Joburg promises to create 45,000 jobs
Residents of "depressed areas" around Johannesburg will receive a major boost when the City embarks on a campaign to help the poor and the unemployed.
City's mayoral committee member for finance Geoff Makhubo told Sowetan he would soon lead a delegation to Ivory Park, Alexandra, Soweto and Lenasia to resolve problems this townships face.
Makhubo delivered a pro-poor budget speech last week, which would see various projects being launched, including a flagship project to ensure that no one in the city goes hungry.
A total of R7-million has been put aside for this flagship programme in which people would be encouraged to grow their own vegetable gardens to sustain themselves.
Funds would be made available to create employment opportunities for these residents.
"We want to ensure we are a City where no one goes hungry," he said.
Plans were under way to make use of a piece of land in southern Johannesburg to launch farming projects to benefit the poor.
The City hopes to provide 45,000 job opportunities in the current financial year.
The unemployment rate in Johannesburg stands at 24.5%, especially among the youth.
Makhubo said qualifying residents would get free essential services like water and electricity through rebates calculates at a determined formula.
"People must come forward, we will assist them. But those who can afford must please pay for rates," he said.
It is hoped that the visits would educate those who withhold rates of the negative impact it has not only on the city's finances but also on the provision of services.
The focus would also be on historically white areas too, he said.
The city has put money aside to extend the Bus Rapid Transit system to Alexandra and other routes leading to Soweto; R855.8-million has been set aside for this project.
Makhubo admitted that the focus was on black communities where public transport was a major problem.
In total, the City will spend R37.6-billion in the 2012/13 financial year.
Makhubo said various projects to be rolled out would hopefully reduce the number of violent service delivery protests.