AReSebetseng: A cleaner and safer Joburg is the responsibility of residents and government

06 May 2022 in Where We Govern

The following remarks were delivered by the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Cllr Mpho Phalatse during the launch of Phase 2 of the A Re Sebetseng campaign for a cleaner and safer Johannesburg. The launch took place at Hamilton Park in Newclare, Region B.

Programme Director, Ms Charlene Louw
Speaker of Council, Cllr Vasco Da Gama
MMCs Sun, Harris, Echeozonjoku, and Ngobeni
Managing Director of Pikitup, Ms Bukelwa Njingolo
Cllr Mr Amod Khan
City Officials
Our corporate sponsors
The Community at large

I do not know about you, but I am invigorated about the work of building a City of Golden
, where, among other things, our communities are safe and clean.

This work is not the only the responsibility of the Multi-Party Government, it requires an all
hands-on-deck approach, where together, residents and government roll up their sleeves
and dedicate their energies to bettering communities by keeping them clean, and where
there is criminality alerting the authorities.

Today is not only about cleaning this community but it is about inculcating a culture of active
citizenry that says, “let me play my part, regardless of how small it might seem”. It is the
small acts of citizenry that lead to big changes.

When the Multi-Party Government was elected to give Joburg back its golden shine, we
were presented with a City that was far worse off than we thought, but we could not sit back
and wait for some form of miracle. We had to get down to working immediately, with the
existing budget, and we had to start planning for the future of the City, that in too many
instances is crumbling around us.

We may not have all the money and resources, but we have a Multi-Party Government, a
Council and a City Administration that understands the potential of the City, the needs of its
residents, and a drive to get to a point where there is real and sustainable change, which will
ultimately see us realizing Joburg as a City of Golden Opportunities.

But before we get there, we must start with getting the fundamentals right, both as
government and residents.

The launch of Phase 2 of A Re Sebetseng comes at a critical point for Johannesburg, for
two reasons:

Firstly, the launch follows the State of the City Address, which laid out the programme of
action and vision for Joburg.

Our vision in a sentence is as “a City of Golden Opportunities: A vibrant, safe and resilient
city where local government delivers a quality life for every resident.”

This vision is further broken down into the 7 Mayoral Priorities that drive the policies and
planning of all the City’s Departments and Entities. The 7 Mayoral Priorities are:

1. A City that gets the basics right
2. A safe and secure City
3. A caring City
4. A business-friendly City
5. An inclusive City
6. A well-run City
7. A smart City

Getting to a point, where all priorities are met, will take time, but as your government we are
working every day, across every Region and community, to fulfill our commitment to you.
Secondly, the phase two launch of A Re Sebetseng, takes place ahead of the Budget
Speech on 25 May 2022.

A draft of the budget has been on a roadshow, across the City’s Regions, through the
Integrated Development Plan (IDP) public participation process, which has been fruitful and
eye-opening. I have also been encouraged by the packed halls and inputs from residents
about how they want to see their communities developed.

Further, the MMC for Finance, Cllr Julie Suddaby, have also been meeting with all
Departments and Entities, to ensure that every rand of residents’ money is directed to the right service delivery programmes that align with the Mayoral Priorities and the needs of the City and the 6-million residents.

Now, the State of the City Address and Budget Speech send a signal that the Multi-Party
Government is fully in the driver’s seat and is working for you. This is not to say that we have
not been working but rather to say that we take full ownership of the needs of the City.

Programme Director,

The Multi-Party Government needs not only the support of communities but for communities
to be our eyes, ears and at times our hands on the ground.

When we leave here, we require that you continue mobilizing yourselves to keep the streets
and open spaces clean. In turn, we commit to playing our service delivery role.

Active citizenry does not only mean picking up a broom, but it also means picking up the
phone and alerting the City when you see leaking pipes and broken lights.

Your contribution to a cleaner and safer Joburg does not stop there.

More often than not we are quick to turn a blind eye to incidents of crime because they do
not directly affect us – this is wrong. When you see crime happening call the JMPD or the
SAPS. In turn, we commit to ensuring that the JMPD is responsive.

Furthermore, community members know who is committing the crimes, some community
members even house and hide these criminals. Do not let this happen in your community or
in your name. Call the JMPD and SAPS to rid this community and others of criminal

Especially now, with loadshedding we need you to be vigilant by keeping an eye out for
suspicious activity associated with cable theft. We cannot allow our economic infrastructure
to be destroyed and for criminals to undermine service delivery and our ability to sustain
economic activity.

The City’s Group Forensic and Investigation Service (GFIS) and JMPD are working with
SAPS, Hawks, and other law-enforcement units to bring this act of sabotage on our City to
an end.

Programme Director,

This week, the World Wide Fund for Nature or WWF named Joburg as the national winner of
its One Planet City Challenge, in recognition of the work we are doing to look after the city’s
environment through the rollout of our Climate Action Plan.

While climate change may seem like a matter for rich countries, it is countries like ours that
are hardest hit by its effects.

We must play our part by taking care of our communities because littering and illegal
dumping divert service delivery funds, and it attracts crime.

For example, littering alone costs the City R74-million a year, while illegal dumping costs
another R80-million. That’s R154-million that could be used to build houses, recruit more

police, or install bulk infrastructure service to better the lives of residents and attract
investment that creates jobs and job opportunities.|

Programme Director,

In closing, the A Re Sebtseng campaign for a cleaner and safer Joburg will go to each of the
seven Regions, but residents must not wait for us to come to them before they start.
The Multi-Party Government calls upon residents, schools, and businesses to mobilise
themselves for regular clean up campaigns, under the banner of A Re Sebetseng, in their
communities on at least a monthly basis.

The City’s service delivery programmes coupled with the active work of residents, will be an
unstoppable service delivery force that will see us realizing a City of Golden Opportunities
that is clean and safe.

A Re Sebetseng! Together, let’s get the basics right.