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Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Dan Plato, on serving the residents of Cape Town since 2018<p>Speaker, colleagues, city officials, members of the public, and media, good morning.<br> <br>Speaker, before I start today I think it is important to pay tribute to the role and the importance of civilian oversight in our democracy, and in order to do this, I want to call up one of our residents, Heather Tager.<br> <br>There are many residents who we are truly grateful for the role they play in their communities, but as a member and chairperson of the Civilian Oversight Committee (CIVOC) since its inception in 2007, Heather Tager represents an oversight body that serves all of Cape Town. <br><br>During this time, Mrs Tager has contributed much towards setting standards for effective civilian oversight across the country and she is accordingly approached for advice on such matters from time to time. <br><br>Over the past 14 years, the CIVOC has contributed to improved standards in respect of policing practices, training as well as policies and procedures, and the chairperson has personally introduced a number of initiatives that were adopted by the Safety and Security Directorate. These interventions add significant value to staff members of the Directorate as well as the people of Cape Town, and include: </p><ul><li>The Identikitz child safety initiative that is implemented during every festive season</li><li>The introduction of dedicated trauma counselling for the Directorate</li><li>The introduction of stress exposure training for the Directorate's policing staff</li></ul><p>I would hereby like to award Mrs Tager with a special commendation for long and remarkable service as the chair of the Civilian Oversight Committee. Mrs Tager, thank you for your service to this city and all our residents.</p><p>Speaker, today will mark my final council meeting while serving as the Executive Mayor of Cape Town, and I would like to take a few minutes to reflect on the many successes that this administration has delivered for the people of Cape Town.<br> <br>It has been a privilege and an honour to serve the residents of Cape Town as the Mayor of this wonderful, vibrant, diverse, and innovative city, and I could not have done it without the support of the Mayoral Committee, the City Manager, the Executive Directors, and every single city employee who works daily to provide the best services in the country to the residents of our city. Of course, none of what we do here would be of any purpose if it were not in service of the residents themselves, who are both our customers and our partners in taking Cape Town forward. </p><p>Despite the severe impact of the global coronavirus pandemic on many of our lives, it gives me comfort that this City has been there for our residents wherever possible. We have had many successes, and I know that our residents may not hear about them as easily as they will hear of our shortcomings, but I think it is important to share with you some of the many positives that we have achieved for Cape Town and her residents. While there is always room for improvement, and there is much more to be done, there is also much to be proud of, and it is important to take stock of that from time to time. <br><br>Firstly, let me mention rates, as this is what keeps the city running. Over and above providing the lowest residential and commercial property rates of all metros, we have provided over <strong>R3</strong><strong>,</strong><strong>3 billion in rates relief this year</strong> alone while <strong>launching an unprecedented R4bn debt write-off and payment incentive</strong> for residents due to the economic stresses of the coronavirus pandemic. I want to thank the residents for their continued high level of rates payments because without their support, we would not be able to maintain service delivery to the high standards that we hold ourselves.</p><p>We further <strong>ran the largest and most successful emergency food aid programme</strong> in the country during the height of Covid-19 amid the looting of food trucks and stores in 2020, by supporting and equipping over 300 community based soup kitchens. Our efforts were acknowledged internationally by being selected in the top 50 out of more than 600 international submissions for the <strong>Bloomberg Global Mayor's Challenge. </strong>In addition, many of our local and international partners stepped forward to assist with much needed food aid, for which we are very grateful, including five million euros in funding for food and local business support from the <em>German Development Corporation via the KfW Development Bank.</em></p><p>Speaker, when it comes to energy provision in Cape Town, we have led the <strong>charge for the whole country to break the Eskom monopoly, because this is the only way to ensure competitive electricity prices, and reliable supply, that our economy and households need. </strong>Our City's fight with national government to break Eskom's monopoly has resulted in an outcome that will benefit the whole of South Africa.<strong> </strong></p><p>We are already the only City in the country that can protect our residents from load-shedding where possible, and we are preparing every day to buy a portion of our energy on the open market as soon as national government finalises the necessary regulations.</p><p>In the interim, we have protected residents more than any other metro by <strong>absorbing 32% of Eskom's steep increases this year, and </strong>we reduced water tariffs introduced during Day Zero as one of my first orders of business in 2018, <strong>with tariffs currently 45% lower than at the height of the drought.</strong></p><p>We did our best to fill the resource gap left by the South African Police Service by <strong>recruiting an additional 700+ law enforcement officers</strong> over the last three years, which has trebled the arrest rate. We continue to take drugs and firearms off our streets, enforce by-laws, and promote greater community safety together with SAPS and our 8000-person-strong accredited neighbourhood watch network.</p><p>Upon entering office in 2018, I immediately responded to the public's call to address safety by allocating an additional R165 million to recruit additional law enforcement, buy more patrol vehicles and install more CCTV cameras. A further R500 million was added to the existing Safety Budget to <strong>recruit a further 500 law enforcement officers, with the necessary equipment and vehicles, in partnership with the Western Cape Government.</strong></p><p><br>In my first 100 days in office, I hit the ground running and attended more than 50 community meetings and engagements. Engaging with communities is key to understanding the needs of our residents and I maintained a high level of engagements with communities across Cape Town over the past three years. <br><br>While temporarily interrupted due to the global coronavirus pandemic last year, I've been grateful to once again spend many hours engaging communities, dealing with service delivery issues on the ground, engaging with the business sector, and joining neighbourhood watches on patrols across the City. I believe in always being available to our residents to make sure that their concerns are heard and addressed.<br> <br><strong>Economic progress and recovery</strong></p><p>We have a way to go in overcoming the economic fallout of the global pandemic and national lockdown, but the City's Economic Action Plan is firmly on track.</p><p>According to the latest World Bank research report <strong>on Doing Business in South Africa, Cape Town was ranked as the top metropolitan municipality in the country</strong> when it comes to the ease of doing business. <br><br>While earlier this year, the 'African Tech Ecosystems of the Future' 2021/22 report from fDi Intelligence, a data division of the Financial Times group, ranked Cape Town as one of the world's fastest-growing regions for foreign direct investment.<br> <br>In just the last year, we secured a number of major construction projects that will result <strong>in more than 40 000 job opportunities for our residents now and over the coming years.  </strong></p><p>In addition to the major infrastructure projects, such as Harbour Arch on the Foreshore, the Riverclub redevelopment and the expansion to the V&A Waterfront, the City has <strong>approved</strong> <strong>over 20 300 building plans worth a combined R21 billion since the start of the national Covid-19 lockdown </strong>on 27 March 2020 to 15 July 2021.<br> <br>The City has further been developing<strong> a 10-year capital project pipeline aimed at stability and giving direction in infrastructure development, with a strong R8,3 billion capital budget </strong>this year to drive economic growth and development.</p><p>We will spend an estimated total <strong>capital expenditure in excess of R10 billion in the rolling out of Phase 2A of our Integrated Public Transport Plan.</strong> More than R1 billion will be spent in 2021/22, making this the largest Mega Project ever approved for Public Transport for the City of Cape Town. In a time of severe economic contraction amid the global pandemic, the roll out of the medium-term plan will focus on additional poverty-alleviating job opportunities, which includes <strong>more than 8000 jobs.</strong><br><strong> </strong><br>We need to continue using every opportunity to facilitate job creation for the residents of this city, ensuring that while we have the lowest unemployment in the country, that we reduce unemployment even further.<strong> </strong></p><p><br><strong>Record of clean governance </strong></p><p>Any progress in government hinges on a capable state and a commitment to the rule of law. While we have much to celebrate, we know there will always be more to do and areas on which we can improve.</p><p><br>The City of Cape Town was acknowledged as the <strong>most trusted metro in South Africa according to Consulta's 2020 Citizen Satisfaction Index</strong>, and the latest <strong>Ratings Afrika Sustainability Survey</strong> conducted in July 2020, found that the City of Cape Town is the <strong>only metro that strengthened its financial sustainability significantly </strong>over the past five years. The survey also confirmed that Cape Town is the only metro that can be considered sustainable with the capacity to absorb the financial shocks associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.<br><br>The Auditor General further granted the City our <strong>17th consecutive unqualified audit</strong> for the 2019/2020 financial year. </p><p><strong>Housing and Infrastructure maintenance </strong><br><br>In recent years, we have seen a clear national policy shift away from the state as a primary provider of housing, including major cuts to grant funding.<br> <br>We have innovated in response to this, and have thoroughly explored the opportunities available to the City in its various roles as provider, enabler and regulator. I am confident that the <strong>new Human Settlements Strategy, developed and recently passed after public participation,</strong> will go a long way towards addressing many of the housing challenges facing us. <br><br>We have <strong>allocated approximately R3,3 billion from now until 2024 to address ongoing human settlements needs in our City.</strong> Over 13 300 housing opportunities are currently under construction, and there are over 6 500 well-located social housing units in the City's pipeline, with continued progress along the Voortrekker corridor and in central Cape Town. </p><p><br>We have also prioritised the protection of land, and by extension, the development goals of our City. This year <strong>the City's land protection budget has been boosted from R170 million to R252 million in 2021/22</strong>, to prevent organised, large-scale, unlawful occupation of land and building hi-jackings. These are funds the City would rather spend differently, but we have to prevent far greater long-term damage. <br><br>We still have much work to do, but with innovative partnerships, the private sector, government, and communities together, we can address the housing challenges facing our city.<br> <br>We are further <strong>investing billions over the next decade to upgrade water and sanitation infrastructure</strong>. Some R60 billion has been invested into infrastructure over the last decade, and over the next three years, 50% of the City's R25 billion capital expenditure plan will be invested in water and sanitation infrastructure to ensure sustainable development. These upgrades will in part consider how to make infrastructure more resilient against damage from illegal dumping and abuse of the sewer system, which continues to negatively impact our residents. <br><br><strong>The City's new Water Strategy</strong>, which will bring post-drought stability, sets the city on the right course for greater water security, and the transition to a more Water Sensitive City. With an investment of R5,6 billion, residents can be proud of Cape Town's New Water Programme (NWP), which aims to deliver around 300 million litres (Ml) per day by 2030 through groundwater abstraction, desalination and water reuse.<br> <br>Through a whole of society effort, backed by major infrastructure investment, we can live more sustainably, and with greater sensitivity to the environment. <br><br>Any functional, committed and growing city will always face challenges, and the City of Cape Town has had its fair share, with many of these compounded by the national disaster regulations imposed by National Government in their efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic. But we are resilient, and we will always bounce back, better, together. </p><p>Speaker, the entire country is now in full election mode, and I want to urge those political parties campaigning in Cape Town to please campaign safely, and to show respect for each other. Let us play our part in making sure that the 2021 local government elections is a free and fair election.<br> <br>I am proud of the achievements of this administration, and I have no doubt that our residents will continue to place their trust in us. The new Mayor will be taking over the best run City in South Africa and as announced earlier this month, the best city in Africa too according to the World Travel and Leisure Awards. <br><br>There is still work to be done, and the new mayor will be in the best position to take the City of Cape Town and our residents forward to even greater heights and by taking hands and working together, Cape Town can continue to create the enabling environment for our residents and business sector to flourish and prosper.<br> <br>To the residents of Cape Town, thank you for placing your trust in me, I have served you with my full commitment over the past three years and know that I leave our city in a better position than it was three years ago. I know that my successor will take our city forward and serve the wonderful, friendly, passionate people of Cape Town with the full attention that they deserve. To the residents I want to say, remember that we cannot do any of this without you, so please continue to support and work with the new team so that together Cape Town can continue to be one of the best cities in the world to live in. <br><br>Thank you </p><p> </p><p><strong>End</strong></p>2021-09-28T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891d;GP0|#8b03f782-9eb6-455f-82e9-6429b6354cf9;L0|#08b03f782-9eb6-455f-82e9-6429b6354cf9|SpeechesGP0|#a25dbcce-0f86-46f4-98bd-204411a5c083;L0|#0a25dbcce-0f86-46f4-98bd-204411a5c083|Council;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#54023efe-5443-41f4-98c9-065296a7c3d7;L0|#054023efe-5443-41f4-98c9-065296a7c3d7|service delivery;GP0|#4042eeb8-00cd-433a-a975-a43881368210;L0|#04042eeb8-00cd-433a-a975-a43881368210|sanitation10

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