Pictured: Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg:Mpho Parks Tau

Johannesburg has been described as “the place that stimulated the search for the possibilities of freedom”. This city has always attracted free thinkers, revolutionaries, entrepreneurs and thought leaders willing to take up the fight for freedom.

We owe our strength to a melting pot of cultures, a hybrid society always searching for new ideas; alive with all the possibilities of freedom we seek.

You will remember that two years ago, we embarked on a citywide process to consult on a future vision for the city. From this process we developed our Joburg 2040 vision for a city that is sustainable, liveable and resilient. It is sustainable because it delivers infrastructure and ensures everyone has services. It is resilient because we have the capacity to respond to unexpected and unpredictable events.

During the recent Integrated Development Plan we have spent countless hours speaking to communities in Westbury, Lenasia, Kliptown, Orange Farm, Rosebank and Bryanston– to name a but few.

Through the revenue step change roadmap, we have drastically reduced the number of unresolved queries on our billing system and improved our ability to collect revenue. Our collection rate has improved to 91% giving us cash in excess of R800 million for the ten months up to 30 April 2013.

We are addressing issues of road quality, filling in potholes, but also following a long- term approach to resurface roads in major areas including Bryanston, Sandton, Rivonia, Parkview, Eldorado Park and Riverlea.

We are committed to energy efficiency and reducing the cost of energy to households. Over the a period of three years we are installing 110 000 solar water heaters in poor and low-income households, we will continue implementing this programme, enabling residents to save on their electricity bills. This represents 10% of the national target of 1 million solar geysers by 2014, and will create around 20 000 job opportunities while stimulating local manufacturing.
We have a targeted ward approach to improve the quality of services initially in 35 wards. We have improved services by more than 70% and will expand this to another 35 wards over the coming months.

We have started the rollout of separation of waste. Over the next three years we will have 70% of all households involved in separating waste at householdslevel. This is in line with our target of reducing waste to landfill by 20% in 2015.
Last year I announced that we would be spending over R100 billion on infrastructure over a period of ten years. In pursuance of this objective we have budgeted an amount of R30 billion on new replacement and maintenance of infrastructure, which will be spent over the next three years.

When we embarked on the GDS process we were collectively accessing our right to change this city after our own heart’s desire. As people of Johannesburg it is this desire in our heart that the world is acknowledging. Joburg 2040 our Growth and Development Strategy, has become an international reference on city strategy, studied at the Universities of Lund in Sweden and University College London in the UK. And this is why Developmental Service Delivery is important so that we may realise our Joburg Vision, bridging the gap between the present and the future.