FESTIVE MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE MAYOR
The year 2014 is coming to an end. Like each year, this year also had its ups and downs but we must remain grateful to God that we were able to experience it all and still come out in one peace.
Through hard work and dedication we were able to ensure that our people continue to receive quality and sustainable services. Indeed inroads were made in the struggle to broaden services to areas that did not have especially informal settlements. We shall continue working hard in this regard.
My sincere gratitude goes to all the people of Ekurhuleni who understood when we experienced service delivery challenges especially in the areas of water and energy.
As our staff continued to work even harder to service our communities, our residents kept us on our toes when it seemed like we were losing focus. It is because of such participatory democracy that our governance machinery can improve even further. Remember, this is the government of the people and as a City we shall continue relying heavily on our people to show us the way every time.
Of all the ups and downs experienced through the year, allow me to appeal to communities to abstain from vandalizing property and disrupting schooling during service delivery protests. Such incidents which happened in some areas are taking us back instead of taking us forward. They deprive our children, who are the future of the region and the country, a shot at education which is the key for the future.
For me one of the highlights for 2014 is the 20th anniversary of our democracy. It was in April 1994 when we voted for the first democratic government, and 20 years later our democracy remains intact. We are still a country that belongs to all who live in it regardless of race and gender. In the middle of this year we once again hosted yet another democratic and incident free election to demonstrate to the world that we are a country that is maturing with time.
Indeed we are now closing 2014. I do hope that there is something positive that we all learnt during the year. Such lessons will come in handy in the New Year as we look at ways to improve the way we have been doing things for our people.
In welcoming 2015 we must put the atrocities of the past year behind us and look forward to a brand new year with its own positives and challenges.
It is my sincere wish that all those who will be going away to various destinations to relax and/or visit family during the festive break, drive and arrive safely. For us who are remaining behind, let us be on our best behavior and make sure that we enjoy the festive in a crime-free, non-violence and peaceful environment. As I have said it before – as a community we create peace and order, and the police must just sustain it.
Our city’s theme for this period of office is: Strengthening social maturity by advancing social cohesion in pursuit of a prosperous city. We opted for this theme because it is our contention that Ekurhuleni is indeed a socially mature City. Our City is today a place of peace because its residents have lived through and endured years of plunder, neglect and violence. As a result of these experiences, our residents are now an embodiment of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence.
We have all had a long year and as such we must relax and fully recharge our batteries so that when we return in the New Year we can continue building an Ekurhuleni that is the most favoured to stay, work, invest and play.
Have a blessed Christmas Ekurhuleni. For 2015, I can only wish you a successful year that will bring you happiness, health and prosperity.