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Thursday Aug 18, 2011

Joburg mayor believes growth, development ideas excite residents

Joburg mayor Parks Tau is overwhelmed by the positive responses and submissions received from the public as part of the city's review of its long-term plan on growth and development.

Submissions included discussions as well as comments made via Facebook and Twitter since the launch of the City of Joburg's Growth and Development Strategy (GDS) 2040 last week.

Speaking at the opening address of the GDS campaign under the theme Liveable Cities, Tau said the response from the public has shown that people were excited.

"We're encouraged that people are saying they want to be in partnership with the city.

"Their submissions will be collated and analysed to form part of our broader vision," he said.

Tau expressed concern about the underdevelopment of properties in townships.

He cited Vilakazi Street in Orlando West, Soweto, as an example.

"The street has so much historic value and (was) home to two Nobel Peace Prize laureates (Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu). It has so much potential, yet it is less developed," Tau said.

"Tourists go to Vilakazi Street but they have lunch, drinks and leave.

"There are bed and breakfasts in the area and they are not doing well because they're not marketed well."

Tau said the GDS campaign was aimed at getting people to be part of things that can be done to improve various sectors of the city, including health, energy sources, waste management and transport.

The council wanted to "create an accessible city that people can feel part of and take pride in", the mayor said.

The Star


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