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Welcome Address by the Executive Mayor, Councillor Amos Masondo, on the Ocassion of the Offical Opening of the Brickfields Housing Project, Newtown, Johannesburg August 12, 2005
The President of the Republic of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki;
Gauteng Premier, Mbhazima Shilowa;
Gauteng MEC for Housing, Nomvula Mokonyane;
CEO of Anglo American, Lazarus Zim;
CEO of Absa, Dr Steve Booysen;
Managers and officials in government and the private sector;
Members of the community;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is with great honour that I welcome you to this special occasion: the official opening of the Brickfields Housing Project. So, welcome to the Newtown Cultural Precinct and welcome to the City of Johannesburg.
Programme Director, the challenges that face the city of Johannesburg are complex and they range from poverty, disease, unemployment, rapid urbanisation and migration, service delivery and a need to intensify urban renewal.
Three years ago the City of Johannesburg Mayoral Committee in its regular block-by-block inspection and visit to the inner city came to this spot. We observed heaps of and mounds of illegal dumping. The culprits were certain private sector companies and individuals. There was also an informal settlement at its nascent stage of development. Through persuasion the informal settlement relocated elsewhere and the different entities of council cleared the rubble and removed all the rubbish giving way to this important development.
The inner city of Johannesburg remains a centre of significance in that:
- It provides a transport hub and has an extensive infrastructure that caters for over 800 000 people who pass through here daily
- It houses over 200 000 people mainly in high density buildings
- Its contribution to the GGP by far surpasses that of the 10 other administrative regions of Council
- It is increasingly providing space for SMMEs to establish themselves and grow; and
- It remains a cultural asset in that it houses Johannesburg's major educational, artistic and sporting institutions and venues.
- We therefore have a responsibility to promote economic development and enhance productivity, allow and ensure that all our people share in the City's prosperity and improve in an ongoing manner the environment in which this Housing Project is situated.
Programme Director, we continue to strive for and remain committed to the creation of sustainable human settlements and communities.
Once again welcome to the Newtown Cultural Precinct and welcome to the City of Johannesburg.