Mayor attends Lagos gathering


Executive mayor Parks TauExecutive mayor Parks Tau

EXECUTIVE Mayor Parks Tau is in Lagos, Nigeria, where he is attending the two-day Economist Conference on Future Cities. He will be sharing Joburg's knowledge with international leaders.

Tau is one of 150 leaders from government, industry, technology and NGOs at the conference, which began today. He is one of four keynote speakers, joined by Western Cape's human settlements MEC, Bonginkosi Madikizela; the executive governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola; and Mohammed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Properties, the world's largest property company.

They will be sharing their experiences, new perspectives, solutions and innovative approaches to manage issues around urbanisation. Important lessons learned from major projects in the past will be the main topics of the discussions.

With regard to Johannesburg, Tau will reveal how the City has used major events to speed up delivery of infrastructure and development. His key theme will be on the strategy used to deliver a successful tournament in the football World Cup in 2010, and the legacy it left behind.

Future Cities is part of a global series of summits that features technical experts and others who manage, design, plan and finance the world's most innovative cities. During the two days of discussion and debate, urban development, infrastructure, environment, sustainability, energy and finance will come under the spotlight.

A few weeks ago, Tau also spoke at the Global Health Challenges Conference in New York. And, according to the Mayor's Office, his participation in the Lagos summit will boost the status of Joburg and consolidate its reputation as the most innovative and developing economic hub of Africa.

It comes hot on the heels of the tabling of Johannesburg's municipal budget last week, its biggest yet at R37.6-billion, which allows for it to shift its course and prepare for the future as a more resilient, sustainable and financially sound city.

In his budget speech, the finance member of the mayoral committee, Geoffrey Makhubo, said Johannesburg was committed to creating a high performing metropolitan government, among other things, that would be sustainable, socially inclusive, locally integrated and globally competitive. These goals were to be realised in partnership with its stakeholders.