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Pretoria - Where do you see the capital city in 40 years? The City of Tshwane on Tuesday night launched its long-term development plan for the city, titled Tshwane Vision 2055: Remaking South Africa’s Capital City.
“Our vision is a City of Tshwane in 2055 that is livable, resilient and inclusive.
“Also, a city whose citizens enjoy a high quality of life and have access to social, economic and enhanced political freedom, and are partners in the development of the African Capital City of excellence,” executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said at the lavish launch at the Union Buildings.
The outdoor event was attended by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Lechesa Tsenoli, other executive mayors of Gauteng and diplomatic dignitaries. Expressing his excitement about the plan, Tsenoli said: “We want to see a place that is meaningful to its residents.”
Tshwane Vision 2055 is to guide the growth and development of the city for the next 40 years. It sets out a plan of action to provide high quality living for its 3 million residents and future generations.
“It will also serve as a point of reference for interventions aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty, inequality, underdevelopment and strategic actions,” he said.
The city faced many challenges, but had come a long way over the past 19 years of democracy, he said.
“The City of Tshwane, like many other cities in South Africa and globally, is confronted by economic and developmental challenges,”Ramokgopa said.
“While poverty levels have declined, inequality has increased and the gap between the haves and have-nots continues to grow.
“Tshwane is today better than the one we inherited in 1994 and the future is looking even brighter.”
Actor John Kani, along with other performers and dancers, presented the history and progress of Pretoria and Tshwane against a backdrop of footage of significant events in the capital over the years, including Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as president at the Union Buildings.
The discussion document of the Tshwane Vision 2055 was launched on July 31 last year. For the past year city residents had a chance to share their ideas of where they saw their city over the long term. All the contributions led to the final document launched last night.
Ramokgopa said the launch was significant not only for the city but for South Africa.
“And for that, fellow citizens, we are grateful to you for not only responding to calls for submissions and attending consultative sessions, but most important for showing abiding respect for the democratic ideals underpinning the whole process,” he said.
The plan was based on the constitution and the Freedom Charter and anchored in the words “the people shall govern”, he said.
“We took this to mean that the people shall define and determine their own destiny, not only through periodic casting of votes, but through determining the substantive basis on which they exercise governorship.”
Ramokgopa said the metro would implement programmes in support of the Gauteng City Region. “A single metropolis has a greater potential to accelerate socio-economic development and improve competitiveness at a global level,” he said. Guests were given packets of seeds to “plant the seeds for their future”.
Quoting Mandela, Ramokgopa said of the task that lay ahead: “It always seems impossible until it is done.”