Proud of living and working in Jozi
By: Janine Hills, Founder and CEO of Vuma Reputation Management
We all want to live in cities of which we can be proud. We all want smooth operating public services, less traffic, new roads, attractive and functional buildings, secure public spaces and wealth opportunities that can change lives for the better.
So why then do we expect local government and municipalities to do it alone?
Isn’t it true that in the 128 year history of Johannesburg, the City reached more milestones than any other city in the country, even more so than some of the bigger cities globally?
Isn’t it true that most of the City’s achievements were actioned by government and ...view middle of the document...
Very much like Jozi which is known to the world as the city of gold.
Throughout decades people flocked here in search of treasures to create their personal ideal. And unlike in the poem where no one could ever find the utopia city again, each person in this country knows, that if they want to fill their pockets with gold, Jozi is the place, and the City welcomes each newcomer with open arms - no questions asked, all admissions allowed.
Having lived in Joburg for the past 15 years, I’ve received far more than what I’ve asked for: quality education and training, heaps of business opportunities, valuable experiences, quality investments, and blue-chip clients. I’ve formed stellar friendships and even found love.
But having observed the discrediting ways in which some Joburgers act, and listening to their constant bleating about every minor issue the City has done, or is not doing, made me wonder when they would own up and take responsibility for their part in building this City into a utopia.
People before us worked hard to develop the City into something better, and it’s up to each one of us now to be at the very least understanding and mindful of how difficult it must be to run such a big city in the face of constant criticism.
Fact; residents struggle with various problems in the City and I often hear how people mock its infrastructure, about how the City floods when it rains due to old storm water systems, or when waste has not been removed.
I travel a lot overseas, and compared to the rest of the wold, Joburg is certainly relating favourably. Take London for instance, you find regular delays on the Tube, signal failures at various main-line stations and even passengers having to walk through dark tunnels to reach the closest platform when a train breaks down.
Despite all odds and hurdles, Joburg has done a splendid job with the Rea Vaya network, it’s timely, spacious and lively with new routes and services open up frequently. Once complete, Rea Vaya will place 85% of Joburg's residents within 500m of a trunk route or feeder corridor.
In traffic I often detect how motorists yell at taxis fleeing by, but have you experienced the taxis in New Delhi? Have you seen the filth and chaos in other global cities as like certain areas of Beijing and Shanghai?
And let’s consider the USA for a minute.
Rege Cordic, KDKA's legendary morning host, announced way back in 1965 that Pittsburgh would outshine the New York World's Fair with its first annual Pothole Festival. Cordic was kidding, but a post-gazette call for pothole stories from readers had one saying his next car would be a hovercraft or a tank.
In October 2013, TRIP, a national transportation research group in Washington DC named ‘America's Roughest Rides’ reported that the Los Angeles/Long Beach/Santa Ana region led with 64% of the major roads rated in poor condition. The average Los Angeles motorist pays $832 more in vehicle maintenance each year just because of that. Places such...