More than 900 kilometre of fibre optic broadband cable has already been rolled out as part of Johannesburg's efforts to provide strategic infrastructure which will accelerate economic growth and development.
"The new broadband network will transform Johannesburg into a 'digital city'," says the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Finance, Mr Geoff Makhubo. "It will reduce the cost of telecommunications, improve service delivery and increase access to information technology to every corner of the city."
The new fibre optic cables form part of an investment of more than R100-billion over ten years in strategic economic infrastructure which will strengthen Johannesburg position as Africa's leading investment and commercial hub and signal that "the City is open for business."
"The future of Johannesburg will be determined by our ability to mobilise modern technology in a manner, which attracts investments, encourages business growth, improve access to services for all residents and improve the quality of life of communities," says Mr Makhubo.
The City's Annual Report for 2012/2013 provides details about a wide-range of programmes designed to transform the Johannesburg economy and address the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
An essential element of the City's economic development strategy is to use city-owned assets and other direct instruments to leverage and stimulate both local and foreign investments.
As part of the Inner-City Property Scheme Johannesburg has acquired eight properties either through abandonment, expropriations or prescription. Renovation contracts were directed to B-BBEE service providers with the capacity to create employment.
Almost 4 000 small and medium-sized enterprises benefited from a programme which assists informal traders to acquire trading licences. The City also facilitated funding to the value of R27-million from the Eskom Foundation and the Department of Trade and Industry for the Soweto Energy SMME Incubator.
"This demonstrates our support for the development of a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit and innovation within our formal and informal economic sectors," says Mr Makhubo.
In the coming year the City will continue develop Empowerment Zones and Hubs to ensure the development of SMMEs and establish programmes to develop entrpreneurship as an alternative to formal employment.
The Expanded Public Works Programme is one of the City's flagship initiatives designed to reduce unemployment and alleviate poverty through on-the-job training. During the year 36 588 employment opportunities were created – exceeding the City's own targets by more than 1 580.
Land ownership has been facilitated through the transfer of 155 properties to rightful owners in Greater Soweto, Orange Farm, Ivory Park and Alexandra.
The City's Economic Growth Cluster also introduced a Customer's Charter as a public demonstration of its commitment to excellence in customer care and service delivery. The document consists of values, expectations and commitments by employees to deliver services to customers within specific set times. Visit performance report webpage for more.