Mayor Geoff Makhubo says crime, lawlessness, building hijacking, collapsing roads, failed infrastructure projects and compromised service delivery hindered Joburg’s growth. File Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)
Mayor Geoff Makhubo says crime, lawlessness, building hijacking, collapsing roads, failed infrastructure projects and compromised service delivery hindered Joburg’s growth. File Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

Crime and lawlessness hamper Joburg’s growth - Makhubo

By Anna Cox Time of article published May 7, 2021

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Johannesburg - Crime, lawlessness, building hijacking, collapsing roads, failed infrastructure projects and compromised service delivery have resulted from Covid19 which has severely hindered the growth of the City of Joburg.

So said Joburg mayor Geoffrey Makhubo, delivering his State of the City Address this week.

The speech was peppered with references to the effect the pandemic was having on the growth of the city, which had affected cities globally.

The mayor said rising to meet the challenges presented by this unforeseen event, the city accelerated its review of the way it delivered services and how to leverage technology to protect the well-being of employees and citizens. Essential operations were looked at.

However, despite the challenging institutional and macro-economic environment due to the pandemic, the city managed to collect 86.3% of the revenue against an adjusted Covid19 risk target of 88% for the 2019/20 financial year, as well as acquiring a surplus of R3.7 billion for 2019/20.

Encouragingly, Makhubo said the city still hiked revenue by 6%.

Furthermore, the city’s financial position was in solid standing, with total assets increasing by 5%.

Makhubo said that despite the pandemic, the city had made significant strides in terms of service delivery, backed by accelerated capital investment through the implementation of a 10-year capital programme and as a result more than 92% of households having access to basic services.

The city’s approach, said the mayor, was to prevent, contain and manage the spread of Covid-19 through efficient and equitable deployment of resources to regions and the most vulnerable areas, particularly areas of high volumes in human traffic and informal and densely populated settlements.

Steps it has taken:

♦ The Disaster Management Centre, which oversaw the monitoring and implementation of countermeasures and response to cases reported and suspected cases, was activated.

♦ Clinical teams were deployed to support the elderly and vulnerable persons.

♦ The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) was directed to monitor and enforce strict adherence to the guidelines outlined as per the declared National State of Disaster.

♦ Johannesburg Water provided emergency water supply to informal settlements to support the call for increased personal hygiene and an increased frequency in the servicing of VIP toilets in informal settlements.

♦ The Johannesburg Social Housing Company identified sites and facilities that could be utilised in support of clinical services for the self-isolation and quarantine of persons whose permanent residence arrangements were not conducive to effectively self-isolate and quarantine.

♦ The city launched the Hlapa Matsoho campaign at Mangolongolo informal settlement aimed at educating residents of Joburg, specifically in informal communities, about the importance of washing hands with soap.

♦ City Power is exploring the feasibility of alternative energy sources to diversify its energy mix. This has the potential to address some of the electricity supply constraints, as well as ensuring that all communities are provided with reliable and continuous energy. Communities must be encouraged to curb illegal connections.

♦ Pikitup, as an entity, must shift focus to the waste economy as it expands services to areas not previously serviced. Illegal dumping and littering continue to remain a challenge. While the city has the KleenaJoburg campaign, residents must keep Joburg clean and dispose of litter in a responsible manner. The Johannesburg Roads Agency and Johannesburg Parks and Zoo are hard at work as they continue efforts to improve our road infrastructure. The big two universities in the city, as well as several TVET colleges, are putting pressure on the city to house students, so there is now a process to change the mandate of the Johannesburg Social Housing Company to include the provision of affordable student accommodation.

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