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Inside new Joburg mayor Jolidee Matongo’s plans for the city: 5 things he wants to implement

11 August 2021 - 09:45 By cebelihle bhengu
Newly elected Johannesburg mayor Jolidee Matongo has outlined his plans for the city.
Newly elected Johannesburg mayor Jolidee Matongo has outlined his plans for the city.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Newly elected Johannesburg mayor Jolidee Matongo has promised to hit the ground running with service delivery to ensure stability in the city and for its residents.

He told a media briefing after his appointment on Tuesday that financial stability and accountability will be among his areas of focus.

Matongo is the former MMC for finance in the metro and was elected unopposed to replace late city mayor Geoff Makhubo, who succumbed to complications related to Covid-19 last month. 

Here are his five big plans for the city:

Ensure service delivery or lose your job

City managers who do not improve on ensuring adequate service delivery will risk losing their jobs. Matongo said money must be spent towards the services for which it has been budgeted to avoid returning it to the National Treasury. 

“We budgeted R175m in the past financial year to provide food for the food insecure in our city and the money was not spent by the relevant department. We will ensure those assigned to deliver the services do so. If people don’t spend the money, they will have to sit at home.”

No sitting in the office in suits and ties

The mayor committed to interacting with residents on the ground.

“We will be an administration that is not in the office. We will be not be sitting in the offices wearing ties. We will be in our work suits every day and on the ground dealing with the problems people experience.”

Incompetent managers will not be tolerated 

Matongo warned city officials who don’t immediately attend to queries from community members to shape up or ship out.

He shared how he once found residents in his neighbourhood patrolling the area because they had no street lights for months despite logging queries with the city.

The service was immediately restored after he made the call on their behalf.

“The problem was attended to within 48 hours. Why should it be that it must be somebody with a title who must make things happen. We don’t want that attitude from officials.”

Helping businesses after the unrest 

The mayor said the city has plans in place to assist businesses and shopping centres affected by the recent unrest and looting that ravaged areas in Gauteng last month.

“We have instructed the team to come up with incentives like rates holidays for the shopping centres to ensure we provide some relief. The plans are there.”

Eradicating shacks and land invasions

Matongo said the city will also focus on land invasions and eradicating shacks.

“We will deal with the issue of land invasions, not just by sending the Red Ants to remove them. The alternative is on the table to provide people with serviced sites so they can build for themselves, you regulate land use in the city.”