What to expect from Mashaba’s Soca

City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.

Herman Mashaba will deliver his first mayoral State of the City Address (Soca) tomorrow, 3 May.

The City of Johannesburg Soca will for the first time be presented by a Democratic Alliance candidate after the party won the top council seats in August last year after the municipal elections.

There is little doubt Mashaba will proclaim his vision that ‘a Joburg that works is a South Africa that works’ and emphasise his disgust of the previous African National Congress (ANC) administration’s alleged ‘outright looting of public money’. The mayor is expected to also focus on a number of other points that came into the spotlight since his appointment.

Mashaba will likely focus on his nine priorities and five pillars he introduced to communities during the Integrated Development Pan (IDP) meetings.

The nine priorities, which Mashaba said were drafted during the election campaigns with party policies in view, are:

  • Promote economic development aiming towards a 5 per cent per annum economic growth by 2021
  • Pro-poor development providing meaningful redress
  • Enhance service delivery
  • Improve public safety
  • Create an honest and transparent City
  • Create a City that responds to the needs of citizens, customers and businesses
  • Enhance financial sustainability
  • Encourage innovation and efficiency through the Smart City programme
  • Preserve resources for future generations.

The five pillars, proposed for the Growth and Development Strategy, are:

  • Grow the economy and create jobs
  • Enhance quality of life by improving service and taking care of the environment
  • Advance pro-poor development that provides meaningful redress
  • Build caring, safe and secure communities
  • Institute an honest, responsive and productive government.

Beyond these points, Mashaba might address the status of ratings agencies reviewing the City for a credit downgrade after it downgraded the national credit rating in April. Mashaba said the downgrade could affect the economic growth plans for the City, ultimately meaning fewer job creation opportunities.

The Jozi@Work programme that was cut last year could also make an appearance on the mayor’s speech since this has been a hot topic of debate during the City’s recent council sittings. Mashaba has repeatedly said the programme is dead and buried, and seemed irritated by more questions about the decision from the opposition. He could use the Soca to attempt to lay the issue to rest.

Read: Why Mashaba scrapped Jozi@Work 

Most, if not all of the speeches Mashaba delivered since becoming mayor, and even during the election campaign, were marked with some reference to alleged corruption by the previous administration. His first 100 days in office address was filled with damning remarks. It would be no surprise if the mayor does the same in the Soca. Recent investigations by the City’s Anti-Corruption Unit either in progress or leading to arrests could be the platform the mayor will use to do this.

Also read: Mashaba after 100 days: On keeping promises and making new ones

You will be able to listen to the Soca on various local radio stations, or by following @chantellafourie on Twitter for live updates.

 

 

  AUTHOR
Chantelle Fourie

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