State of Joburg: 10 new promises to watch

From jobs to housing, here are ten promises Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba made during his second state of the city address.

  • We have thrown out the previous SMME hubs which were disastrous … With this, we have launched the new Opportunity Centres, opening the first in Marshall Street in the inner city. The remainder will be launched in the coming days and weeks. These centres will focus on a basket of services that will achieve the real empowerment of small businesses.
  • Our new Opportunity Centres will house the City’s soon to be launched Work Seekers’ Database. This will effectively replace Jozi@Work, and do away with middle-men determining access to these opportunities. 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.
  • Shortly, in Johannesburg, 300 youth will begin artisan training provided by the City. This is the start of a much bigger project that will see thousands of youth trained, gaining the requisite certification and experience in partnership with the private sector. By so doing, we ensure that our youth have access to opportunities that allow them to not only access the job market but to meaningfully advance through it as well.

  • … the City of Johannesburg, through its development planning and housing departments, is set to introduce an inclusionary housing policy, with the draft currently out for public comment. The draft policy proposes that every new development of 10 dwelling units or more, must include 20% inclusionary housing.
  • By the next state of the city address we will be conveying what has been achieved in the insourcing of our cleaning services, which has to be our next priority.
  • Our road users on our 13 500 kilometres of road network must experience better roads, fewer potholes and clear road markings. Roads must be dug up and re-laid where they have been allowed to decline to the point where pothole repair is futile. Our 1 000 kilometres of gravel roads, much of which exists in our informal settlements, must start to disappear.
  • Our residents must see more being done in the housing space than has ever been done before. We have to invest in all housing typologies to address the historical legacy of our painful past, and provide the dignity that comes with ownership and title. Our approach is to reverse this backlog, and not just making small incremental inroads into it.
  • Our residents must find more of our clinics and libraries operating with extended working hours. Those in need of primary healthcare must receive it earlier, later and over weekends.
  • Arising from the valued input of Councillor Jay Maharaj of COPE, the City will now begin a pilot project for the provision of free bus rides for pensioners and persons with disabilities during off-peak times. This pilot project will allow the City to make the necessary preparations for a full rollout of this initiative in the future.
  • Our residents must experience improvements in our customer care. Waiting times and queues must be shortened and our residents must receive the red-carpet treatment, which was the exclusive preserve of political leadership in the past.

Click on this link to see more of Mashaba’s promises.