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Joburg financially sound, boasts mayor

Mar 22 2012 16:27 Sapa

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Johannesburg - The City of Johannesburg is financially sound but will need to spend R100bn on improving and developing the city over the next 10 years, mayor Parks Tau said on Thursday.

"Today we can say with much confidence that our institution and entities are much stronger and our financial position is sound," Tau said in a state of the city address prepared for delivery.

More people than ever before have access to basic services such as water and sanitation, electricity and waste removal, he said.

Over 30 000 households in informal settlements have access to basic water through communal standpipes and over 30 000 households are provided with access to basic sanitation.

Tau said there is 98% coverage for basic water and 91% for basic sanitation.

The city has 50 clinics where anti-retrovirals are available.

Soweto is being upgraded to the extent that its facilities are hosting international events, and inner city housing close to work has proved to be successfull, the mayor said.

Massive expansion

With a population estimated at 3.8 million people, the city needs massive development and expansion of its socioeconomic infrastructure, as well as work on its basic services such as water reticulation systems and waste treatment plants.

Tau acknowledged complaints about billing and customer services.

"We share their concerns. Therefore, billing and customer services remain one of our top focus areas in ensuring that we regain the trust and confidence of our residents," he said.

"It is not acceptable for people to wait long periods of time to have calls answered, or have calls dropped when they eventually get through."

Tau said part of the city's improvement plans includes a change in the city's billing and revenue collection service and an improvement of the quality of customers' interaction with the city.

At least R100bn would be spent on improving the city, he said.

Plans include an economic node in Lanseria, the R1.2bn Oasis in Soweto initiative which would incorporate townhouses, offices and retail space, and a retail development in Alexandra.

Through the Johannesburg metro police department, at least 10 police officers per ward would be deployed around the city to prevent crime.

Tau said an "ambitious" social assistance programme would be run with non-goverment bodies for poor people and a skills audit of city employees would be conducted.
parks tau  |  joburg  |  infrastructure
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