New mayor of Joburg Herman Mashaba, in an effort to root out corruption and ensure transparency, has guaranteed that an official housing waiting list will be made publicly available at government offices.
Mashaba yesterday said his team had already started work on the list and that he would sign off on it in three months’ time.
“It will, for the first time, be available at government offices to communities to ensure transparency,” Mashaba said.
The mayor said a report on the number of completed houses built by the city and province, but not yet allocated or handed over to beneficiaries, would be produced within 60 days. “It is unacceptable that there are houses that have been built but remain unoccupied when many of our residents live without acceptable accommodation,” he said.
Mashaba also said his team would fast-track the handover of title deeds to ordinary residents, churches and businesses. He vowed to ensure that corruption was “public enemy number one in Joburg”, and that everyone, from politicians to officials, had to play their part in fighting the scourge.
“Corruption steals from the poor and should be nipped in the bud,” Mashaba said. “Investigations must be conducted into alleged fraud or corruption and the administration will work closely with law enforcement to see to it that no one’s above the law.”
Adding to Mashaba’s ambitions are plans to investigate the possibility of keeping the city’s clinics open for extended hours.
“Universal access to health is an ideal the city must work towards. Budgets permitting, and by cutting unnecessary expenditure, we must strive to extend the hours at our clinics to ensure a healthy citizenry.”
Mashaba said plans and policies had to be aligned for the city to work toward achieving a 5% economic growth rate. He said this was vital, as Joburg was the engine of the country’s economic growth.