THE newly appointed executive mayor, Parks Tau, has restructured the City’s 10-member mayoral committee, introducing youthful new faces and amalgamating portfolios, in an effort to ensure that Joburg moves rapidly towards its vision of being a world-class African city.
Tau announced his team at a press briefing on Friday, 27 May in the mayoral parlour, in Braamfontein. He said he had taken “gender, geographic spread, youth and political experience” into account when appointing his team. The team is composed of five women and five men.
Announcing their names, Tau noted that some of the portfolios had been merged, like infrastructure and services and environment, which would now be headed by Roslynn Greeff, who previously headed the department of development planning and urban management.
Other portfolio heads are finance, to be headed by Geoffrey Makhubu; economic development, to be held by Sello Lelao, who was the only member not at the briefing; community development, to be led by Chris Vondo; and corporate and shared services, to be held by Mally Mokoena.
“I believe that these men and women will help inject a sense of urgency to our work and take the City to higher plane. We will be seeking to do our work in a more efficient and effective manner,” Tau added.
A seasoned councillor and planner by profession, Ruby Mathang, returns to the portfolio of development planning and urban management, which he held during Amos Masondo’s first five-year term. The department of housing, which Mathang held until recently, will now be headed by Dan Mbovu.
The former mayoral committee member for environment, Matshidiso Mfikoe, takes over the portfolio of public safety, overseeing the emergency management services and the metro police.
The department of health will now have human development activities and will be known as the department of health and human development. It will be headed by Nonceba Molwele.
“The health and human development portfolio shows our commitment to addressing primary health care, locating clinics as close as possible to where people are and addressing, amongst others, the scourge of HIV/Aids,” explained the mayor.
He said that through the finance portfolio, the City would continue to focus on achieving financial sustainability, while economic growth and development would remain a priority to stimulate job creation and ensure additional revenue generation.
The portfolios for infrastructure and services, housing, and community development would put more emphasis on improving service delivery, targeting the poor and previously disadvantaged.
Tau said there was a need to address urban management and turn dormitory townships like Soweto and Alexandra into viable, sustainable settlements.
“The development planning and urban management portfolio demonstrates our commitment to transforming and integrating the city. The urban management component of the portfolio will especially ensure the continuation of the inner city regeneration in the Johannesburg, Randburg, Roodepoort and other similar central business districts,” he said.
Rehana Moosajee is the only person to retain her previous portfolio, that of transport. “A lot of work has been done in regard to transport even though more work still needs to be done in order to reduce congestion and bring affordable and accessible public transport to all,” Tau said.
Moosajee’s portfolio would include functions of road construction, maintenance, traffic lights and storm water drainage. “Our work will start immediately,” he said.
The former head of community safety, Elgina Ndhlovu, has been deployed as the chief of staff in the Office of the Mayor.
Tau emphasised that there was a need for consistency and continuity in the City, which was why he had retained some of the mayoral committee members who had served under his predecessor.
“Allow me to say that we will serve the people of this great city with dedication and demonstrate even greater levels of commitment,” said Tau.