Charter Challenges – Implementation and Monitoring

My question as to whether no news was good news last week in relation to the Inner City Regeneration Charter has been answered. It’s good news!  A final Charter document and certain institutional structures were evidently approved at last week’s Mayoral Committee meeting. Changes to the draft Charter document made available at the Summit appear to be some omissions, some additions and revised commitment dates.  Now the entire focus must change to implementation, and, looking at some of the commitments, I should add the word, fast.

I personally think that the Charter is one of the bravest actions the City has ever embarked on – in fact I know no other city in the country that has been prepared to set out aspirations for the inner city, developed together with the private sector/civil society, in such clearly quantifiable and measurable form. All commitments are clearly spelt out in the document, if it achieves its targets it must be soundly lauded, if it doesn’t the
credibility of the Council will forever be suspect..
 
Most important therefore is the issue of how implementation will be achieved and the form of monitoring that is going to take place – these was alluded to in the draft Charter document but what is being proposed is now clearly set out. Firstly the issue of monitoring and oversight:

“1.  Inner City Section 79 Committee

This Committee is already established in accordance with City policies.  In relation to the Inner City Regeneration Charter its responsibilities are to:

·         Provide political oversight in respect of the Inner City programme, its activities and progress;

·         Receive and consider reports after consideration by Mayoral Committee and before Council;

·         Where required, call for special reports from the Programme Manager on progress with the implementation of the programme and carry out inspections in loco.

2. Mayoral Inner City Sub-committee

This structure will:

·         Keep key MMCs as members, and the City Manager as attendee, abreast of all developments in the implementation of the Inner City Regeneration Charter;

·         Rapidly resole implementation blockages and disputes;

·         Give political-executive guidance on strategies to solve problems and speed up delivery where required.  

3. The Charter Partnership Forum
 
The Charter Partnership Forum will be established by agreement between the City and Inner City stakeholders, who will subscribe to the agreement to establish the Forum, and its roles and functions.  The Forum would be managed by the Programme Manager, who would take responsibility for ensuring reports from the City and stakeholders on issues covered in the Terms of Reference for the Forum.
 

The Forum will meet on a quarterly basis to:

·         Champion the Inner City;

·         Monitor and evaluate overall progress on action plans to implement Charter commitments, whether by the City or stakeholders;

·         Give stakeholders an opportunity to raise issues of concern and propose remedial actions;

·         Enable all stakeholders to formulate strategies for problem solving and identify and build areas of further common action and collaboration between the City and stakeholders.

The Forum’s membership would be made up as follows:

City of Johannesburg representatives:

·         The Executive Mayor and Mayoral Committee;

·         The Chair of the Inner City Section 79 Oversight Committee

·         The City Manager;

·         Relevant Executive Directors and Managing Directors of Entities;

·         The Regional Director of Region F;

·         The Programme Manager.

Stakeholders, who would be sectorally organized and would nominate representatives to the Forum through their own structures:

·         The Johannesburg Inner City Business Coalition, the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and other business forums and chambers;

·         The Property Owners and Managers Association;

·         Community based organizations, with representation from a range of NGOs, CBOs, Faith-based organizations, and residents organisations;

·         Institutions of higher learning;

·         Street traders / micro retailers;

·         Taxi associations;

·         Provincial Government;

·         Ward-committees in the Inner City as represented by their ward councilors.”
 
So that’s the monitoring and oversight situation which certainly appears to be a good balance between political oversight and civil society monitoring. What about on the ground implementation? Well, the document goes on to detail the management structures as follows:
 

“The responsibility for co-ordination of the successful implementation of the programme is located in the Department of Development Planning and Urban Management (DPUM), with individual programmes the responsibility of the relevant line departments.  Urban Management remains the responsibility of Region F, restructured to ensure additional capacity and authority to implement the intensive urban management required for the Inner City.

The Inner City Programme Manager
 
The Inner City Programme Manager will report to the Executive Director: DPUM in terms of functional matters.  Political reporting by the Programme Manager on the programme is to the Mayoral-subcommittee, the Mayoral Committee and the Section 79 Oversight Committee.  The Inner City Programme Manager will also ensure the channeling of progress reports into the Charter Partnership Forum.
 

The Inner City Programme Manager will take responsibility for ensuring delivery of the following outputs:

·         The formulation and adoption of integrated action / business plans that ensure effective delivery on the City’s Charter commitments;

·         Co-ordinated and integrated implementation of these plans;

·         An integrated and co-ordinated Inner City budget;

·         The inclusion of Inner City programme in the IDP;

·         Strong and effective partnerships that support the successful implementation of the overall programme;

·         The profiling and positioning of the inner city as a desirable place to live, work and invest in.

Management Teams

The Inner City Programme Manager will be supported by two teams, a Programme Strategic Team and an Extended Programme Management Team.

The Programme Strategic Team will assist the Programme Manager in ensuring the:

·         Overall integration and cohesiveness of Charter business plan and CoJ and partners programmes and projects;

·         Integration of various CoJ planning processes, in particular, the Charter/RUMP/RSDF/IDP;
·         Identification of, and formulation of solutions and innovative policy responses to, problems;
·         Identification and tracking of outcomes, impacts and unintended consequences of programmes.
 

The Extended Programme Management Team will be responsible for:

·         Monitoring progress;

·         Monitoring budgets and spending;

·         Addressing blockages and disputes;

·         Managing integration and co-ordination of sub-programmes and projects within sub-programmes;

·         Considering new interventions;

·         Inputting into the overall business plan.
 

Cluster Team Leaders

Team Leaders are located within the line departments or municipal entities that take responsibility for particular clusters of projects arising from the Charter.  They will:
 

·         Co-ordinate the project managers within a cluster;

·         Provide support and leadership to project managers;

·         Manage their own project/s;

·         Manage the inter-relationships of projects within clusters/sub-programme;

·         Engage in cluster/line department budgeting processes;

·         Report to and participate in the Extended Programme Management Team.”
 
Clearly the Programme Manager has a critical role to fulfill, will have to have both political and line management support and excellent administrative skills. I would imagine that he/she will have to be an incredible diplomat whilst being a hard taskmaster/mistress and will walk a fine line between politicians and officials – rather like a trapeze artist crossing a shark infested tank! 
 
So what are the immediate commitments? Well the next few months include  
 

…… July 2007

  • A Regional Urban Management Plan (RUMP) for the UDZ area will have been approved and will be available publicly.
  • An operational Plan for continuous, integrated block-by-block operations/blitzes by multi-disciplinary teams of by-law enforcement and service delivery specialists will be completed. 
  • Finalisation of and making public a full 3D model of the Inner City of Johannesburg for telecommunications infrastructure planning. 

……. August 2007 

  • A first phase Inner City Housing Action Plan
  • At least 500 beds for emergency accommodation and decant facilities
  • Identification of 20 key economic firms in order to learn about their practical issues/problems 

 

……..September 2007

  • Demonstration network projects (including one in the Inner City).
  • Facilitation of the re-opening of the Alexander Theatre. (that’s one that can be ticked off according to media reports!)
  • A database of civil society organizations operating in or near to the Inner City. 
  • Convening of an Inner City Sectoral Advisory Forum of creative and cultural businesses, organisations, institutions and initiatives.
  • Completion of the Hoek Street Market
  • A consolidated BPO precinct plan concretizing and clustering BPO activity by delineating buildings in the Inner City.
  • A further minimum 1000 BPO seats developed and hopefully occupied in the Inner City.
  • A final decision on the closure of the Doornfontein and Jeppe Stations will be made public.

………October

  • A coherent programme of support for improvement districts
That’s a good start although the really meaty, critical issues of residential accommodation, upgrading the public environment, transportation, informal trading, by-law enforcement kick in later – but we’ll start looking at those next week.
 
Personally I think that one of the greatest challenges the inner city faces over the next decade is the provision of housing particularly for the lowest income or homeless people of the city. In this regard the report in yesterday’s Star was misleading as it stated that “The city is looking at establishing some 75 000 units for transitional housing aimed at the very low income earners getting between R800 and R1200 per month.”

That is not correct! The Charter clearly states “The City of Johannesburg will work with all partners and stakeholders to lead an Inner City Housing Plan that provides or ensures at least 50 000 (and ideally 75 000) new residential units by 2015, either in the Inner City or near to it.  On rough estimates of demand it is projected that some 20 000 of these units must be affordable to households in lower income bands if the collective problem of a stressed Inner City residential environment is to be solved.  This does not mean that the Inner City is to become a dormitory for the poor.  The City of Johannesburg envisages the creation of the largest mixed income community in the country, built on the basis of inclusionary housing “
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