Joburg 2040 is here
THE City has already devised an implementation plan for its Joburg 2040 Growth and Development Strategy (GDS), its 30-year framework, which was launched amid pomp and fanfare to crowds of residents and stakeholders last night.
The executive mayor, Parks Tau said the Joburg 2040 blueprint encouraged efficient administration of the municipality.
"We would say in the current term of office this is what needs to be done and these are the issues we are going to implement, the targets we are going to set ourselves and these are the indicators against which we need to measure implementation," he said.
The 120-page document was launched at FNB Stadium in Nasrec amid a spectacular show of sparkling laser lights and fireworks, music and entertainment. The night was characterised by drumbeats and dancing.
Tau said although Joburg 2040 charted the long-term path for the City's aspirations, it would be factored into the current five-year term of office to gauge the City's progress. The document contains a set of defined strategic choices that frame the five-year Integrated Development Plan, which guides specific five-year operational activities, targets and financial budgets.
"Yes it's a long-term strategy but you need to implement within reasonable time frames so that people are able to measure progress. But we are also saying it is not just about the municipality implementing because an important part of this strategy is that it is a partnership," he said.
He had been enthused by the level of public participation and interest throughout the nine themed weeks of the consultation, which led to drawing up the strategy. "People have really taken it upon themselves to make contributions towards a long-term vision for the City and towards identifying what programmes we need to put in place to implement the Growth and Development Strategy, so I have been encouraged."
Most suggestions that were mooted were feasible; others had forecast prospects of the future. Towards 2040, Tau said, Joburg would base its mandate on the precepts of Joburg 2040.
"It's about the ability to mobilise business, communities and labour to be part of a broad coalition of people that are working towards a common objective of achieving a better city and a better Johannesburg for all."
Over the coming weeks, he explained, the City would undertake a roadshow aimed at acquainting its staff and residents with the tenets of the strategy "so that we get them to participate actively in ensuring that whether it's about sweeping the streets or planning for the city, we are all working towards a common set of objectives. We have different roles but we can through our respective contributions achieve the City's vision."
The roadmap would guide the City's budget review process and the allocation of resources to respond to pressing needs that had been articulated in the particular financial year.
In his keynote address, the mayor compared the GDS blueprint with the Freedom Charter, noting that both documents espoused the development and transformation of the socioeconomic fabric of the society they served.
"It is in the same spirit that we have included all voices to collaborate in producing our shared vision for Johannesburg."
Tau encouraged every stakeholder to get involved. "It's important for everyone in the City of Johannesburg to be active participants in ensuring that we are able to achieve the objectives that we have set. It's about identifying what my role is and my responsibility in the City to ensure that we are able to reach the goals that we have set for ourselves."
The main objective of the GDS outreach was to open up public discourse on the key challenges confronting the city, obtain input and suggestions from stakeholders and local communities and capture the imagination of all Joburg stakeholders around the City's vision and process.
"It's important that people understand their role because then they will be encouraged to play their roles with the understanding of what that contributes to the overall vision of the City."
City manager Trevor Fowler said the enthusiasm of citizens and all stakeholders of Johannesburg had strengthened the City's commitment and resolve to give practical expression to the Joburg 2040 vision.
He echoed Tau, noting that the nine-week process had provided the City's leadership and executive with an opportunity to interact directly with a large section of stakeholders, listen to their concerns and consider suggestions on how to take Joburg to its next level.
"As a response to the GDS aspirations, ours is to translate your suggestions, your inputs into tangible and deliverable outputs to which you can hold us accountable."
Joburg 2040 was an articulation of a collective vision for our city, Fowler said, noting that the blueprint acknowledged that at the centre of development were citizens. "We want to build on the positive energy that characterises our city."
The launch of the document was the start of a lasting partnership, one that would transcend the current term of office and the next two to three decades. "It will require all of us to reflect and to re-examine our role on moving from being mere ratepayers and recipients of services to being active players in the transformation of Joburg," he said.
"We are cognisant of our vision and the leadership required to make this 2040 vision a reality."
The Joburg 2040 Growth and Development Strategy is a systematic collation of all comments from residents and other role players, which were sought over a nine-week civic outreach programme of rigorous deliberations on how best to administer Johannesburg over the next 30 years.
Executive mayor Parks Tau launches the Joburg 2040 GDS at FNB Stadium on 20 October. Watch video.
"We will redirect and reorient our collective energy to a new direction so that we work collectively as a City, with all departments focusing on achieving the short-term goals so as to pave the way for long-term realisation for the GDS," he explained.