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Let us believe in the power of Team Cape Town in 2024<p>Madam Speaker</p><p>Fellow Councillors</p><p>Honoured guests and members of the public</p><p>Goeiemôre, molweni, as-salamu alaykum, shalom, good morning.</p><p>It feels good to be back in the swing of City business, and I welcome you all back. </p><p>As 2024 starts to take-off, optimism about our city abounds, and the light of hope is shining bright out of Cape Town.</p><p>It is noticeable to those living in other towns and cities, with a great many people choosing to move their families and businesses here, strengthening our local economy.</p><p>There is no stopping our city's march to becoming the biggest city in South Africa. </p><p>The census shows we are poised to pass Johannesburg as having the largest population of any metro in the country, and will soon be home to 5 million residents. </p><p>Our city is also increasingly at the heart of national economic growth, with over 200 000 new jobs created in our city in the last year, more than all other cities combined.</p><p>Recently these jobs numbers were made real when a young lady called Marissa from Delft called in to the studio line of a radio show I was on, and told me that she had just got her first job. I could hear the excitement and emotion in her voice, and I will always remember her call. </p><p>Marissa getting her first job, and 205 000 other Capetonians like her, is why we are so focused on all that we are doing to grow the Cape Town economy, and win new investment. </p><p>Despite the many challenges we face nationally, Cape Town's success is being noticed around the world too.</p><p>I have recently returned from a mission to the US and UK to drum up more investment for our city, and I am energised at the positive reception from stakeholders in New York, Washington, and London. </p><p>From mayors, to Chambers of Commerce, people can clearly see that we are doing something right in Cape Town, and that we are an attractive destination for investors and tourists alike.</p><p>One need only look at the all-time record-breaking festive tourism season with an unprecedented 2,9 million overseas visitors last year, 317 000 of them in December alone.</p><p>There is a growing sense that anything is possible, especially when we pull together as Team Cape Town. </p><p>Together with the private sector, we are ensuring a world-class visitor experience, such that we have just scooped the second spot globally in the "50 Best Cities In the World to Visit" by Time Out. And if you look at the top spots, we are the only African city, and offer by far the best value for money for foreign visitors. </p><p>So we should be ready to welcome many more visitors as the word spreads about what a wonderful and affordable holiday you can have in Cape Town. </p><p>This is all good news for our economy, and for getting more Capetonians into work. </p><p>I want to extend a big 'thank you' to all of the City teams who made this successful festive season possible: </p><p>- Our safety and security officers, who patrolled the beaches, roads, and mountains, successfully keeping incidents to a minimum,</p><p>- Our waste management teams who kept the City clean, as so many people remarked,</p><p>- Our water and sanitation teams who ensured that every one of our pristine beaches remained 100% open this festive season, and who I must add, achieved 365 unbroken days in which all of our recreational vleis were open through last year,</p><p>- Our lifeguards and Identikidz teams who saved lives and reunited lost children with their parents,</p><p>- And of course, our incredible fire fighters, who have had a very busy fire season, but who have been simply magnificent in saving lives and property.</p><p>Well done, and 'thank you', to all of these teams! </p><p>Please convey our thanks to these teams, City Manager and Executive Directors. </p><p>The compounding effect of all our efforts is starting to show, and the challenge now is to keep building on this success as we strive toward our long-term vision of a City of Hope for all.</p><p>Today, before this Council, is the hard evidence that we are succeeding in laying a strong foundation for hope.</p><p>Today we table the City's Annual Report and Audited Financial Statements for the 2022/2023 financial year. </p><p>And it gives me great pleasure to report that Cape Town has once again delivered a clean audit.</p><p>Spending public money on its intended purpose, with careful record-keeping and compliance with the law, is the very foundation of all other service delivery, and it is the bedrock of our efforts to lift more people out of poverty and into work. </p><p>Cape Town has the utmost respect for the work of the Auditor General, and we appreciate the efforts of the AG's office to hold government and state entities in South Africa to the highest standards.</p><p>I also want to extend a warm Team Cape Town congratulations to the officials across our organisation who made this clean audit a reality, who wake up with pride each day to serve Capetonians with integrity and transparency.</p><p>The results of your efforts are there for all to see in the various accolades noted in this annual report:</p><ul><li>Cape Town is SA's most sustainable city according to the Municipal Financial Sustainability Index for 22/23, and the top ranked city in the Knights Sustainable Cities Index</li><li>Ratings Afrika further finds that the City is the best metro for financial sustainability in SA</li><li>Ratings agencies agree, with Moody's conferring a strong rating for Cape Town, with a stable outlook, even amid a largely negative outlook elsewhere in the country.</li></ul><p>This is more than just symbolic recognition, it is the very basis for tangible outcomes for residents. </p><p>Good governance is the reason why Cape Town attracted over R3,5bn in property investments in 22/23, adding to our revenue base and sustainability.</p><p>Good governance underpinned our ability to spend a record R6,94bn on infrastructure in 22/23, with that record set to be broken again this year, and dwarfing the investment in all other metros.</p><p>Good governance enabled us to pay 99,5% of supplier invoices within 30 days, ensuring consistent cashflow for especially small businesses.</p><p>The effects of our strong credit rating and healthy financial position are also evident in the adjustment budget we table today, which includes:</p><ul><li>An increase of R177m in interest earned on our external investments</li><li>A reduction of over R36m in interest on external loans due to a favourable cashflow position</li><li>An R80m additional allocation to potholes and road repair</li><li>R30m in increased security to safeguard various municipal facilities and housing construction sites</li><li>Over R41m towards metro police and law enforcement resources</li></ul><p>Speaker, it is also worth highlighting just some of the important performance markers from the Annual Report, and how these link to our core priorities.</p><p>Adding more boots on the ground meant that our Metro Police and Law Enforcement officers could conduct almost 7 000 drug raids in the year, resulting in 942 arrests.</p><p>Our major investments in water and sanitation infrastructure are also beginning to prove their value, with a 30% reduction in sewer spills.</p><p>We hit and exceeded our 50km target for pipe replacement, double the previous year of 25km, and we are doubling again this year to 100km. We began construction on several critical wastewater and bulk sewer upgrades, which will not only ensure a more dignified environment for residents, but also the restored health of inland waterbodies.</p><p>We are doing the basics better, with access to piped water up to 99,1% from 95,7%, and access to adequate sanitation up 96,2% from 92,4%. </p><p>Overall 5 200 toilets and 729 taps were installed in the year. </p><p>Access to electricity is up to 94,9% from 91,7%, with 2440 new connections.</p><p>We have also made significant progress in the City's broadband infrastructure programme, with public wifi zones now enabled at all City facilities used by the public, including bus stations, libraries, and more - amounting to 407 buildings.</p><p>Over 250 000 residents use the internet every week through these public Wi-Fi zones.</p><p>Of course our City is not perfect, and we don't get everything right despite the best of intentions. This is especially so where major obstacles to deliver need to be overcome, such as the challenges of crime, vandalism and theft, and extortion, especially in the poorest of communities.</p><p>While access to regular refuse removal has remained between 94 – 96% in recent years despite the growth in informal settlements, we know there are challenges with the performance of private contractors, and with inadequate preparation done to replace those contractors who were underperforming. We also know that our front line teams have to deal with criminal intimidation and attacks, which makes service delivery much harder and much more expensive. </p><p>The outcome we expect does not change: And that is cleaner informal settlements, and regular, reliable waste collection for residents living in informal settlements. </p><p>We will explore every option and delivery methodology for improving waste management, including insourcing aspects of the service, but importantly will do so with the necessary levels of preparation.</p><p>We also want to see communities upgraded, and much more private-sector led affordable housing delivery, especially through supporting micro-developers in townships to develop safe and compliant rental accommodation.</p><p>Under our priority programme for affordable housing, five inner-city land parcels that represent more than 1 300 social housing units came through this Council and are on their way to delivering more affordable accommodation in well located parts of the city.  </p><p>As part of our pledge to improve public transport, the MyCiTi N2 Express service to Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha is now one of the busiest routes in town, with continued progress on the major MyCiTi metro southeast expansion. </p><p>Speaker, another important item on our agenda today relates to lane closures in communities where lanes are too often used as common sites of crime and for easy getaway routes by thieves. </p><p>Today we take a massive step forward towards making it possible to close these lanes, something many residents have asked for. </p><p>Deputy Mayor Andrews took me to visit the Camphor family and particularly their mom, Mrs Elenor Camphor, who lives next to a lane. Elenor told us how her and her daughters struggle to sleep at night because of how frequently people from the lane jump over their wall as a getaway route. I have no doubt that is one of many families who will celebrate this progress today, which will definitely make Mitchells Plain safer for residents in the months ahead, as these lanes start to be closed. </p><p>I really want to thank Deputy Mayor Eddie Andrews, as well as a number of our ward councillors in Mitchells Plain, for driving this issue right up until this point of major progress today. </p><p>You have done your residents proud, and you've helped to make Cape Town safer. </p><p>Speaker,</p><p>The most important thing we can do to make Cape Town safer over time, in fact the most important thing we can do for all of our social problems in Cape Town, is to grow the economy faster to get people into work. </p><p>And, of course, probably the most critical thing we can do for job-creating economic growth, is to end load-shedding. </p><p>In 22/23, we managed to reduce load-shedding levels by 14%, primarily through the Steenbras Hydro scheme.</p><p>Our goal now is to prevent the first four stages of Eskom load-shedding.</p><p>We will achieve this largely through a mix of Steenbras; 500MW of dispatchable energy bought on the open market; and demand management programmes.</p><p>We already have two rounds of procurement complete to buy power on the open market, and today at this Council we take the next big step forward to end load-shedding.</p><p>On our agenda today, is the final contract award to the service provider who will help implement a critical demand management programme, which we are calling <em>Power Heroes</em>.</p><p>Cape Town is the first city in South Africa to run an innovative voluntary demand reduction programme such as this.</p><p>Overall, Power Heroes will target 60MW in demand reduction, enough to protect against a full stage of load-shedding. </p><p>This will be achieved by switching off non-essential loads, such as geysers and pool pumps through the installation of a smart device. </p><p>This entire voluntary programme will be rolled out in phases, and is one of the most cost-effective ways to mitigate load-shedding. </p><p>To reach the 60MW target, we need to sign up tens of thousands of commercial and residential customers. </p><p>People can opt to have a smart device installed in their home or business free of charge by the City's appointed service provider, or use a mobile app to manually reduce load at key times. </p><p>This smart device will enable the remote switching of non-essential loads like geysers, pool pumps, or non-essential appliances in commercial buildings. </p><p>With Team Cape Town at the helm, I am absolutely confident that we will achieve the target of a full stage of load-shedding protection. </p><p>I call on Capetonians to support this initiative, to sign up and 'Be a Hero'. </p><p>Let's show South Africa and the world, once again, that there is great power in teamwork, and that Team Cape Town can rise to the challenge, just as we did during the drought crisis.</p><p>Let's get this done Cape Town, go and register your interest in being a hero at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Also keep an eye on the City's social media accounts for updates.</p><p>Let us make this the year of unity of purpose as we keep building our city into that beacon of hope. Let us show everyone what is truly possible in our country, a land of so much potential, with talented people, and a Constitutional vision worth fulfilling.</p><p>Let us also remember to be kind to one another, and to not be divided by the politics of hate in this election year, always remembering that we are a proudly diverse and tolerant city.</p><p>In this regard, I encourage you all to attend the upcoming exhibition matches between the Palestine national team and local invitational teams happening here in Cape Town. Let's show our support for the two state solution, and for peace and justice in the Middle East.</p><p>May this be the year where even the most intractable global conflicts come to an end – in Palestine and the middle east, in the Ukraine, in Africa, and all places where there is human suffering and conflict.</p><p>And the world over, and especially in our city, let this be the year where we realise the cumulative power of our collective actions, however small they seem, to make a real positive difference. The sky is the limit when we stand together as Capetonians and build a future of hope for all who live in our great city. </p><p>I thank you<br></p><p><strong>End</strong><br></p>2024-01-30T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#a25dbcce-0f86-46f4-98bd-204411a5c083;L0|#0a25dbcce-0f86-46f4-98bd-204411a5c083|Council;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#90b49a62-96e2-436a-9c68-187c9ab33534;L0|#090b49a62-96e2-436a-9c68-187c9ab33534|Mayor10

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