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Around SA (269)

City launches developer challenge

 The winning solution will earn its creator R150 000. Second and third places are worth R100 000 and R50 000 respectively. 

If you are a developer with an interest in apps, maps, data, urban development, cities or technology then enter the 2016 GeoJozi Developer Challenge. The challenge calls on developers aged 30 or under to help the City of Johannesburg improve its systems of allocating and maintaining addresses across the 1,644 km2 municipality.

It is being run for the first time this year by the City in partnership with Wits University’s Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) and mapping software company, Esri South Africa.

Across the world, street addresses and location are used as fundamental tools for managing cities. But with rapid urbanisation, local governments face increasingly complex and fast-changing urban landscapes that need to be effectively managed and to serve their residents.

Marcelle Hattingh, Director of Corporate Geo-Informatics for the City of Johannesburg explains: “An address can change your life. Adresses specify points of service delivery. They are essential for electricity, water, refuse, sewage, emergency services, land ownership, parcel deliveries, safety and security, being able to vote and countless other critical services and functions.”

Prof Barry Dwolatzky, Director of JCSE at Wits University says: “As the world becomes more digitised, more real-time data about cities is becoming available. This data can help to manage cities better and make them smarter. A street address informs us of location, and that is where Geographic Information System (GIS) comes in. It’s all about a specific position or the coordinates on earth.”

Dwolatzky says that this creates exciting opportunities for creating smart cities, modern urban development and 21st century city management. The GeoJozi Challenge will be hosted in Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein, the City’s newest high-tech address.

“We are calling on young Johannesburg-based software developers to work with the City to help improve the allocation, maintenance and visibility of street adresses for all throughout the City.”

The winning ideas may also be implemented by the City of Johannesburg.

“Addresses and location are essential for the efficiency of a high functioning city. The City is calling for innovative solutions that will help the citizens realise the vital importance of street addresses and optimise the power of location,” says Hattingh. 

Patrick McKivergan, managing director of Esri South Africa, says: “This initiative will encourage young developers to develop their skills in location technology. As the technology partner of the GeoJozi Challenge, Esri will be providing the location platform on which the GeoJozi contestants will develop their solutions. It will consist of toolkits for the development and data on which the contestants can base their solutions for the street addresses and location issues. We are right behind the City’s efforts to create location awareness. Entrants will also receive free training and great learning opportunities.”

Last year, the United Nations estimated that 71.3% of South Africa’s population will live in urban areas by 2030, nearly 80% by 2050. “This puts the need for innovative street address and location solutions into the spotlight,” says Hattingh.

Developers need to register on: 

 

www.geojozi.joburg by 31 August 2016.

 

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JMPD women officers honour  1956 heroines

More than 60 female officers of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) joined 500 other Gauteng women police officers to mark the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Women’s March with a march of their own. 

The JMPD women officers and their colleagues from the South African Police Service, Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department, Gauteng Traffic Police and the Emergency Management Services (EMS) marched two kilometres from the Lillian Ngoyi Square, through to Stanza Bopape Street, to the Union Buildings in Pretoria for the official celebratory event addressed by President Jacob Zuma.

As they marched, motorists and onlookers ululated and gave them words of encouragement.

Exactly 60 years ago on Tuesday, women political activists Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Amina Cachalia and Sophie du Bruyn led a 20 000-strong women’s march to the Union Buildings in protest against the apartheid government’s discriminatory laws and other injustices meted out against women. But then Prime Minister JG Strijdom refused to meet them and accept their petitions. 

In contrast, Tuesday’s march was a celebratory one as women from all corners of the country converged to honour the bravery and resilience of the “Women of 1956”. 

JMPD Superintendent Edna Mamonyane said she and her female colleagues took part in the march to salute the women of 1956 for braving apartheid brutality and paving the way to the freedom being enjoyed today.

“Today we as women have achieved a lot in a variety of fields. 

“As much as there is a lot still to be done to emancipate women, we are proud to be following in the footsteps of our grandmothers and mothers who showed us the way. 

“My plea to the women in uniform is that they must do their work with pride and diligence and should not degrade each other. Let us support one another with one goal – to serve the public with distinction. 

 

To the public out there, I would like to plead with them to respect our women officers and give them recognition they deserve because they are daughters, wives and mothers of the very public that despises them,” she said.

 

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Nine injured in Johannesburg collision

Paramedics responded to the scene at about 7pm, where they found a Toyota Hilux bakkie in a nearby veld.

Nine people, including several children, were injured when the bakkie they were travelling in collided with a fire engine and overturned on Lawley Road, Lenasia extension 10 in Johannesburg on Saturday night, Gauteng paramedics said.

Paramedics responded to the scene at about 7pm, where they found a Toyota Hilux bakkie in a nearby veld. All of the occupants were ejected from the vehicle, ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak said.

“It is understood that the bakkie collided into the side of a fire engine, causing the driver to lose control over the vehicle. According to bystanders on the scene, the driver of the bakkie allegedly overtook vehicles.

“The firefighters apparently noticed the vehicle in their lane and moved over on to the gravel on the side of the road. The bakkie collided with the side of the fire engine as it overtook.”

 

The firefighters stopped and rendered emergency assistance until ambulances arrived on the scene. All of the injured were treated and transported to Chris Hani Baragwaneth and Lenmed hospitals, Vermaak said.

 

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City’s female employees commemorate Women’s Day

Issues and challenges facing women came under the microscope at the Braamfontein Recreation Centre  when hundreds of female employees of the City of Johannesburg gathered to commemorate the 60th anniversary of National Women’s Month.

The event, held in honour of the more than 20 000 women who bravely marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 9 August 1956 in protest against injustices meted out against women by the apartheid government, was also attended and addressed by top women achievers in the corporate world.

The main official event was held at the Union Buildings on Tuesday August 9 and addressed by President Jacob Zuma.

“We’re here to reflect on the stories of women. Today we’re superstars and we’ve a reason to celebrate even though there are still issues of suffering around women,” said the Deputy Director of Performance Management in Social Development, Judith Mtswewu at Thursday’s event.

“This is our day to engage other women and talk about issues that affect us. Most importantly, it’s our day to have fun as strong professional women.”

Elgina Ndhlovu, Director of Stakeholder Management and Compliance in the City’s Public Safety Department, said the event was a great opportunity to look at issues that held women back from achieving their ultimate goals.

“As women leaders we become so hard on other women when we’re put in positions of power. We need to be able to open doors for other women and change the way we look at life,” said Ndhlovu. She said it was time women took control of their lives and realised that they were where they were because of other women who had made huge sacrifices for the country. Let’s be the agents of change in both our personal and professional lives. Let's identify young people in our various departments and mentor them to be great women and future leaders,” said Ndhlovu. 

Egnes Macheve, who shared her story about how she made it against all odds, encouraged other women to empower themselves through education. Macheve, a partner at Deloitte, said hard work made her the success she was today.

“No one told me I had to work hard. It’s something that I knew I had to do,” said Macheve.

Dr Nosipho Mngomezulu said women must take control of their lives.

“It’s important to reflect even on our hardships because they make us stronger and there are lessons to be learnt in the challenges we go through as women,” said Dr Mngomezulu.

She said women must be celebrated every day, not only on Women’s Day or Women’s Month.

“Women’s Day is a revolutionary day; it’s about honouring and remembering the sacrifices that other women made in order for us to be where we are today," she said.

Old Mutual's Lungelo Mdlalose spoke about money matters and how women needed to start seeing money differently.

“Build a positive relationship with your financial life. Your mind is not allowing you to see the opportunities that are available to you,” Mdlalose.

 

The women were entertained by a DJ and Ghetto Revolution dancers.

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R200m deal to empower citizens

 

Thanks to an unprecedented R200-million partnership between the City of Johannesburg and leading global software company Microsoft.

The ground-breaking partnership was announced by Executive Mayor Cllr Parks Tau at a ceremony attended by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Gauteng Local Government and Housing MEC Paul Mashatile and Microsoft South Africa Managing Director Zoaib Hoosen at the Johannesburg City Library.

Described by Mayor Tau as “a digital revolution”, the partnership will be implemented over five years.

Mayor Tau said 800 000 youths aged between 18 and 34 and 200 000 residents aged 35 or older would be provided with free training to equip them with computer skills needed for entry-level jobs. This makes Johannesburg the first African city to roll out a computer skills development programme of this magnitude.

The training will be provided at City libraries and other centres already offering programmes such as the Massive Online Open Varsity (MOOV).

Mayor Tau said the initiative was in response to the job market’s needs for skilled workers.

“The initiative is set to break down a significant barrier to opportunities for disadvantaged residents, particularly as it builds digital literacy and connects with the rest of Vulindl’ eJozi objectives.

In South Africa, every office needs people with these skills, and every working age resident can get a head-start with digital literacy.

“In today’s job market, a basic requirement is that people must have computer skills. 

“About 50% of jobs require basic computer skills, so if you don’t have that, you are already excluded,” he said.

He said Microsoft, as the primary provider of basic computer programmes, was a natural partner for the initiative. 

The new partnership will see youth participants also linked up with other development initiatives under Vulindl’ eJozi, which include entry-level job matching, matric rewriting and vocational skills training as well as entrepreneurial skills development. Already more than 130 000 youths are on the database.

The Mayor urged young people to register for the computer skills programme on the Vulindl’ eJozi mobi site www.vulindela.mobi, the nearest public library or walk-in centre from August 2016.

Training starts in September. Hoosen said by 2022, more than 77% of entry-level jobs would demand basic computer skills.

He said by joining the digital revolution, the City was following international trends

“This partnership and the impact of what we do here today will enable us to better empower the workforce of the future. A workforce that is diverse, boasting a youth culture that utilises its digital literacy to create a thriving city of entrepreneurs and highly-skilled workers,” Hoosen said.

Deputy President Ramaphosa said that the partnership gave real effect to the National Development Plan and Vision 2030 in that it linked skills development with job market needs.

He applauded Mayor Tau and the Mayoral Committee for their bold and visionary leadership.

 

“This is a good story to tell. This is my Jozi, a smart African and digital City. I will spread the gospel,” he said.

 

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City of Joburg extol’s voters

 

The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) would like to express its deepest appreciation to residents, the IEC and City employees who participated in the recently ended local government elections.

 The City would like to assure residents that the absence of a clear majority by any party in Johannesburg does not mean a halt in services. City Manager Trevor Fowler says the provision of services continues apace without interruptions.

Fowler announced that the inaugural Council meeting for the new term of office will be on August 16.

 In preparation for the inaugural council meeting there will be a Mock Council sitting at a venue to be confirmed. 

The City Manager will preside over the commencement of the Council until the election of the Speaker.  Thereafter the newly elected Speaker will preside over Council which will elect the Executive Mayor and Chief Whip. A Handover Report as well as an induction and orientation programme for councillors will be tabled for noting along with the Integrated Development Plan for the 2016/17 financial year. 

“As political leaders negotiate the formation of a new municipal government, work is being done, services are delivered and the important task of restoring our people’s dignity through world class services continues apace,” says Fowler. The orientation programme, which will take place over three days from August 22, will also deal with legislation guiding municipalities and general governance issues in the legislature including Municipal Finance Management Act. The second Council meeting is planned for September 8.

Should political parties currently in negotiations not come to an agreement on a “coalition government”, a minority government could be constituted by either the leading party or a coalition of parties without the majority.  A minority government can only pass resolutions with the support or concurrence of other members/parties in Council. This enables a majority on specific issues. Fowler said whatever way the coalition negotiations went, residents of Joburg should rest assured that this would not affect the provision of services.

Fowler thanked CoJ officials and residents who assisted the IEC to manage and co-ordinate a free, fair and violence free election. “This is a testament of the maturation of our democracy. The City appreciates many who helped manage this intricate and delicate process. These are unsung heroes and heroines operating far from the media spotlight,” says Fowler.

The CoJ support to the IEC included coordinating and managing election results centre at the SABC in Auckland Park. Staff in both the CoJ regions and the Results Centre worked in excess of 36 hours and showed a high commitment to ensuring that elections ran smoothly.

 The City provided 81 Results Co-Ordinators for verification of results slips; 36 Data Capturers for scanning and capturing of results.

The Joburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) availed 2635 officers to provide security and logistical support. In instances where there were queries, JMPD were obliged to physically collect information or the Presiding Officers and bring them to the Results Centre. The City’s Disaster Management team coordinated a service delivery centre, assisted in re-erection and stabilising of tents that had been blown over by strong winds.

 

A number of power outages were experienced on Election Day, in both Eskom and City Power supply areas. Outages were attended to in the shortest time possible to ensure that elections were not disturbed. In preparation for elections, JRA, Pikitup and City Parks provided cleaning and maintenance of voting stations and surrounds.

 

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Minister Nzimande, MEC Lesufi praise City''s Matric rewrite programme

 

Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande and Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi have endorsed the City of Johannesburg’s Vulindlel’ eJozi’s Matric Rewrite Programme.

The endorsement was announced by Executive Mayor Cllr Parks Tau during a site tour of the Vulindlel’ eJozi’s Orange Farm Massive Open Online Varsity (MOOV) facility.

The mayor said the rewrite initiative would be implemented in partnership with the Gauteng Education Department, the University of Johannesburg and Harambee Youth Empowerment Accelerator.

“The Vulindlel’ eJozi programme is fast breaking down barriers for youth to access economic opportunities through entry-level job training and placement, smart online education and entrepreneurial skills training,” he said.

These programmes would help the City address the high rate of youth unemployment which, according to Statistician-General Pali Lehohla’s most-recent report, stands at 57% nationally and between 60% and 70% in Johannesburg. The Matric Rewrite Programme is being offered through the City’s libraries, which double up as MOOV centres. The first intake began this month.

In welcoming the initiative, MEC Lesufi said: “We are committed to facilitating the rewrite registrations and streamlining a process that will enable those who have been out of school for longer than two years to complete their matric.”

Minister Nzimande said the rewrite programme could be used as a national blueprint.

“The Department of Higher Education is reviewing the MOOV concept as a leading pilot that could create new paths to free vocational and university education for excluded young people across South Africa,” he said.

 

Nzimande and Lesufi’s ringing endorsement came a day after Mayor Tau announced the ground-breaking R200-million partnership with Microsoft SA to train one million people in basic computer skills. Under the programme, which starts in September, 800 000 youths and 200 000 adults, will be trained over five years.

 

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Police recover stolen vehicle

 

Johannesburg Central Police arrested a 27-year-old male for possession of a hi-jacked motor vehicle in Newtown, corner Gwigwi Mrwebi and Mirriam Makeba. 

 

While police were busy with their routine crime prevention duties, they saw a suspicious Toyota Etos vehicle, silver grey in colour parked next to the Choice Bar. Having verified to confirm its identity it came out positive that it was hi-jacked, a case was opened at Roodeport Police Station and further investigation on the matter revealed that the car was falsely registered after inquiring on the registration particulars of the vehicle. Warrant officer, Xoli Mbele revealed that investigation is under way and the suspect will appear soon in Court.

 

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Revamped Bruma Lake to bring in major investment

The beautiful new park and river has given a major boost to business confidence in the area, with its striking, fully restored pedestrian bridge has already spurred a R15-million investment on its south side, on its north side, there’s an investment of well over R1-billion in a major new mixed-use development that’s poised to start unfolding.

Details on both of these emerged at its launch event recently, which marked the completion of an extensive, two-year rehabilitation project overseen by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) in collaboration with Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo. The redevelopment of Bruma and surrounding suburbs is directly linked to Joburg’s 2040 strategy, which aims to build a city that is liveable, sustainable and resilient. The benefits are far more extensive. Speaking at the official launch, Executive Mayor Cllr Parks Tau said the City’s investment in Bruma looked at the present and future needs of an area that was evolving, whose population was growing, and which formed an important nodal development point in the City’s Corridors of Freedom programme. Bruma, Cyrildene and other suburbs east of the CBD would soon be integrated into the Louis Botha Corridor of Freedom - whose main bus rapid transit (BRT) route will connect Parktown to Alexandra and Sandton - and through this to the Empire-Perth Corridor between the CBD and Soweto.

The City of Joburg is expected to grow by 3-million people over the next 24 years”, Mayor Tau said. It was therefore crucial to move away from a “mono-use” city in which residents were far removed from amenities and opportunities to a city of the future - one which was mixed-use, higher density, compact and polycentric. Bruma’s new-look river and park would become a “destination for people” with recreational, commercial and other uses, the Mayor said. It would also spur the growth and development of Cyrildene as “the Chinatown not just of Johannesburg but of South Africa and of Africa”.  Architect Ambrose Adebayo, the co-designer of the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, outlined the plans for a major new mixed-use development for the north side of the park. This will include a 5-star hotel, a double-level shopping centre, an office block, high-rise apartments catering to a range of income levels, and extensive underground parking.

The development’s four new buildings would be designed in organic African style as a synthesis of modern and traditional forms, Adebayo said, and would relate “like a sculpture” to the river and the park.

 

 

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Residents challenge bridges contractor

Phola - Residents are at it again about construction of bridges. A few months ago they complained about shoddy construction work of two bridges and demanded that the construction company responsible to stop working till Mbombela Municipality intervened.

After recent rain, one of the bridges was affected and is now at the verge of collapsing, and now the community members demand that the company should be permanently stopped because according to them, the contractor is clueless about the quality of work that should be dedicated to the bridge.

Itís us who are going to face problems at a later stage and we are not going to watch peopleís tax money go down the drain,î said community member, Morris Maluka.

Maluka said the municipality is not addressing this matter. ìThe issue of tender irregularities could be why they are not acting.î 

Mbombela Municipalityís spokesperson Joseph Ngala said: ìThe contractor is aware of the issue and when he was about to fix it, the residents stopped the project and their action is only going to delay the project and incur additional costs. We appreciate community policing, but the contractor needs a chance to rectify the mistakes. Mpumalanga News

 

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