A multi-stakeholder meeting convened on Saturday, October 7, 2023, in Brixton to address the series of crises affecting Johannesburg. Attendees included representatives from various Resident Associations, including the Melville Residents’ Association, NGOs, community groups, and concerned citizens with relevant expertise. The primary focus of the meeting was to deliberate on strategies for revitalising the city.

At the forefront of the discussions was the dire state of Johannesburg’s water delivery infrastructure. Julia Fish, a Land-Use Volunteer from the Melville Residents’ Association, participated in the session.

Numerous options were presented during the meeting, ranging from advocating for the city to be placed under administration to seeking intervention at the presidential level. Given the intricate nature of the challenges confronting both our suburb and the city at large, the proposed solutions are expected to be multifaceted. Regarding the water crisis, accountability for the actions of Joburg Water and Rand Water was a central concern. We suggest subjecting the executive boards and CEOs of these organizations to scrutiny under the Companies Act, with a focus on auditing their capabilities and removing those who fall short.

While it’s important to note that these measures will not result in an immediate restoration of water services, they are integral to a comprehensive, long-term strategy aimed at improving service delivery. Notably, options such as a rates boycott, which were popular among some, were dismissed due to their potential to further destabilize the city and the complexities associated with managing payments after a boycott to fund city growth.

Attached, you will find a helpful summary of the day’s proceedings by Neal from the Auckland Park Residents’ Association. It was inspiring to be in the company of like-minded and resolute individuals all dedicated to reclaiming Johannesburg as the city we cherish. This initiative is one of several in which the Melville Residents’ Association is actively involved on your behalf, including partnerships with other resident associations and a legal strategy.

Collective action by engaged citizens marks the initial step toward the reconstruction of our beloved home.

We invite you to share your thoughts on the proposed courses of action outlined in the attached summary by emailing us at mra-landuse@ilovemelville.co.za

Let us unite in our efforts to restore Johannesburg to its former glory.