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REGIONAL COUNCILLORS FORUM CALLS FOR TOUGHER BY-LAW ENFORCEMENT IN THE INNERCITY

The recent Regional Councillors Forum meeting hosted by the City of Johannesburg’s Region F, served as a valuable platform for councillors to receive feedback regarding service delivery issues.

This meeting took place at the Brixton Multipurpose Centre on Tuesday, 19 September 2023.

Ward 57 Ward Councillor Faeeza Chame presided over the meeting, which saw the participation of councillors and city officials from a diverse range of entities and departments. These included Joburg Roads Agency (JRA), Joburg Water, JMPD, Community Development Legislature, Social Development, City Power, Pikitup, Joburg Property Company (JPC), Human Settlements, among others.

During the meeting, the region’s integrated service delivery unit provided a detailed overview of service delivery operations conducted in various wards, including wards 58, 59, 63, 64, 66, 67, and 118 for July and August.

Councillors were alerted to the fact that the resolution rate for logged service calls remained low, highlighting the need for increased diligence from all departments.

Earl Stoles, the Deputy Director of Planning, Profiling, and Data Management (PPDM) in Region F, presented the Integrated Inner-City Safety and Security Plan’s operations for the last three months. He emphasised that this plan is part of the broader Joburg City Safety Strategy (JCSS), which was developed in 2003 and approved by the Council in 2016. The JCSS is a pivotal programme focused on enhancing safety and security in the city by fostering better collaboration among agencies responsible for crime prevention and urban management.

“The objective of the plan is to reclaim our streets and provide safe and secure spaces for people to live, work, and play, free from the fear of crime and urban disorder,” Stoles said.

He urged councillors to actively participate in these operations to enhance police visibility on the ground and address lawlessness.

Many councillors expressed concerns about the precarious situations they encounter while dealing with service delivery issues and complaints in certain areas. One councillor highlighted the prevalence of lawlessness in the inner city, including informal traders occupying Noord Street. There was a shared sentiment that the enforcement of bylaws must be improved.

Region F faces a range of challenges, including the vandalism of city infrastructure, the proliferation of illegal structures, homelessness, informal traders obstructing sidewalks, illegal dumping into stormwater drains, derelict and hijacked buildings, a high number of unauthorised water and electricity connections, open trenches, potholes, and illegal spaza shops, among other issues.

Entities and departments in attendance provided high-level feedback on service delivery issues during the quarter under review. Many expressed concerns regarding resource shortages and understaffing, which contribute to delays in service delivery across various parts of Johannesburg.

The majority of councillors voiced their concerns about the lack of coordination and the resulting delays in issue resolution, which often lead to public dissatisfaction and service delivery protests, posing risks to both workers and councillors.

Collaborative efforts and enhanced coordination among departments and entities are essential to address the myriad challenges facing the inner city and to improve the quality of life for its residents.

INFO SUPPLIED.

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