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Nokuzola Ngubane

Joburg number one citizen and Mayor Dr Mpho Phalatse believes it’s a mission possible to restore the ruined City of gold.

Speaking during her maiden State of the City address  in Braamfontein recently, Phalatse told the packed council chambers that Jozi citizens are blessed to live in one of the most remarkable cities in the world. 

“ The diversity of our people, the geographical location, recreational and business activities, all make the city home to equally colourful, gifted and unique people. 

“Given its undisputed reputation as the land of opportunity and a shining beacon of hope on the African continent, the City of Johannesburg attracts visitors from all over the world – 55% from other parts of Gauteng, 36% from other provinces, and 9% from beyond our borders – many of them eventually settling in the city and calling it their home.  They all come in search of golden opportunities synonymous with the city’s promise of gold.  However following years of neglect, mistreatment and abuse, our city now lies in ruins,” she argued.

Phalatse also cautiously argued, the big questions on everyone’s mind is ‘Can these dry bones come to life? and Can this City truly be restored?’ 

“Recently, a young girl walked up to me with her mother and asked, ‘Are you really going to change our future?’  Taken aback by her question I looked into her eyes and I answered – ‘I promise to do my part.  What do you promise to do?’

“The city can and will be restored, with each of us doing our part.  We need to start by taking responsibility and uniting behind a common mission – to love our city, to nurture, cherish and protect her for generations to come.  From resisting the urge to litter, break the law, dump illegally, damage infrastructure, steal manhole covers and whole traffic lights or vandalize critical infrastructure, to reporting such incidents when we see them happen, to being faithful in paying our rates and taxes, fines and levies, we each have a huge role to play in preventing the further decay of our city, while rebuilding it at the same time.”

The Mayor also invited other stakeholders to be part of the City’s Regeneration  

“For those of us in business or civil society, the season is ripe for us to support the rebuilding project whether through corporate social investments or through trading partnerships.  The rebuilding has already begun,” she said.

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