The City of Johannesburg on Friday joined forces with some of its key stakeholders to make the inner city cleaner, safer and more inhabitable in order to create conditions for economic growth.
The move that seeks to eliminate crime, overcrowding, illegal dumping, parking and trading was made at a stakeholder meeting held at St Mary’s Cathedral in downtown Johannesburg.
According to Reverend Xolani Dlwathi, the St Mary’s Cathedral Precinct was one of the areas hardest hit by crime in the inner city, and the safety of churchgoers had been under threat for a long time.
“We’ve lost many members of our church due to crime in this vicinity. Some of our international visitors have also been robbed out there,” Dlwathi said in a statement.
This comes after Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba called for urban decay and crime in the inner city to be tackled to attract investors.
Mashaba has promised to grow the economy by a minimum of five percent by 2021 as articulated in the 10-point plan.
Region F director Irene Mafune agreed that the inner city was one of “the most problematic areas” in Johannesburg, saying that all the stakeholders had a collective responsibility to create a clean and safe environment.
“We’re reaching out to communities and asking them to start assessing how they conduct themselves and remodel their business structures. This is because there are rules and regulations in the City of Johannesburg that have to be complied with,” Mafune said.
Johannesburg Metro Police Department Superintendent Lawrence Nonjakazi said it was “very difficult for its units to work with uncooperative citizens”.
“We’d like to see voluntary compliance by informal traders and taxi drivers. That way, there will be law and order in the city,” Nonjakazi said.
Other stakeholders that took part in the discussions included the University of Johannesburg, nonprofit organisation Time for Change, South African Police Service, property owners and community leaders.