100K houses in Jhb promised
Johannesburg - Johannesburg Mayor Amos Masondo on Thursday promised to build 100 000 houses in the next five years.
"In the first three years of the mayoral term, just over 56 000 units have been built," Masondo said in his state-of-the-city address.
An additional 40 000 houses would be built in both this and the next financial year.
The city had identified housing, water and electricity delivery as the primary factors behind recent service delivery protests and had developed a turnaround strategy to try and speed up delivery.
Masondo said the global recession had made it difficult for the city to implement some of its strategies, however sound financial management had mitigated its effects.
"Today we can say with much confidence that our institutions are much stronger and our financial position is sound."
Three unqualified audits
He said the city had received three successive unqualified audits from Auditor General Terence Nombembe since 2007.
The city was concerned about how recent approval of Eskom's 25% price hike by the National Energy Regulator would affect the poor.
"The pressures brought by such price hikes determine that we focus more on demand side management and alternative energy sources."
On the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) programme, Masondo said passengers were buying into the new system, evident in the increase in tickets purchased per day.
About 16 000 people were using the system daily.
He commended the minibus taxi industry's role during the project's early stages.
"We have reached a remarkable degree of consensus on all aspects of the BRT, including the routes the new buses will be travelling and the participation of the taxi industry, both owners and drivers.
"I appeal especially to the few that are still outside the BRT process not to victimise and harass those individuals who are part of the BRT process."
Masondo was confident the city would host a successful FIFA World Cup, including the opening and closing ceremonies.
Construction of both the Coca Cola and Soccer City stadiums had been completed.
The Dobsonville, Ruimsig and Orlando practice stadiums were also ready.
"We are on track and ready to host the World Cup. Together we will deliver the best ever World Cup experience and leave a lasting legacy for the people of Africa, South Africa, Gauteng and Johannesburg."