THE launch of Joburg’s Growth and Development Strategy 2040 on Thursday, 20 October ends a nine-week civic outreach programme of rigorous deliberations about how best to guide Joburg over the next 30 years.

It began on 2 August, and all comments and suggestions raised over the weeks have been collated into a single document, Joburg 2040, which will be launched at FNB Stadium in Nasrec.

Executive Mayor Parks Tau said he was impressed by the public’s participation throughout the nine weeks. The Joburg 2040 blueprint was an aspiration of the “type of society we want to achieve by 2040”.

“We are extremely excited about the launch of the Joburg 2040 document because it is a true reflection of the contribution and input of the citizens of Joburg,” said Tau.

The mayor and members of the mayoral committee, councillors and the City manager and other officials will attend the launch. About 2 000 people who actively participated in the outreach have been invited, including government dignitaries, business people, informal traders, politicians, academics, economists, environmentalists, religious groups and residents.

“Unlike our usual lengthy, sometimes boring, events this takes the form of a production with participants involved in a drumming session, live entertainment, one short speech by [the] mayor, DVD footage of GDS, some pyrotechnics, essay reading by youth, EMS Youth drill squad, a symbolic kick off into the future, live streaming and broadcast,” said Virgil James, the municipal spokesperson.

As curtain raiser for the launch, a number of bridges and buildings have been lit up and branded with the Joburg 2040 logo. City Parks has also earmarked several parks to broadcast the event live on big screens.

Public broadcast

The spokesperson for that entity, Jenny Moodley, said venues that would screen the Joburg 2040 launch included Ivory Park, Westbury Park, Bram Fischer Centre, Orlando West, Alexandra Stadium, Joubert Park, Rose Park in Lenasia and Orange Farm.

“These are some of the parks that they are going to be using. They are going to augment with additional sound and so on. We encourage residents to come out on the day to support [it]. More importantly, when they are out there value the park, keep it clean and refrain from littering,” Moodley said.

Joburg 2040 contained a set of defined strategic choices that framed the five-year Integrated Development Plan (IDP). In support of long-term delivery, the IDP contained specific five-year operational activities, targets and financial budgets, Tau explained.

James said the process was aimed at all stakeholders “using a wide-ranging stakeholder and community consultation process to drive the development of an inspiring, visionary and implementable local government strategy”.

In a digital advert, the City said that following nine weeks of “playoffs held throughout the city, we are ready to launch the Joburg 2040 document and entrench Johannesburg as a city of the future”.

Community contribution and involvement were what would make Joburg evolve into a vibrant, socio-economic inclusive and adaptive society. “We are all players! Joburg My City – Our Future,” was the ad’s payoff line.