Johannesburg City mayor Parks Tau said on Wednesday the city’s economy has grown significantly thanks to various developmental initiatives put in place by his administration.
Tau said this while delivering his 2016 State of the City Address (Soca) in Turffontein in Johannesburg. He said the city was incubating ground-breaking service delivery initiatives proposed by community members through the city’s JoziMyBeginning Community Innovation Fund.
These include mobile temporary traffic lights, a new cable theft prevention system and a new method of surfacing roads and fixing potholes using recycled material. Tau said the city has assisted many small businesses that contributed to the growth of the economy.
“Our network of SMME (Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises) hubs is there to make sure thousands – and ultimately tens of thousands – of new enterprises have a chance to open for businesses,” said Tau.
“We have already supported over 14 000 small companies through these hubs, enabling them to be part of Joburg’s rising economic democracy. Collectively as the city, we have directly supported and assisted over 24 000 small and medium-sized enterprises over the course of this term.”
According to Tau, the city was currently engaging residents of several troubled areas, such as Zandspruit north-west of Joburg, to find long-term solutions to their service delivery problems. He said his administration has formalised 29 000 informal sector homes where they stood, and relocated over 600 other households to linked housing projects.
Other achievements in Tau’s Soca included job creation through assisting cooperatives, road infrastructure development and the provision of water, sanitation and electricity.