City of Joburg passes pro-development budget

City of Joburg passes pro-development budget

The Johannesburg City Council has approved the budget for the 2020/21 financial year, which seeks to prioritise the city’s economic revival and maintain uninterrupted service delivery.

The Adjustment Budget includes the allocation of R12.8 million for the operation of the Alexandra Automotive Hub, which includes a component shop, tyre fitment & alignment, panel beating, auto electrical work as well as services and maintenance workshops.

MMC for Finance, Jolidee Matongo, says the prioritised items are in a bid to stimulate the local economy and boost socio-economic development amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matongo says the adjusted budget comes at a time when there has been a prolonged deterioration of metropolitan economies, which have contracted by at least  8% in 2020.

“We have also increased expenditure for social development by R18.1 million, which includes R15 million for the purchase and provision of vegetable packs for indigent communities.

Furthermore, under Pikitup, an additional R10 million has been allocated for personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure that staff members are provided with sufficient PPEs,” he said.

The local government has further allocated R9 million under City Power for Enterprise Supplier Development to stimulate the SETA entities and to boost enterprise development.

Matongo added that the City has also extensively invested resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw health employee-related costs increased by R92 million.

The budget also allocated R53.5 million to the revival of the City’s roads by the Joburg Roads Agency.

 A further R9 million has been allocated to City Power to cater for the Technical Strategy for Network Health Assessment to keep the lights on in the City.

Matongo says  the allocation for the New Basic Water and Sewer Services increased by R11.8 million to complete the project, and the Orange Farm Turnkey Project has also been allocated R128 million.

“Also included under the housing allocations is the formalisation of informal settlements across the City, and the renewal of bulk infrastructure City wide increased by R14.3 million.

Furthermore, under housing, up to R24.7 million has been allocated for the preventative maintenance of facilities and the planned maintenance of retirement homes and flats,” he adds.

Stop spreading COVID vaccine conspiracies, Joburg residents urged

Stop spreading COVID vaccine conspiracies, Joburg residents urged

The City of Johannesburg has reiterated its call for residents to stop spreading conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 vaccine.

The office of the speaker of Joburg held a webinar called Truth on COVID-19 and 5G Connectivity, on Wednesday night.

The aim of the webinar was to debunk myth surrounding coronavirus and the celluar network.

Speaker Nonceba Molwele has urged residents to rely on government information on the COVID-19 vaccine.

“There is also another issue around the lack of confidence around the vaccine itself and that some do not trust the vaccine based on the view or belief that the vaccine on itself is man-made, with the objective of wanting to control the new world order.

“This is where the issue of 5G comes in and there have been so many theories and conspiracies about how the rollout of 5G technology is to blame for coronavirus.”

University of Johannesburg Vice Chancellor Professor Tshilidzi Marwala was one of the speakers.

He says there is no link between COVID-19 and 5G.

“COVID-19 is a virus, a virus is a biological organism, it is alive and it dies if it doesn’t find a host and that is why we are told that on a hard surface, COVID-19 dies after three days.

“There is absolutely no link between 5G and COVID-19,” adds Marwala.

Marwala says people are making this link because the COVID-19 outbreak coincided with the launch of 5G in 2019.

 “So, people are thinking because 5G was launched in 2019 and COVID-19 came to the world in 2019 that there is a causal relationship. There is no causal relationship between the two, it is correlational and in statistics when we study, we are told that correlation does not mean position,” Professor Marwala says.

South Africa received its first batch of vaccine doses this week. The AstraZeneca vaccine arrived at the OR Tambo International Airport, in Ekurhuleni, from Serum Institute in India on Monday.

Frontline healthcare workers are first in line to receive the shots, which are due to be administered after two weeks as they are currently undergoing quality checks.