
By replacing 321 kilometres of water pipes and smart management of pressure across the system, we have saved over 3.1-billion litres of bulk water and reduced pipe-burst incidents by 10.6% per year.
We have, over the last five years, rehabilitated over 140 km of roads and resurfaced almost 2 500 lane kms – significantly reducing the incidence of potholes. Over the past year alone we reduced the length of gravel roads by 40% through our asphalt programme.
The 2015 survey showed that 84% of Joburg’s citizens are satisfied with how we provide the water they rely on each day. 82% are satisfied with sanitation, and 85% satisfied with waste removal. This is by no means to ignore those who are dissatisfied, but to assure them we will continue to find new and better ways to improve the level of service we offer.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We must take this opportunity to thank the residents of Joburg for your patience as we navigated the recent unprotected strike by Pikitup employees. This created a major health risk for our City, and we thank the network of partners who helped us to ensure that this risk was effectively managed.
We unreservedly condemn the violence, disruption of services and destruction of property that sometimes accompanies unprotected strikes. This nation has developed a progressive labour relations framework to regulate the labour market and resolve disputes between workers and employers.
The agreement reached at the conclusion of the recent unprotected strike serves as an example of what can be achieved through negotiation. We trust that it will serve as a model for the resolution of similar disputes in the future.
We are proud of the progress made at Pikitup over this term – the entity is now out of the red and has attained a clean audit. This sector has been one of the most effective areas pioneering the Jozi@Work approach. The management of waste across entire city blocks of Alexandra, vast sections of Soweto and just about every informal settlement across the ‘deep south’ is now – quite literally – the business of the very communities who live in those areas. This approach is now being extended City-wide.
The JOBURG 2040 clearly commits us to low-carbon future. This will, indeed, take decades to fully achieve and requires massive shifts in consumer behaviour. But this is also a key part of our rising new economic democracy. For the first time, the City is starting to measure the greenhouse gas emissions from various sources, and we have strengthened our relationship with the C40 climate change international network.
We have adopted a new approach to the rehabilitation of our water courses, and identified 18 water management areas to rehabilitate these vital resources.
Metrobus is leading innovation with the addition of a new fleet using a green fuel – gas propulsion system. To enable this, a new gas dispensing facility has been installed at the Metrobus Milpark depot. We have already taken delivery of 75 of the 170 buses ordered.
The City is committed to generating both energy and opportunity from renewables and turning our waste streams into businesses, especially at community level, to keep waste away from our landfills.
To date community-based enterprises under Jozi@work have processed over 1 150 tons of recyclable waste. This has come directly from street clearing and dedicated collection of recyclables from homes and businesses.
This is money flowing into communities and waste flowing away from our landfills. Changing the economy of waste management is also part of our rising economic democracy.
A biogas to energy project is already underway at two of our Waste Water Treatment Works and being rolled out to the remaining works. This generates electricity directly from sewerage to power the works.
In our move towards a low-carbon approach to meet basic household energy needs – without putting added strain on our grid, we have focused on installing energy saving lights since the start of this term.
Almost 75 000 solar water heaters were installed in a number of areas including Devland, Lawley, Vlakfontein, Eldorado Park, Lenasia, Alexandra and Lehae.
As we accelerate our move towards a low carbon economy our Green City Start-up challenge has super-charged local green enterprises and opportunities. Last year’s winner, Paseka Lesolang, invented a device which reduces water wastage from leaking toilets that has won him international recognition.
As part of JOBURG 2040, we committed to promote development-driven resilience for all
Fellow Councillors, We are directly confronting the health and social barriers that have held our disadvantaged communities back.
Joburg’s new economic democracy is rising.
At the beginning of the term the City established that as many as 42% of the City’s poor go to bed hungry 3 days in any given month.
The City has designed and deployed a scientifically targeted programme combining food gardens, large scale food empowerment zone farms and a range of initiatives designed to reduce the cost of food locally and make it more available to poor households. The City’s foodbank addresses urgent cases of hunger and malnutrition.
As a result of these interventions, the City reduced to 23%, the percentage of the poor who go to bed hungry. More and more households are benefitting from these initiatives, and cumulatively over 66 000 households have benefitted. The programme has so far reached all 34 most food deprived wards.
Fellow Councillors and Citizens,
Nyaope and other drugs are consuming our youth, devastating families and wreaking havoc in our communities. We are empowering our communities to confront substance abuse.
The City is leading the local war against drug abuse. Together with our communities we have established 28 local drug action committees, which are implementing local awareness campaigns. We facilitate therapy and rehabilitation at our own centre in Roodepoort, and through our partner network of non-governmental and faith-based organizations.
Fellow citizens, We are building confidence in a safe city, safe business districts and safe neighbourhoods. Our new economic democracy is rising.
We introduced an Integrated Intelligent Operations Centre that is enabling us to make better decisions on where our JMPD and Emergency Management teams are deployed to reduce crime and save lives. The IOC links to the expanding CCTV platform currently operational in the City. This enables us to use the cameras intelligently to track suspicious behaviour of individuals and groups and prevent crime from happening.
Smart technology – and smarter policing – is already reducing crime levels in the City. As a result of investments in the CCTV system, serious crimes such as bank robberies and cash heists were significantly reduced in the CBD. There is also a significant decline in crimes such as common assault, theft of motor vehicles, burglaries and residential crimes. In 2014/15 alone we experienced a reduction of 22% in actual incidents of crime. As we institutionalise our Joburg 10-plus programme, we have introduced specific training for our deployed officers in community policing.
As we grow smarter about how we prevent crime, we are also growing smarter about how we prevent and treat disease. Our new electronic patient record system, which we announced last year, will be installed in 15 clinics across Soweto by June. This will significantly reduce waiting times to an average of 10 minutes per person, freeing our health care professionals to provide an improved service.
Patient records are being centralised and health care professionals are able – at the push of a button – to recall the history of treatment and continue to provide care and service. Primary Healthcare delivery is being revolutionised and dignified through improved infrastructure and expanded services available at the 118 government clinics across the city. We are moving to replace mobile clinics with brick and mortar facilities in some of our most deprived communities.
The local health care system is changing as we ready ourselves for the National Health Insurance system, which tackles health issues at the ward-level. Our 220 ward-based outreach teams are both conducting outreaches with households and profiling the health issues in each ward, so that our clinics can respond without waiting for problems to walk through the door.
We are contributing to national efforts to increase the life expectancy of our residents. Our roll-out of comprehensive treatment and care for HIV/Aids patients has produced tangible results. More than 99% of HIV exposed babies born in our clinics were born HIV negative in the 2014/15 financial year and 96% of fixed clinics offer Anti-Retroviral Treatment.
We can celebrate the fact that we have achieved 100% immunisation coverage for children under 1-year-old – particularly for pneumonia and diarrhoeal diseases. This has been our contribution to halving the number of children who die before the age of five between 2003 and 2013. Our GoJozi healthy lifestyle programme has gone a long way in promoting better ways to eat and exercise. Through the Jozi Vitality Schools Programme – our partnership with Discovery Health – we are directly influencing how schools promote and enable healthier habits. To this end we have enrolled 157 schools across the City so far.
Today is also an opportunity for us to celebrate the achievements of the sports teams and individuals whose performances have done our city and its residents proud. Our Golden Lions rugby team dominated the Currie Cup last year and is currently the leading South African team in Super Rugby.
Our Highveld Lions has been a dominant force in domestic cricket for many seasons and have served as a great example of how emerging talent such as Kagiso Rabada, Quinton de Kock and Themba Bavuma can be nurtured to the point where they become regular fixtures in the national side. Our local soccer teams remain a source of pride for their millions of supporters, having won the league and various cups over the past few seasons. I trust that all councillors and citizens of Johannesburg will join me in wishing our athletes well in the Rio Olympic and Paralympic games later this year. Be assured that the world-class African City is behind you as you strive towards world-class achievements.
The Soweto, Roodepoort and Joburg Theatres continue to attract both global productions and nurture the talent of emerging local singers, actors, dancers, comedians and performers. Our new mobile stage brings the magic of the arts to communities throughout our city.
We committed, through JOBURG 2040 to build the City into a high-performing metropolitan government … in a globally competitive Gauteng City Region.
The City’s Financial Development Plan, adopted in 2012, has delivered positive results - liquidity improvement of 41.5% over the first two years from R2.2bn to R5.2bn. There has been a growth in Opex budget from R29bn per year to R43bn per year and a growth in Capex from R3.7bn to R10.1 bn.
Add to this the unqualified audits of the past two years… and you have a firm indication that the city has significantly improved its financial management and compliance levels.
We have also taken significant steps to make every part of our administration accountable to independent review. We established the Office of the Ombudsman with sweeping powers to investigate administrative weaknesses and failures, and make recommendations on remedies.
Since he opened office the Ombudsman has received more than 1 500 inquiries from residents and business people and some 600 of these have matured into actual cases.
Madam Speaker, fellow councillors, people of Johannesburg:
We have demonstrated that we live in the nation’s fastest rising economic democracy. Our city government is leading this change through deliberate strategy, developed in partnership with you, the people.
Our City government is an agent of change:
To accommodate the 10,000-plus new arrivals in our City every month
To break open the doors to a better economic life
To bring bricks and mortar to where people have known only iron shacks and dusty streets.
To meet your expectations of better living standards , to create a better life
Joburg – this is where these expectations are being met.
Our new economic democracy is rising.
This is how we have begun the path to the Joburg of 2040 that we collectively envisioned with you, our people.
This is the Joburg of our hearts’ desire.
This is the Joburg that is, in all the important ways, a City @ Work.
This is the Joburg that enabled today to be better than yesterday, tomorrow to be better than today.
This is Joburg! The new economic democracy is rising!
I thank you.