MoU signed to restore inner city
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.