In my comments last year I expressed confidence in the growing effort to reclaim Johannesburg . This year, I am gratified to be able to report that my confidence was not misplaced as we are, indeed, gradually winning the war to regenerate the inner city.
I am greatly encouraged by the increasing number of players in the inner city who are equally committed to this struggle. A drive through central Johannesburg reveals much development taking place and JHC is proud to be a significant actor in this process. We are proud to be helping to make the inner city a place where people now choose to live because it offers all the amenities and benefits of a vibrant urban lifestyle. We are proud to be part of the exciting rebirth of the Johannesburg inner city.
When people think of social programmes, they often think of projects that are shabbily run, with a laissez-faire attitude and without proper accountability. They think of projects that are run by people who lack passion, inspiration and drive because there is little monetary benefit in it for them. Because of this, many people think that such programmes cannot work.
In this regard, JHC has taken on a new quest – to demonstrate to the rest of the country, that social programmes can function efficiently, effectively and can be accountable. Our experience has indicated clearly that this cannot be achieved without building on the bedrock of honesty and integrity. If a programme fails to operate on these principles, it intensifies the hopelessness and despair of those whom it is supposed to serve, those who have been victims in our society for too long already.
The JHC Way
JHC is making a very significant contribution to creating a culture in which people no longer see themselves as victims, but as victors and as active players in their own transformation. Many things in the life of the organisation demonstrate this. For example, the strong commitment of staff and tenants to the same values, and to working together to achieve our goals, which also dispels the myth that people are not willing to work hard. Such is the level of co-operation between tenants and staff, that JHC has become a family, where the contribution of all members is valued, where people try to deal with each other with integrity and honesty, and where everyone is encouraged to develop their full potential.
The movement from victims to victors can also be seen in the manner in which we have approached the need for racial equality at both staff and Board level. Having accepted the demographics of our country, we have striven to work towards reflecting those, and in so doing, to recognise the aspirations of previously disadvantaged communities.
A core value of what could be called the JHC way is the strong importance the JHC Board places on full accountability, with which all at JHC are comfortable. The Board also operates with a strong sense of attention to detail, with an uncompromising commitment to pursuing our goals in a disciplined and focused way and to settling for nothing less than the best.
I am grateful to the Board members for their unstinting dedication, and to the CEO, Taffy Adler, for the quality of leadership he provides, which is essential to setting the tone for the JHC family.
All this gives rise to a sense of hope that excellence and stability are possible in this nation. If we can do it at JHC, it can be done elsewhere also.
Several awards won by JHC in the last year have affirmed the success of the JHC way. As well as being in the top 20 of the Business Day Non-listed Company of the year Competition JHC was voted Gauteng Housing Developer of the Year and we were described in our final evaluation by the European Union as “a national treasure”.
What I would hope for in the future, is that those individuals and organisations who have resources will find the courage to support and strengthen organisation like JHC through social investment. And on a national scale, that the principle of social entrepreneurship that characterise the life of this organisation will be recognised for its ability to transform disadvantaged communities. This is the challenge that JHC poses to the nation – to recognise and implement the principles I have mentioned, which we have demonstrated as successful for social development, as successful for transforming communities by transforming individuals' skills, values, self-esteem and commitment.
Rev Mvume Dandala
Click on the link below to view and download the complete JHC 2001 Annual Report:
JHC 2001 Annual Report