City of Tshwane: Making the vision tangible

The City of Tswane continues to press on with a range of exciting initiatives aimed at benefitting all of its citizens. September saw the launch of the Tshwane Vision 2055: Remaking of the Capital, which was inaugurated by the Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Councillor Kgosientso Ramokgopa. 

TshwaneTshwane Vision 2055 is an articulation of the future and sets out a bold vision that will propel the City of Tshwane to be liveable, resilient, and inclusive. It also reflects the aspirations not only of the region’s residents but of all South Africans as outlined in the National Development Plan 2030 vision.

Ramokgopa detailed various “game changing” interventions and strategic actions for all stakeholders that will ensure that all its residents experience tangible socio-economic and spatial transformation in their lifetime:

We congregate here today to officially share the results of that lengthy and sometimes heated process in the form of the Tshwane Vision 2055 – Remaking South Africa’s Capital City.

We were able to collectively deliver this fundamental vision statement because not a single one of us doubted the integrity and authenticity of the process undertaken.

Ours is titled Vision 2055 precisely because we wish to make explicit the links with that historical landmark development when our people, through their legitimate representatives gathered in Kliptown in 1955 to spell out the vision of a society they wish to inhabit one day.

At the heart of the consultative process towards the foundation of our long-term vision was the basic question: What would we as the citizens of Tshwane like our city to look like in the year 2055?

Tshwane Vision 2055 is about remaking our Capital City! It is about remaking our Capital City in a manner that unequivocally demonstrates the firm arrival of the Age of Developmentalism!

One of the major initiatives already underway is the overhaul of the existing Tshwane Bus Service (TBS).

In August it was announced that TBS was set to acquire a new top-of-the-range fleet aimed at improving an effective bus service to the community of Tshwane.

In a bid to reverse reported underperformance of the existing TBS, the organisation adopted a turnaround strategy which would see it replenishing its current fleet with 120 new buses in the 2013/14 Financial Year.

The City Manager of Tshwane, Jason Ngobeni, said a total of 260 buses are required to have a fully recapitalised bus fleet:

The process started with the procurement of 120 buses in the 2013/2014 Financial Year.  The process of procurement was completed in June 2013 and MAN Bus and Truck (Pty) Ltd was appointed to deliver and supply the first 120 buses of the required 260.”

The first delivery of the 120 buses is expected in February 2014, and 12 of those buses will have facilities for wheelchairs. In the meantime, the City leased a number of buses from PRASA in April 2013 to alleviate the existing shortfall of vehicles.

Another important initiative on the road to the City’s vision is the development of Mega Housing projects and infrastructure.

The City of Tshwane is currently implementing numerous programmes as part of first decade of game changing, through deliberate efforts to improve infrastructure services in the previously disadvantaged communities, road tarring, formalisation for informal settlements and tenure upgrading.

The administration stated: “We aim to create economic nodes and bring people closer to the city by developing the necessary social and technical infrastructure to facilitate a sustainable social and economic urban space.

The West Capital development was initially conceived as a response to the shortage of student accommodation as a Student village concept.

In order to achieve the City’s vision of diversified land use, the project proposes a development catalyst that will stimulate the necessary activity to sustain viable community and it consists of four portions of land located to the west of the CBD that will become catalysts for stimulating the necessary activity to sustain viable community.

Phase 1 will commence with the Schubert Park residential complex (parcel D) that, in the light of the recent Constitutional Court decision, serves to be a natural first phase which can be implemented over a relative short period.

The provision of housing opportunities at this scale will validate the provision of mixed land uses i.e. retail and social amenities that are proposed in the adjoining phases.

In our efforts to address the rising demand and ensuring that housing provision is fast-tracked, the City has in some cases adopted a Public-Private Partnership approach and will be partnering with private developers.

Another important strategic step in the City’s vision is to embrace technology and become a “Smart City”.

The City stated: “We have taken the unavoidable yet strategic decision to embrace the Smart City concept, because we are certain that technology remains a powerful tool and driving force in the quest for the achievement of global development goals and the creation of a sustainable future”.

In June the Mayoral Committee approved the ICT strategy of the City of Tshwane, which has a focus on the use of ICT to enhance the delivery of basic services and improve the quality life through the illumination of new horizons for citizens. In turn it is believed that this will stimulate opportunities for the business sector, create smaller to medium enterprises, bring business and people together and increase employment opportunities.

The City believes that its efforts will improve revenue collection and help generate new revenues; help to build a robust ICT infrastructure that stimulate economic growth; improve the delivery of basic services and help to bridge the digital divide through cheaper and free Wi-Fi broadband networks.

The City has taken a conscious decision to develop and promote a partnership with the ICT Sector due to its strategic importance in order to optimise the deployment of technology to address our developmental challenges faced by the CoT.

Over the last 2 years, the City also identified a need to connect its offices, libraries and customer care centres with Wi-Fi access. A total of approximately 100 sites were connected during this period.

We are now intensifying this initiative to cover public areas with internet connectivity through Wi-Fi and are happy to announce our partnership with Project Isizwe in this regard“.

The aim of this initiative is to bring Wi-Fi connectivity to every household, every street and every corner.

The City of Tshwane is fully committed to its vision and through its various initiatives, 2013 has been a landmark year.