I am from Johannesburg and proudly so. In my youth, I did escape for a three year holiday to Cape Town, but in the end, I came home.
I came home because I love Johannesburg. The energy, pace, talent, ambition and intellect circulating the streets of Johannesburg is unmatched in South Africa. Jozi where the streets are paved with Gold is where we all come to set the foundations on which we’re going to build our lives.
Being a proud citizen of Jozi, I was ecstatic to be asked to participate in Mayor Tau’s conference where he delivered the GDS2040 to the youth.
GDS2040 is the growth and development strategy for our city of Johannesburg. I love this excerpt from the site:
If Joburg were a stadium and the citizens our team taking on the challenges, the Growth and Development Strategy would be our game plan.
My friend Hazel, whilest rolling on the floor in hysterics, claims that only in my life can I expect to be invited to attend a conference hosted by the City of Jhb with an expectation of asking a series of serious questions on the youth development within the Growth and Development Strategy 2040, to arrive there and be told that my 20 minute speech is in 5 minutes! Did I mention that I was running late & forgot to swap my sneakers for my heels??
So there I am, standing in my dress with sneakers on, being beckoned to the podium…
FORTUNATELY for me, I had read through the strategy and made notes identifying key areas that affect youth and what I felt about the city’s proposed strategy. (thank goodness for my nerd-ish tendencies)
In my speech, aside from highlighting the usual plight of us youth (education, poverty alleviation, crime prevention, access to basic resources, skills development, etc), I stressed the urgency of the Mayor and mayoral committee to move from dialogue, discussion and debate to implementation.
No one expects the local government to deliver on these important and heavy burdens alone. There are many organisations (both for profit and non profit) on the ground already working in these areas who, with the support of government, can expand their reach and really assist with the implementation of strategies such as the GDS2040.
For me, there is little as satisfying as seeing a successful plan in action.
Talk bores me!
I am impressed by the goals and path that the GDS2040 has laid out. I am also pleased that Mr Mayor has the youth represented on the Mayoral committee by MCC Vondo, who at 33 years of age, is the youngest member of the mayoral council and has the community development mandate.
After having being given the opportunity of being heard on such an important platform, I look forward to working with the City of Jhb in the execution of the plans to implement the strategy. Hopefully, I will also be given another opportunity to address Mr Mayor…. this time not wearing sneakers!