Inner City Accelerated Service Delivery Operation

MMC for Housing Mlungisi Mabaso led a formidable team of delegates from various departments on a mission to clean up the Joburg City streets on March 11 2021. It was on a scorching hot Thursday morning as street vendors, pedestrians and businesses were caught by surprise as the various departments and entities too to the streets enforcing the city’s by-laws. Prior to that all stakeholders assembled briefly at the Johannesburg Art gallery where the MMC Mabaso stated that it was “a day of action and less talk”. This was evidenced as he took the broom and swept the rubbish on Plein street together with the staff members of the Pikitup waste entity. During his walk of action together with the team of delegates they descended down the Klein Street dark and problematic MTN taxi rank basement, where a number of problems were identified.

Amongst the few state departments represented were the SAPS, JMPD Operations, EMS Fire Safety, City Power (Maintenance Revenue units), Pikitup, Joburg Water, Social Development and Ward Committee Members. Security officials conducted random searches on individuals along the city streets. For hawkers it was business as usual until JMPD officials pounced on illegal traders on the side walks, who normally avoid demarcated trading sites and hinder pedestrians from freely making use of the pavement.
City Power technicians conducted compliance checks on city businesses and identified illegal electricity connections. These connections present a hazard to passers-by as the cables loosely ascend the high rise buildings. The Joburg Water staff also identified water leaks in the city roads becoming wells for illegal car washes eroding the surface and causing pot holes.

The Acting Regional Director of Region F, Roger Gahnes has during the operation consolidated his working ties with CRUM (Citizen Relationship and Urban Management ) leader Gabi Dlamini who pointed out that the role of her organisation was to identify service delivery breakdowns within the wards. She mentioned that “As an Urban management movement, we put together teams that identify problems that require attention in the wards. To name but a few of such interventions in the operation include problems such as sewer leakages, pot holes, illegal traders, illegal electricity connections, ablution facilities in taxi ranks, etc.”

MMC Mabaso further indicated that “We are here to ensure that the City’s by-laws are adhered to and that everyone operating within the inner city complies accordingly irrespective of the reaction from the ground. There are a lot of service delivery issues and as much as we may not be able to resolve all of them at one go, at least we will leave an impact on the ground so that after passing by, the people may notice that the government was here in response to the problems they experience pertaining to service delivery issues. The teams and entities must be on the ground to address issues raised at the ward councillors forums, which may be followed by a progress report on the maintenance and management of the city’s various facilities.”

Jerry Sokhupe Soweto Sunrise News