Mr. Speaker,

Madam Premier,

Members of the Provincial Cabinet,

Members of Parliament,

Members of the Provincial Legislature,



The Director-General of the Province of the Western Cape,

The City Manager and Members of the Executive Management Team,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning, goeie môre, molweni.

It is a great honour to be addressing you today as your mayor. It will be my privilege to serve all the people of this city.

Together, we will make a great city even greater.

I am humbled by the confidence the people of Cape Town have shown in me.

Thank you, baie dankie, enkosi.

I started my political career on the Cape Flats, fighting against the injustices of Apartheid during the days of the struggle. I also fought for the rights of workers during my trade union days.

There were times when our fight seemed like it was too much and our people felt the pressures of institutionalized racism and discrimination.

We finally became united as a people under the vision of Nelson Mandela who envisioned a society free from prejudice and in which every individual could thrive.

As Mamphela Ramphele wrote, ‘Mandela the icon belongs to all South Africans as the father of this nation.’

It was his vision that bought hope to the nation.

Cape Town is a city where that hope is being realized, where the principle of good government is helping us build the open, opportunity society for all.

In no uncertain terms, you have placed your trust in me with a resounding mandate to deliver on the promise of building the opportunity city of the future.

I shall not fail you.

I am determined that all of us in this new administration will work tirelessly, day and night, to live up to this vote of confidence to ensure that we do justice to the hopes, dreams and aspirations of all the citizens of our great city.

Now that you have lent us your vote, you must hold us to account.

We will move forward into the future united as never before and with a resolve to add to the successes of the past five years. Under this administration, the hope for opportunity will begin to be realized.

That unity must be based on the recognition that local government is about the real issues that affect delivery, not the issues of division fuelled by some for political gain.

It will be difficult work, but I have faith that we will achieve what we set out to do and more.

My predecessors, Helen Zille and Dan Plato, have laid the groundwork for us. To properly recognize that foundation, we should honour them by fulfilling our mission of being a government of excellence and innovation, a government with a vision of a greater city.

That vision is to address poverty through economic growth and jobs, because only through a strategy of sustained poverty reduction through economic development will we ensure that we give every resident the means for a better life and create a truly inclusive city.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my predecessors, Helen Zille and Dan Plato, during the last term for building the foundation upon which we shall build this strategy.

Premier Helen Zille’s tenure as mayor was one characterized by integrity and dedication, compassion and hard work.

Leading a coalition, she overcame the administrative burdens she inherited upon assuming office and put Cape Town on the path to success.

Helen, we honour you here today for what you did for the citizens of Cape Town.

Premier Zille was followed by Dan Plato in 2009. He continued Premier Zille’s legacy of leadership and strength and kept Cape Town on course as the best-run metro in the country.

Through his tireless efforts, the City of Cape Town has a level of community and stakeholder engagement that is a model of inclusive government. Dan, I would like to thank you for ensuring that this administration inherited the best-run city in the country.

We should not forget the scale of their achievements.

Upon assuming office, the previous administration found 227 informal settlements without services. They had services rolled-out to them in a systematic and fair fashion.

They found a city owed R4 billion in uncollected rates. They implemented a new rate-collection system.

They found poor people still being charged for services they couldn’t afford. They wrote off R1 billion in debt owed by the poor.

They found a city with little infrastructure investment or maintenance. They financed bulk-infrastructure for electricity, water and sanitation across the metro.

They literally ensured that the lights stayed on and water flowed from our taps – things that are all too often taken for granted.

They found a tender system enriching a few corrupt elites.

They opened up City tenders to all, dramatically increasing the numbers of small firms that do business with the city, especially small, black-owned businesses.

They found a metro police service unable to perform basic tasks. They gave them the resources to make them an example of safety provision for the whole country.

They fixed this city.

Today, Cape Town is one of the most celebrated cities in the world.

We need to harness that acclaim and make a great city even greater.

In order to achieve that greatness, we need to roll-back the frontiers of poverty.

Working with the national government, and especially the provincial government of the Western Cape, as well as the private sector and civil society, we will stimulate local investment and create the necessary economic growth that will provide jobs and give people their dignity.

To achieve this dignity, the city’s policies will be built on five, inter-related pillars: the opportunity city, the safe city, the caring city, the inclusive city and the efficient city.

The fulfilment of this policy direction was the major reasoning behind my decision to reconfigure the portfolios of the Mayco.

The deputy mayor, Ian Neilson, will have responsibility for overseeing the integration of our policies with the national and provincial governments as well as ensuring that we conform to the best international practices in government, an over-arching role of coordination and direction.

The fulfilment of the opportunity city will be ably driven by the finance and new planning and economic development portfolios.

Together, they will work to ensure that not only is Cape Town a leading destination for investment in the country but that it is an internationally competitive city that will cater to the needs of growth industries through sound planning. It will also help us capitalize on our recent success as the world’s best tourism destination.

To help achieve our aim of the caring city, a stand-alone portfolio for social and early childhood development has been created.

Throughout my political career, I have fought for the dignity of the poor and this administration’s efforts to reduce poverty through stimulating job creation will not neglect the dual mission of poverty alleviation for the citizens who need our help the most.

To better build the inclusive city, the portfolio of transport, roads and storm water will lead the charge in making sure this metro is physically connected so that no community is isolated from its neighbours, so that every citizen can benefit from everything this city has to offer.

More broadly, our policies as a City over the next five years will be built on these five pillars. The Integrated Rapid Transport (IRT) system has seen the completion of Phase 1A.

Already, this phase of the IRT has delivered to Cape Town the beginning of a world class public transport system.

During this term, we will begin rolling it out even further to reach more areas of the metro, including Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain, so that the benefit of cheap and safe public transport can be experienced by all of our citizens.

The IRT will become the symbol of a safe, efficient and inclusive city that cares for its citizens and provides them with opportunity.

Our mission is to serve all the people of Cape Town.

Only by ensuring that this city creates jobs can we speak of policies providing opportunities. We will do all we can to increase investment through planning and marketing. But we will also use opportunities available within the City itself to provide people with skills and jobs.

Under this administration, the City of Cape Town will roll-out an apprenticeship programme to the water, sanitation, electricity, storm water, solid waste, refuse removal and roads departments. These apprentices will meet the demand-side of the labour market, using the training that the City provides to either become skilled technicians employed by the government or to move as young people with new qualifications into the private sector.

This exciting programme of fostering opportunities will be renewed every year with new recruits.

Similarly, we will use the Expanded Public Works Programme to its full potential, providing a level of employment that benefits both those employed within it and the city as a whole.

The creation of economic opportunities will also require a full appreciation of global trends, with a view to not only building a competitive advantage in certain sectors but also to fulfilling our responsibilities to the environment.

As such, my administration will explore avenues to make Cape Town a city desirable for green technology firms to invest in while also encouraging a greater reliance on sustainable energy solutions, such as solar water heaters, among our citizens.

We must all play our part in building the city of the future.

My administration will continue to build on the excellent track record of service delivery for all. But the focus on building a caring and inclusive city will be felt most keenly by the homeless and our backyarder communities.

This city has done much to provide services to everyone. However, our society still has those who remain vulnerable and, because of circumstance, those who are not in a position to fully benefit from what the City provides.

My administration will give help to those who need it and I pledge again to make the plight of homeless people a special mayoral project so that everyone has a stake in the future.

We have the highest service delivery rate in the country. However, there are also those for whom the City can do more in terms of service delivery, specifically backyarders.

Because backyarders don’t formally own or rent property, the records of those who need services are notoriously difficult to obtain.

Add to this the fact that many people are not registered for formal housing, and the added fact that many people have been waiting on the list for years, and the problem grows.

The previous administration initiated a pilot project of engineering surveys to measure the scale of infrastructure needed in backyarder communities in Langa and Hanover Park.

I pledge to extend this project to more backyarder communities.

Furthermore, I shall make it a goal of my administration to get backyarders to voluntarily register so that we can provide basic services.

While some have complained about the rate of housing delivery, we must remember that it actually doubled under the previous administration.

Thanks to the accreditation from the national government, the City will be well-placed to partner with the provincial government to achieve an even greater delivery rate of formal housing opportunities.

The City’s increased inclusivity will be felt by all in the most direct way possible. The City of Cape Town has an excellent call centre for lodging complaints, a centre that ensures that those who report a failure of delivery have it attended to in the shortest time possible.

Under this administration, free call booths with the City’s complaints number will be installed in poorer communities so that everyone can be assured of the fastest response time, no matter where they live.

But it is important not to view these pillars as things isolated from each other. They work together to build a better city. Under this administration the City will expand the roll-out of the fibre-optic network, providing broadband infrastructure to all communities.

This network will not only allow for the expansion of economic opportunities but will also ensure that every area is connected to each other and the world, be it through a broadband connection in a business, home, or community library.

These projects will take Cape Town forward.

As we contemplate the future, let us finally lay to rest some of the issues of the past. It is time to close the book on the controversial episodes of recent times that have been cynically exploited by some to sow division.

We can become a united city that places the interests of our citizens first if we choose to.

That unity begins with the realization that none of us has a monopoly on good ideas.

The range of ideas in this city is as broad as our people are diverse. I say to this council and the people of Cape Town that, as mayor, I will govern in the best interests of all our citizens.

We will engage constructively with anyone who has a legitimate proposal to improve the lives of the people of Cape Town.

The next five years will be challenging.

The goals of this administration will not be easy to achieve.

But with determination, will and the relentless drive to succeed, they are more than possible.

I have been given a mandate to lead this city to provide opportunities for all of our citizens.

Today, our greatest challenge is to ensure that every citizen has dignity and is not chained either by social, economic or historical forces.

Cape Town is keeping Nelson Mandela’s hope of a free, opportunity society alive.

Though it appears in different forms, there is a common hope shared by our people. It is the hope for opportunity.

My administration, fuelled by our determination, will aim to create that opportunity.

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