MoU signed to re­store in­ner city

The Star Early Edition - - METROWATCH -

THE CITY of Joburg and the Johannesburg In­ner City Part­ner­ship, rep­re­sented by the City Im­prove­ment District Fo­rum, have signed a me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MoU) in which they pledge to work to­gether to re­vi­talise and re­gen­er­ate the in­ner city.

The un­der­tak­ing was made at an In­ner City Part­ner­ship Fo­rum at Mu­seum Africa in New­town re­cently. It will en­gage the pri­vate sec­tor, de­vel­op­ers, in­vestors and other stake­hold­ers to seek so­lu­tions to ur­ban de­cay.

The MoU reads in part: “The par­ties agree to work as a col­lec­tive to es­tab­lish a steer­ing com­mit­tee out­lin­ing ac­tions on which to part­ner for im­proved clean­li­ness in the in­ner city, mo­bil­is­ing the nec­es­sary sup­port and fund­ing to en­able the project to suc­ceed.

“The MoU aims to es­tab­lish is­sues of mu­tual in­ter­est, in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and pro­cesses that will as­sist to meet ob­jec­tives of a clean and healthy city.”

Mayor Her­man Mashaba said this was time for ac­tion. He urged the pri­vate sec­tor to join in its mis­sion to make the in­ner city a place of op­por­tu­nity for all.

He was ac­com­pa­nied by three mem­bers of the may­oral com­mit­tee – Michael Sun for pub­lic safety, Nico de Jager for en­vi­ron­ment and in­fra­struc­ture ser­vices and Sharon Peetz for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, who was fired by Mashaba for al­leged fraud this week. The part­ner­ship was rep­re­sented by Anne St­effny.

“This is your op­por­tu­nity to help us turn around hi­jacked and bad build­ings. We bank on you to make the in­ner city a con­struc­tion site within 12 months. When you in­vest your money, you must know you have the gov­ern­ment’s sup­port. I have ded­i­cated re­sources to turn the city around and I need your help to do it. To­gether we have the po­ten­tial to suc­ceed and make the city full of op­por­tu­ni­ties for en­trepreneurs and ar­ti­sans,” Mashaba said.

The eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment depart­ment has set aside R5.8 mil­lion for an in­vest­ment master plan, R9m for in­for­mal trad­ing and R35m for the de­vel­op­ment of small, medium and mi­cro en­ter­prises.

Sun said his depart­ment had de­ployed 198 po­lice of­fi­cers, 30 ve­hi­cles, 80 points­men and a man­age­ment unit to en­force by-laws in the hot spots iden­ti­fied by metro po­lice.

Sun said CCTV cam­eras were now linked to the in­tel­li­gence op­er­a­tors cen­tre at the pub­lic safety head­quar­ters. Ad­di­tional cam­eras would soon be rolled out. He added that the city would soon es­tab­lish a mu­nic­i­pal court to specif­i­cally deal with by-law of­fences.

The mayor’s strate­gic ad­viser, Thabo Maisela, said the hous­ing back­log stood at 158 000 units, with 80 000 units in the in­ner city alone.

Maisela said the Johannesburg De­vel­op­ment Agency, the Johannesburg So­cial Hous­ing Com­pany and the hous­ing depart­ment had ap­pointed a team of ex­perts to prepare and im­ple­ment a strat­egy to deal with the hous­ing prob­lem.

The part­ner­ship will make its pre­sen­ta­tions to the city in the next few weeks.

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