Good day ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for joining us today.
I would like to start by acknowledging the Speaker, Chief Whip and MMCs here today.
I also want to thank members of the media for honouring our invitation. The intention behind today's briefing is to highlight some of the service delivery progress that we have made since coming into office.
I am going to provide an overview of a number of matters and then we can open it up for questions and engagement.
Coalition government stability
Ladies and gentlemen, it has now been a year since we formed our multiparty coalition government following the results of the November 2021 local government elections.
Given the unstable nature of coalitions in our country, I am pleased that we have been able to work together in the City of Tshwane and reach a year without the coalition collapsing. A stable coalition government is critical if we are to successfully govern a large metropolitan municipality like the City of Tshwane.
As you may know, our coalition government consists of the Democratic Alliance, ActionSA, Freedom Front Plus, African Christian Democratic Party, Inkatha Freedom Party and Congress of the People.
We came together based on our common principles and commitment to drive service delivery and stabilise the City's precarious financial position.
The six of us have a majority coalition government, which gives us the advantage of being able to vote as a solid block in Council. This is what sets the City of Tshwane apart from other Gauteng coalition governments. The coalition partners here in Tshwane have a majority, meaning if we continue to work together, there will be no need for so called "kingmakers".
At local level, as coalition partners we work well together with mutual respect. In my role as the Executive Mayor, I have good working relations with all MMCs, including the Democratic Alliance, ActionSA and Freedom Front Plus.
Further to that you would have seen that we have secured a proper working Council by preventing any physical disruptions in the Council Chamber through the use of virtual meetings.
In the 12 months that we have been in office, we have intentionally put the interests of Tshwane residents as our top priority by identifying the following ten strategic focus areas to develop the City and fast-track service delivery:
- Prioritise the electrical grid and water infrastructure
- Provide stringent financial management and oversight
- Be a business-friendly City that promotes employment and economic growth
- Enhance City safety, security and emergency services
- Maintain a clean and protected natural environment
- Maintain and expand road infrastructure and public transportation
- Be a caring City that supports the vulnerable and provides social relief
- Modernise and digitise City processes
- Provide a professional public service that drives accountability and transparency
- Create a healthy and vibrant city
Along with the Top 10 strategic areas, core basic service delivery has been a priority for our coalition government. We strongly believe that visible service delivery of day-to-day operations is important. These core basic services include cutting grass, patching potholes, repairing water leaks and fixing street lights.
During our 12 months in office, we have cut over 183 million m2 of grass and we have repaired over 75 000 potholes. We have also repaired about 60 000 street lights.
Our water and sewerage teams have also been hard at work. We have repaired about 46 000 water leaks and over 23 000 sewers have been unblocked.
Strategic priorities and highlights
Our coalition government is committed to maintaining and refurbishing our critical infrastructure. These are some of our achievements this year:
- Bronkhorstspruit Substation was refurbished and upgraded from 20 MVA to 80 MVA at a cost of R96 million.
- Kosmosdal A Substation was upgraded from 20 MVA to 40 MVA at a cost of R65 million.
- Soshanguve Substation was upgraded from 20 MVA to 80 MVA at a cost of R92 million.
We have also increased access to electricity with the installation of 2 588 new electricity connections. This means electricity access in Tshwane has increased to 94%.
Our coalition government is also working to keep Tshwane's illumination at acceptable levels. In this regard, we have installed 1 589 new street lights, including two high-mast lights.
We have also prioritised water infrastructure maintenance. For the current financial year, the City allocated R75 million for the replacement of worn-out water network pipelines. Through this budget we have an estimated target to replace 18 420 m of pipe across a series of projects. Areas being worked on include the following:
- Constantia Park and Moreletapark
- Greater Sinoville area
- Pretoria North and Dorandia
One of our biggest challenges has been the financial stability of the City and, unfortunately, our liquidity problems are going to be with us for a while.
The fact remains that we inherited a R4,3 billion shortfall from the illegal administrators. Nonetheless, we have been working to turn the City's finances around.
- TshwaneYaTima was launched, which is our aggressive revenue-collection campaign where we disconnect defaulting clients. This has helped to challenge the culture of non-payment.
- Earlier in the year our monthly revenue collection averaged around R2,5 billion. However, in the last five months this has improved, reaching high collection levels of R3,5 billion in some months.
Driving economic growth and job opportunities
The City of Tshwane, in partnership with Messe Frankfurt South Africa, hosted a successful second edition of AERO South Africa at Wonderboom National Airport. The three-day general aviation exhibition attracted over 3 503 people with 72 exhibitors.
Approximately 16 small, medium and micro enterprises and local suppliers benefited directly from the AERO South Africa 2022 Trade Exhibition as vendors, contractors and service providers.
The City also created 8 420 work opportunities through our Public Employment Programme (PEP). We also supported 1 818 small, medium and micro enterprises and 211 co-operatives.
For the year under review, the City attained R7 billion worth of investment in the property development sector.
A total of 9 868 building plan applications were approved for a total of 158 905 m2 and worth a total estimated construction value of R15,9 billion.
The City further scored a victory at the 2022 International Tourism Film Festival Awards under the Destination Cities category for its film "Discover Tshwane", a video showcasing the city's offerings in the leisure, meetings and investment sectors.
Enhancing safety and emergency services
Recently, our Tshwane Metro Police Department had two successful major drug busts. The first bust had an estimated street value of about R700 million where 11 suspects were arrested. The second drug bust was worth an estimated street value of R500 million where five suspects were arrested.
Overall, the Tshwane Metro Police Department has confiscated illegal drugs, such as crystal meth, nyaope, cocaine and heroin, worth a street value of more than R1,7 million. The Tshwane Metro Police Department has also arrested 226 individuals for various drug-related offences.
Counterfeit money worth an estimated value of R3,5 million was also recovered by the Tshwane Metro Police Department.
Our teams also ceased counterfeit goods worth an estimated value of R2,2 million. The ceased counterfeit goods included illicit cigarettes, clothing and other merchandise.
A total of 171 new recruits joined the Tshwane Metro Police Department to boost by-law enforcement, crime prevention and road policing. The City also relaunched the Tshwane Metro Police Department Bicycle Unit in Hatfield with 200 new bicycles.
Our Fire and Rescue Operations Division responded to 5 496 emergency calls between November 2021 and October 2022.
Mamelodi Fire Station is now fully operational and serving various communities in Tshwane. The station is manned by a total of 27 firefighters.
A total of 38 new firefighters joined the Fire and Rescue Operations Division.
Safeguarding the environment
The Environment and Agriculture Management Department successfully managed applications for replacement household waste bins. For Quarter 1 of 2022/23 (July, August and September 2022), a total of 6 505 bins were issued.
Our Tswelopele Clean-up Campaign, which encourages residents to keep Tshwane clean, is gaining momentum with increasing community and stakeholder support.
The City's resorts and nature reserves are buzzing with visitors. A total of 140 678 people visited our facilities in three months, generating R5,7 million in revenue.
The City further distributed 30 000 day-old broiler chicks to support local farming and help emerging farmers to grow their businesses.
Public transportation and road maintenance
The City invested R46 million to upgrade the Bon Accord Crusher and Asphalt Plant to produce our own road building and maintenance materials. This will assist to accelerate pothole repairs and road resurfacing.
Next week, we will launch a new state-of-the-art licencing service centre at the C de Wet Building. It is estimated that the new centre will serve close to 350 customers per day and benefit residents of the inner city and surrounding areas.
Four public transport facilities were fully refurbished, namely Rosslyn Taxi Rank, Mitah Ngobeni Bus Terminal, Dairy Mall Taxi Rank and some key features at Wonderboom National Airport.
Staying with Wonderboom National Airport, the number of billed aircraft movements has increased after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, leading to revenue of about R20 million for the 2021/22 financial year.
Supporting the vulnerable
Expanded Public Works Programme
Through selections from the Expanded Public Works Programme recruitment database, the City created over 8 000 job opportunities. The database remains open to jobseekers to submit their applications. As always, we have maintained our lottery system to ensure that we recruit fairly across all communities.
Tshwane Food Bank
Our Food Bank Programme was allocated R4,8 million for the 2022/23 financial year to provide relief to qualifying destitute families and non-governmental organisations.
Annually, the Tshwane Food Bank supports more than 15 000 families and 24 non-governmental organisations, who in turn accommodate and assist homeless people with food relief.
The City is continuing with its Indigent Programme that is designed to assist residents who are unable to pay for municipal services and serves as a vehicle to fight poverty. The City currently supports over 4 000 households through this programme.
Driving social development
A total of 25 266 new books have been distributed to the City's public libraries. At least 3 994 of the books are from local authors.
Furthermore, Pilditch Stadium was officially graded and certified as a Class 1 athletics facility by World Athletics, formerly known as the International Association of Athletics Federations. This certification means that Pilditch Stadium can host international and national athletics events.
Dignified human settlements
The Marabastad Townlands Social Housing Project has approved 691 beneficiaries for occupation before the end of the calendar year. Once concluded, this will be the biggest social housing project in the country.
We are now at the point where the second round of applications will be launched from 5 to 9 December 2022.
Two other social housing projects are also in the pipeline. The Chantelle Social Housing Project will consist of 1 098 mixed rental units and the Timberlands Social Housing Project has 607 planned units. Construction at the Chantelle Social Housing Project has already begun.
The City is also continuing with its programme to issue title deeds and affirm property rights of beneficiaries. This year, we have issued a total of 3 228 title deeds.
Modernisation and digitisation of City processes
Our multiparty coalition government remains committed to moving with the times by expanding our services online. The automation of land development applications, building plans and other building control processes are progressing well.
- Our e-Tshwane WhatsApp chat service has been completed and is available on 087 153 1001. Customers can also make payments through this platform.
- A new channel for customers to raise queries and complaints through the e-Tshwane platform is active. Since going live in December 2021, a total of 19 578 queries have been submitted through the e-Tshwane platform.
- Our new Integrated Health Information Management System is at the pilot stage. The system will make it easy for healthcare officials to access digitised records, improve the management of queues in clinics and better manage stock items in our pharmacies.
- The City has also successfully defleeted and matched 680 vehicles, amounting to savings of over R11 million in expensive leases as we move towards owning our vehicles.
Improving health services
- City of Tshwane public healthcare clinics were assessed by a multistakeholder peer review team. All 24 clinics sustained their Ideal Clinic standards ratings and all City-managed health facilities achieved 100% platinum status.
- FF Ribeiro Clinic, linked to the Sammy Marks Council Chamber vaccination site, is in the Top 10 best-performing vaccination sites in Gauteng for the period 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.
- Progress on the construction of Lusaka Clinic in Mamelodi is going very well and is at 80%. The project is earmarked for completion by July 2023 and will play a key role in expanding access to healthcare in the area.
As I conclude, I want to thank our MMCs for their hard work, with City officials. We will ensure that we continuously improve so that we can deliver quality services to all residents.
We are happy now, as a team, to take any questions.
Thank you once again for joining us today.