“We need you to join us in helping us make South Africa succeed because we believe that a Johannesburg that works is a South Africa that works.” These were the Executive Mayor of the City of Joburg, Councillor Herman Mashaba’s closing remarks at the SAPOA Meet the Mayor Dinner, held on the evening of the 11th of May in Johannesburg.
SAPOA board members, senior executives and captains of industry, engaged with the Executive Mayor and his administration team for the first time since his appointment nine months ago.
As part of his welcome address, SAPOA CEO, Neil Gopal, acknowledged the importance of mutually beneficial partnerships such as these. “Mutually beneficial partnerships with the cities is sometimes fraught with challenges that can be avoided through better understanding. Our ongoing engagement with the city is necessary to bridge the gap between these two sectors. We are inseparable and it is important that we work together”, he said.
SAPOA President, Nomzamo Radebe, echoed the same sentiments. “Our members are significantly invested in the metros, so it is important for us to sit here today and talk to the people who are running the City of Joburg. Cities are at the heart of where our investments lie and where we can jointly make a difference. The potential for growth and success in our cities will be huge but we need to do this together.”
According to the Executive Mayor, the strategic focus of his administration is to make the City of Johannesburg a business-friendly environment. “Our vision for the inner city is to make it an inclusive, modern and diverse heartbeat of Johannesburg. In this regard, we are already making substantial progress.”
Although Councillor Mashaba recognises that the ongoing challenges that the city faces in realising its vision, he believes that the city’s success is totally dependent on engagement and negotiations between stakeholders. “I would like to extend an invitation to you, our partners and business community, to join me and my administration as we find viable and sustainable solutions to make this city and its people realise their full potential.”