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STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR TRANSPORT AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, COUNCILLOR BRETT HERRON:
The City of Cape Town’s Transport and Urban Development Authority has recorded unprecedented service delivery achievements over the past financial year.
When the City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) was created 22 months ago, the strategic alignment of the housing, development planning, environment and transport functions under a single administrative umbrella – as several progressive international cities are doing – was expected to yield many streamlining opportunities for enhanced delivery to our citizens.
We are extremely pleased to confirm that various branches and departments within the TDA have achieved some significant, and in some cases unprecedented, delivery records and achievements resulting in national and international recognition for the City.
The recent report to the City’s TDA transversal committee highlighted many of these achievements.
Firstly, Cape Town is the first city in South Africa to be awarded Green Coast Status in recognition of the protection of the Blaauwberg coastal strip’s unique coastal biodiversity while providing opportunities for environmental education and sustainable tourism that empowers local communities. This recognition puts our Green Coast on the tourism map with residents and tourists looking for adventure, outdoor living and nature tourism experiences.
Secondly, the PwC Cities of Opportunity Survey ranks Cape Town as the top city in Africa, and the best among middle-income cities internationally, for transport and transport infrastructure. The City invests almost R2 billion in infrastructure each year and is committed to enhancing and expanding public transport.
Thirdly, the City of Cape Town has been recognized as the fastest in South Africa in terms of issuing construction permits and approvals in a recent World Bank Group study on the ease of doing business. Thus, the TDA’s Development Management Department is ranked as the country’s most efficient. The City processes construction and other permits within 88 days – faster than any other metro in South Africa, and faster than most high-income cities across the world. Read more about this World Bank study here: http://www.doingbusiness.org/en/data/exploreeconomies/south-africa/sub/cape-town#
Furthermore, the TDA’s Environmental Management Department exceeded their job creation targets for the past financial year (2017/’18). The department’s target for the creation of Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) work opportunities was 825, but they achieved an exceptional 3 244 job opportunities from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018. The department spent 99% of its grant funding that resulted in additional work opportunities being created through the City’s invasive alien vegetation clearing and other environmental improvement programmes. Initiatives such as these ensure that the City can continue to maintain the lowest unemployment rate of any metro in the country.
Another remarkable achievement is the delivery of housing opportunities in the past financial year. The City has, for the first time in its 18-year history as a metro government, exceeded its housing delivery target.
All in all, up to 4 349 sites and 3 748 top structures were delivered in the 2017/’18 year which benefitted more than 8 000 households. The department’s initial target was to provide 4 961 housing opportunities consisting of 1 808 serviced sites, and 3 153 State-subsidised Breaking New Ground (BNG) houses from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018. Thus, the department has exceeded its delivery targets by 62% or 3 100 opportunities for the past financial year that ended on 30 June 2018.
Through further progressive planning and innovation, we are on track to almost double delivery again within the next four to five years. Access to affordable housing is one of Cape Town’s most pressing challenges. Every effort to increase access and improve the lives of the city’s most vulnerable citizens must be pursued.
I want to thank each member of the TDA team for their exceptional efforts over the last 22 months. Change and restructuring in any organization is never easy, but each small innovation and step towards improved efficiency is having remarkable results for the city, is helping to accelerate the delivery of critical services to our citizens and to attract investment and job-creating economic growth for our city and regional economy.
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