COUNCILLOR’S CORNER: When can we expect to see changes?

 

This week, Phathu Luvhengo asked:

Now that the State of the City Address is done, when can we expect to start seeing changes from the new administration in terms of service delivery and improvements?

Philip Kruger, Ward 86 councillor, answered:

The DA-led administration ushered in a new era of democracy in South Africa, and in Johannesburg. Residents showed, through their votes, that change is what they wanted. But change can’t happen if you don’t honestly look at the inherited challenges facing the City: 862 000 unemployed people in a city with a 1.6 per cent economic growth rate, crumbling infrastructure and a R170 billion backlog in capital infrastructure, 181 informal settlements and a housing shortage of over 300 000, widespread corruption and fraud, as well as bylaws rendered useless through non-enforcement.

While these challenges are huge, as a new government, we will not be distracted from the task at hand. The mayor introduced his five pillars as a road map to turning Johannesburg around – achieving a 5 per cent economic growth in the City; enhancing the quality of life by improving services and taking care of the environment; advance pro-poor development that provides meaningful redress; building caring, safe and secure communities and institute an honest, responsive and productive government.

The first tangible step in achieving these goals was the adjustment budget introduced earlier this year. Although only small changes could be made, this budget already allocated funds to previously neglected priorities like the electrification of incomplete housing units and informal settlements; improvements of roads in impoverished areas; the purchase of additional buses for Metrobus and extending the operating hours at five additional clinics in the City. With these adjustments, a real sense of change is beginning to emerge.

In two weeks, the mayor will introduce the budget for the 2017/18 financial year, as well as the planned budgets for the political term ending 2021. In this budget, real change will be made possible through the implementation of this resident-oriented budget. Serious consideration will be given to service delivery, particularly the repairing of roads, traffic lights, and grass cutting, Metro police will employ and train an additional 1 500 officers; red tape in building and zoning applications will be reduced and small businesses will be supported to create employment and grow the economy.

Change is coming, and change is already visible, but much more needs to be done and will be done. When Johannesburg works, South Africa works.

Do you have a question for a ward councillor?

As a local newspaper, the Roodepoort Northsider provides a platform for residents to learn about, understand and follow local government. As an extension of that, there is a weekly column called Councillor’s Corner which is a platform for you, our readers, to voice your concerns or questions for ward councillors to respond to.

Different, willing ward councillors will respond to a question each week.

Email your burning question to [email protected] and let’s get the ball rolling.

  AUTHOR
Chantelle Fourie

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