Joburg Advocacy Group (JAG): 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Season's Greetings

Wishing all of our supporters and associates a safe and peaceful festive season, and all of the good things that life has to offer in 2010.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Add Your Voice


Please consider signing the Avaaz.org petition for a real and meaningful deal on carbon emissions at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen.

Thirteen million people from around the world have already signed, making this the biggest petition in history.

Now young people of all nationalities are reading out the names of EACH ...AND EVERY SUPPORTER at the summit venue as the crucial talks threaten to deadlock. This is a very important time in history, and climate change is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced - please add your voice.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Statement from Civil Society Organisations on Acid Mine Drainage


The Federation for a Sustainable Environment, supported by 36 civil society organisations including JAG, has issued a statement calling on the South African government to engage with civil society on the urgent issue of acid mine drainage in the Witwatersrand Mining Basin.

The statement calls for disclosure of all documentation regarding the issue, much of which has not been released into the public domain, and also for urgent action dedicated to finding a sustainable and just solution to the problem.

We strongly support this statement, which you can read in full here.
Image: "Acid Mine Drainage on the West Rand Gold Fields" courtesy of Earthlife Africa.
Click through to Earthlife's web site to read its Acid Mine Drainage Fact Sheet 1 and Acid Mine Drainage Fact Sheet 2.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Now a Water Supply Crisis Looms


If you think acid mine drainage (AMD) and sewage in the rivers will never affect you directly, think again.

In a statement issued on 6 December, the South African Revenue Protection Association reports that South Africa's bulk water infrastructure is in danger of collapse.

Four hundred "infrastructure assets" that supply raw bulk water are decades old and are leading to contamination of water sources. And that's without the possibility of processed AMD being pumped into the drinking water system or the risk of major reservoirs being contaminated by sewage and heavy metals in the polluted river system.

Worse still, economic pressures have forced the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs to scale down its capital spending on water schemes and infrastructure refurbishment radically. In the next three years, it will receive only R4.8bn of the R6bn it requires from Treasury for infrastructure refurbishment, although it has been assured of R6.1bn to expand regional bulk infrastructure.

A local government water and sanitation audit report released earlier this year also showed showed that 85% of South Africa's waste water treatment works had a "limited remaining useful life", while 90% of water treatment works were dilapidated.

In the meantime, water quality in KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga, North West and the Northern Cape is now below acceptable health levels (source: SARPA Journal, 6 December 2009).

Monday, December 7, 2009

Be Kind

There is so much division, aggression and pain in our city. Be kind to someone today, and ask them to pass it on ...

"BE KIND ... for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."
~ Philo of Alexandria

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fiddling While Joburg Burns


We've all heard the story of how the despot emperor Nero "fiddled while Rome burned". Recent reports on the crisis of governance in the City of Johannesburg cannot help but bring this story to mind.

This past weekend alone, Mail and Guardian reported that the city has an operational deficit of R520 million, that it has had to divert R1 billion from the city's already over-stretched budget into the completion of the Soccer City stadium because of ballooning costs, and that it has failed to collect an estimated R10 billion in unpaid municipal accounts (read the whole story here).

DA councillor and finance committee member Don Forbes is quoted as saying that the city is "commercially insolvent", as its liabilities exceed its assets.

Worse still ...

Yesterday, The Times reported that, despite this parlous situation, and despite the fact that the city has written off R2.8 billion in debt this year (10% of its 2009/2010 budget), Mayor Amos Masondo has just "led a 16-member delegation on a costly four-day trip to four countries (India, Vietnam, China and Russia, if you can believe it) ... as part of a 'study tour' aimed at bolstering 'service delivery' ". This is reportedly one of many such trips taken by members of the mayoral committee in the past six months (read the whole story here).

We would like to suggest that the mayor GETS REAL and leads a delegation around his own distressed and decaying city. Instead of listening to "experts" in far-flung countries, we suggest that he takes the trouble to listen to the people he is elected and paid to serve. No-one knows the issues better than they do or has a better idea of what is needed to fix the many problems that affect their everyday lives.

We would also like to suggest that President Jacob Zuma GETS REAL and intervenes directly in this situation. Joburg is the country's economic hub and the face South Africa presents to the international investment community. More importantly, millions of people live within the boundaries of the metro, and it simply cannot be allowed to slide into chaos.

Unfortunately, several letters that Joburg Advocacy Group has sent to Mayor Amos Masondo begging him to take action on governance in the city have simply been ignored. A letter sent to the President asking for the same was acknowledged, but then forwarded to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs where, needless to say, it has disappeared into a black hole.

We need the people of the city to take action and to start making their voices heard on this issue. It's only together that we can turn this situation around - and every voice counts.

Please e-mail President Zuma on President@po.gov.za, and ask him to intervene in the crisis of governance in the City of Johannesburg as a matter of urgency. Cut and paste the following text if you'd like to use it:

Dear President Zuma,
JOBURG NEEDS YOU, MR PRESIDENT

As a resident of the City of Johannesburg, I am deeply concerned about the crisis of governance in the city. Daily reports in the newspapers show that it is widespread, and neither the Mayor nor the Premier of Gauteng are responding to calls by the community to address the situation.

I support the campaign being run by the Joburg Advocacy Group (http://jag-sa.blogspot.com/) to call for your urgent assistance.

Johannesburg is the country's economic hub and the face it presents to the international investment community. More importantly, millions of people live within the boundaries of the metro, and it simply cannot be allowed to slide into chaos.

We need your direct intervention, Mr President. Please step up to the plate!

Thank you and kind regards,
[Insert your name]

Do it, folks - DO IT NOW! And join our Facebook Group to become part of the discussion about good governance in the City of Johannesburg.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A River of Filth


The Jukskei/Braamfontein Spruit river system, which originates in the city and runs through both the eastern suburbs and Bruma Lake, should ideally be a safe and healthy body of water that could, amongst other things, be used for neighbourly recreation.

The truth is that the system, which flows on from Bruma Lake through Alexander and on to Hartebeespoort Dam, is a river of filth that is safe for no-one. Worse still, it is one of the main sources of irrigation for 12 000 hectares of agricultural land in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, and joins up with other river systems that cross over into Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Botswana.

The Jukskei is highly polluted with both litter and a wide variety of contaminants, and the results of any routine testing that may be taking place (although this is unlikely to be happening) are not being made public. One of the most significant contaminants is raw sewage, which originates mainly from neglected and abandoned buildings in the city centre.

The Jukskei River Catchment Area Management Forum, which works in the Bruma Lake area, recently tested the E.coli level in the lake itself, and found this to be 2,4 million colony forming units (CFUs)/100ml. In the USA, the standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the recreational use of water resources is 125 CFU/100ml, and no sample should exceed 235 CFU/100ml (source: State of Indiana). Water in which levels are higher than these pose a very real threat to the community, especially in terms of water-borne diseases like cholera.

What is to be done?

Simply put, the community needs to get involved, and needs to work with the relevant government agencies to address this deeply concerning situation.
For our part, we've been privileged to be asked to participate in the WET-Africa (Waterway and Environment Transformation) initiative, a multi-party community-based programme that aims "to restore the critical and endangered rivers of Africa to health from source to sea".
WET-Africa has recently applied for an international grant to fund a major remediation, rehabilitation and community development project along the Jukskei River and, if funding comes through, we'll play a small part in making that happen. Local government, the Green Scorpions, residents' associations, community groups, taxpayers' unions, and interested and affected parties will all be invited to participate in the process, and to share in the knowledge resources that will be generated by the project.
We'll have a response to the funding proposal in early February, and we'll keep you informed of progress right here.
Image courtesy of WET-Africa: Solid waste in the Jukskei after a storm, 15 March 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

AMD - A Business Issue?


We're deeply concerned that the problem of acid mine drainage (AMD), which has been called "the greatest environmental disaster that South Africa has ever faced" is still being treated as a business issue rather than a rights issue, and that a feature on the problem was published in yesterday's Business Times rather than in the main body of the newspaper (see online at http://www.timeslive.co.za/business/article202997.ece).

We've written to the editor of the Sunday Times about this (you can see our letter here), and are working hard to give the people affected by this issue a voice.

Our work is currently focused on (a) trying to set legal precedent in the Constitutional Court that will make it statutory for local, provincial and national government to advise and consult with residents about major environmental threats, and (b) trying to obtain funding for an independent advisory commission to monitor the AMD problem on behalf of the people of the City of Johannesburg and surrounding areas.

Needless to say, this is slow, laborious work, but we're on the case ...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Red Ribbon Campaign Goes National


The Joburg Advocacy Group is proud to be assisting the Kensington community in Johannesburg with the national launch of the Red Ribbon Campaign, which was started in their neighbourhood.
The campaign is a community-based initiative aimed at building safe, happy and peaceful communities from the ground up.
As a visible sign of commitment to this goal, we're asking everyone across the country to tie a red ribbon around a tree or lamppost this festive season, and to commit to doing whatever they can in their own neighbourhoods to build the kind of communities we'd all like to live in.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Keep an eye out for your neighbours; get involved in your local residents' association; help out at a feeding scheme once a week; support your local community security forum; form a block watch; join the neighbourhood clean-up campaign; have tea with the seniors in your local retirement village; start a community veggie garden; call out the Green Scorpions to deal with environmental problems; start a local wildlife watch scheme; report slum landlords; give AIDS orphans a chance to have a normal life; do some shopping for a shut-in; start a youth activity group; report any child, animal or domestic abuse; collect books for your local schools and libraries; start a domestic worker support group; start a skills swap scheme - the list is endless ...

Read more about the campaign, and see the launch media release here.

Freddie Papi and his sons, Israel and Gabriel (Gebi) of Johannesburg's historic Kensington suburb support the Red Ribbon Campaign started in their neighbourhood.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fireworks and Your Rights


Do fireworks seem to get louder and more scary every year? Does the period between that awful old colonial holiday of Guy Fawkes and New Year have you, your children and your terrified pets running for cover? Are you angry that, unlike smoking in public places, the intrusion of fireworks seems to be so poorly regulated?

The truth is that there are a swathe of by-laws in place that regulate the use of fireworks, and if you know your rights, you can exercise them.

Luckily, the city itself has posted comprehensive details of when, where and under what circumstances fireworks can be used on its web site, and you can check out this information here.

According to the by-laws, fireworks may only be used under clearly-defined circumstances on the following days and at the following times:
  • New Year's Eve from 11pm to 1am
  • New Year's Day from 7pm to 10pm
  • Lag b'omer from 7pm to 10pm
  • Chinese New Year from 7pm to 10pm
  • Human Rights Day from 7pm to 10pm
  • Freedom Day from 7pm to 10pm
  • Diwali from 7pm to 10pm
  • Guy Fawkes Day from 7pm to 10pm
  • Christmas Eve from 7pm to 10pm
  • Day of Goodwill from 7pm to 10pm

Also, any person, group or organisation that wishes to hold a fireworks display has to apply for a permit, and this application has to be made available for public commentary and objections. You can check out who's applied for permits by contacting the Chief Fire Officer in your area.

In case of emergencies related to fireworks, call Joburg Emergency Connect on 011 375 5911 or the nationwide emergency response line on 10111.

A FULL COPY OF THE JOBURG METRO EMERGENCY SERVICES BY-LAWS CAN BE FOUND HERE (PDF 1MB).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Please Speak to Us, Mr Mayor


Last week, Joburg Advocacy Group wrote to Mayor Amos Masondo requesting a face-to-face meeting to discuss possible community-based initiatives to address the growing storm over crime and service delivery in the city. We received neither an acknowledgement or a response, and feel this is indicative of the uncaring and unaccountable approach of local government to the people living and working in the country's economic hub.

Read our letter to the Mayor here.
Then write to him at MiddletonB@joburg.org.za and urge him to heed our call. By the way, this e-mail address is for his personal assistant, and was supplied by the Kensington Residents' Association. We can't get a direct e-mail address for the Mayor for love or money ...
Update (21 November, 10:30): Not even a word of acknowledgement from the Mayor's office ...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All You Need to Know About Service Delivery and Your Rights


Poor - or non-existent - service delivery is one of the most pressing problems facing residents in the City of Johannesburg. Some have taken to the streets in protest against this state of affairs, some continue with the thankless task of trying to have their problems resolved through official channels, and some have simply lost faith in the system. Whatever the situation, service delivery is a frequent - and heated - topic of conversation around dinner tables, on the streets, in informal settlements, and over garden walls.

Most residents, from Diepsloot and Midrand in the north to Lenasia and Orange Farm in the south, and from Roodepoort in the west to Alexandra and Kensington in the east, are deeply frustrated, and feel disempowered by an inefficient, uncaring and unaccountable local administration.

What, they plead, is to be done?

Well, here's the official process for logging service delivery complaints, and some of the options open to you if that doesn't work:

1. Log your compliant with Joburg Connect on 011 375 5555 and obtain a reference number (don't laugh - this is the correct first step, and we feel it's important to respect that).

2. If your complaint hasn't been dealt with within 24-48 hours, follow and up and find out what the status is. Keep a record of all complaints and follow-up calls, including dates, times and reference numbers.

3. If that doesn't get you anywhere, refer the problem to your local residents' association (see a full list here).

4. If the association's valiant efforts to help you don't get any results, contact your local ward councillor (click here to find out which ward you fall under and who your councillor is).

5. If that doesn't work (and it's been known to happen ...), report the problem to the new toll-free Presidential Hotline on 17737 (if you're angry enough or the situation is urgent enough, skip steps 3 & 4 and call the hotline straight away).

6. If all else fails, you have two other options: (a) take up the matter with the Minister of Cooperative Development and Traditional Affairs, who is tasked with handling service delivery problems at local level, or (b) withhold the payment of rates for poor service delivery.

About that ...

Firstly, the office of Sicelo Shiceka, the Minister of Cooperative Development and Traditional Affairs, can be reached on 012 326 4478. Letters can also be addressed to the Minister at Private Bag X802, Pretoria, 0001 (unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we haven't been able to obtain an e-mail address).

The Joburg Advocacy Group wrote to President Zuma about the state of service delivery in Johannesburg earlier this year, and that letter has been referred on to the Minister for his attention (click here to read the letter, but please note that the Joburg Rates Boycott campaign mentioned in the text has since been suspended).

Secondly, ratepayers have the legal option of withholding the payment of rates in the case of poor service delivery. This is currently being done in 22 municipalities across the country, mostly by residents' associations affiliated to the National Taxpayers' Union (see the list of towns currently in dispute with municipalities here). The NTU, which represents rates action groups in over 300 municipalities, has a wealth of experience in handling campaigns to withhold rates, and offers all sorts of support for participants.
So, how does a rates campaign work?

The option of withholding rates is one that is available to all ratepayers in the case of the non-delivery of services. The legal principle that allows for this is CONTRACTUS NON ADEMPLETI and, in common law, this allows for one party to a contract to withhold payment if the other party does not deliver goods or services as contracted. And, as we've already mentioned, residents in 22 municipalities across the country are withholding the payment of rates on this basis.

This kind of action is best done as a group, not only for the sake of impact, but to protect participants from retaliation and/or frivolous legal action on the part of the city.

So, if this is a course of action you'd like to consider, either form a community group yourself or join your local residents' association. If you are a paid up member of a ratepayers' association, residents' association or community group that, as a group, chooses to become a member of the NTU, and if each household pays a membership fee of R20 per annum, the NTU will offer free advice and counsel in the case of legal action related to the legitimate withholding of rates for the non-delivery of services.

We believe rates campaigns can be very effective, especially as a means of setting legal precedent, but experience has taught us that they are best undertaken and managed at suburb level rather than at city level. This is because an action like this benefits from the infrastructure already established by residents' associations and, more importantly, residents feel they have more control over the action if it is initiated and managed locally.
That said, we're deeply concerned about how divisive the service delivery issue is, and especially about how divisions often develop along racial lines. For that reason, more than any other, we suggest that frustrated residents use the Presidential Hotline or contact the Minister of Cooperative Development as a first measure before considering a rates action.

On our part , the Joburg Advocacy group will continue to follow up the issue with Minister Shiceka, and we'll report back on our progress here.
But, if you want to get service delivery sorted, you have to get involved too. We need to work together to build a safe, peaceful, efficient and effective urban community, and that's only going to happen if residents and local government work together.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Comment on Improving Government Performance Green Paper


Government has just released a Green Paper entitled "Improving Government Performance", and is asking for comments from the South African public. This is a chance to really have your say.

Check out the document here, and mail your comments to mamothe@po.gov.za in The Presidency.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

All You Need to Know About Acid Mine Drainage


When the issue of toxic water started hitting the headlines earlier this year (see Tide of toxic water poses health risk), we knew we had to look into it. As it turned out, the situation is far more serious than even we could have imagined, and here's what you need to know about it.

In short, the Witwatersrand Mining Basin, which comprises the Western Mining Basin, the Central Mining Basin and the Eastern Mining Basin, is filling up with rainwater and surface runoff as old shafts are being abandoned and are are no longer being pumped out.

This doesn't seem like too much of a problem until you hear that the water is dissolving the cobalt, zinc, arsenic, cadmium and uranium from the exposed rock underground, creating a toxic cocktail that has the pH of battery acid (between 2.2 and 3.6 according to water activist, Mariette Lefferink, and as reported by the Federation for a Sustainable Environment). This is referred to as ACID MINE DRAINAGE or AMD, and it affects surface water, ground water and the soil for thousands of years. It's also RADIOACTIVE.
And, according to an article published in The Citizen on 16 August, "The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has linked long-term exposure to Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) to cancer, skin lesions and mental retardation".

The article also advises that: "The acid water further undermines underground rock formations, and could conceivably cause sinkholes on the N14 or undermine the stability of buildings ... and acid water eating away at underground rock threatens the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site".

Now, here's the thing:

About 11 million people live over this radioactive lake, which is now starting to "decant" or flow to the surface. The Western Mining Basin is currently decanting at a rate of 60 mega litres per day, enough to fill 240 Olympic-sized swimming pools, and the Central Basin is expected to start decanting from a shaft in Benoni in January 2012. Much of the current decant is flowing into rivers and streams, and so onwards through the river system to the rest of the country. Any future decants will do the same.

The immediate plan is to start pumping water from the Western Basin into the Central Basin to stem the current decant on the West Rand, which is really just like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

The next plan is to "reclaim" excess water from the Witwatersrand Mining Basin, and to recover the cost of "purifying" this water by selling it to the Rand Water Board for consumption by the city's residents. But, as respected scientist, Dr Anthony Turton said at a water conference earlier this year, "no water treatment removes 100% of impurities 100% of the time", so how will residents know what is in their drinking water?

Our problem with all of this? No-one is consulting the 11 million people living above the mining basin about how to manage what Dr Turton has referred to as "the single largest environmental crisis South Africa has ever faced".

We understand that the issue of AMD is a legacy issue, but how it is being managed NOW is a governance issue, and we're really concerned that the city has neither formally advised residents of this threat nor put mechanisms in place to consult with them about it.
As we understand it, this is in direct contravention of not one, but several provisions in the constitution.

According to the Bill of Rights, which is enshrined in our constitution, "The state must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights" (Chapter 2, Section 7.2). These rights include:
  • the right to life (Section 7.11)
  • the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being (Section 7.24a)
  • the right to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures (Section 7.24b )
  • the right of access to information held by the state (Section 7.32.1a)
  • the right of access to information that is held by another person and that is required for the exercise or protection of rights (Section7.32.1b)
  • the right to have any dispute that can be resolved by the application of law decided in a fair public hearing before a court or, where appropriate, another independent and impartial tribunal or forum (Section 7.34).

Based on our understanding of these rights, we have applied for funding to test the constitutional responsibility of local government to advise its citizens of environmental threats like this one, and to consult with them on how they should be handled. We also want to test the constitutional rights of citizens to be informed about these threats, and to participate in the decision-making process related to them. It's a long process, but we'll keep you informed.

In the meantime ...

Report any problem with pollution - ESPECIALLY WATER POLLUTION - at Pollution Control.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What Political Parties Have to Say About Service Delivery

The City of Joburg is run by an ANC-dominated council, so the issue of service delivery has a political dimension to it too, and is about more than just roads, streetlights and drains. It's also about holding elected officials accountable to the voters.

Check out what some of the opposition parties have to say about poor service delivery in the country:

COPE - Click through to read the response of the party's parliamentary leader, Mvume Dandala, to this year's State of the Nation address. He concluded his speech by saying: "As we have said many times over, the problem in our country has never been policy. The state of our nation is that of despair when it comes to service delivery". Exactly.

Democratic Alliance - Click through to read a statement in response to recent service delivery protests, in which MP Anthony Trollip says: "The Democratic Alliance is deeply concerned over the wave of service delivery protests that have erupted in municipalities across South Africa, as well as the ANC Government’s response to these protests". We are too ...

IFP - On the IFP's site, click through to Press Statements in the sidebar, and select the statement dated 31 July 2009. Here IFP leader Mongosuthu Buthelezi argues that poor service delivery is a systemic problem, saying that "the only lasting solution to the service delivery crisis will be to re-evaluate the entire local government system and how it operates". We couldn't have said it better ourselves!

Independent Democrats - Click through to read this response to service delivery protests, issued earlier this year, in which ID Gauteng MPL Khosi Mncedane says: "the rate at which service delivery protests are taking place across Gauteng is an indication that local governance has failed, and that an improvement is needed in the monitoring systems which regulate service delivery". Our thoughts exactly ...

UDM - On the UDM's site, click through to Let's TALK in the sidebar and go to Issue 2, which gives an excellent overview of the service delivery issue. UDM leader, Bantu Holomisa, argues that "service delivery isn't simply something that Government does - it is a constitutional imperative"; something that is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. You go, Bantu!

You can also click through to the ANC's latest press statement on the service delivery protests to get an idea of what the party has to say about the issue. National Spokeperson, Jesse Duarte says: "The African National Congress (ANC) has a deep understanding of the seriousness and impact that lack of service delivery has in the lives of the people". Ummnn ... really?

List of Residents' Associations and Community Groups

This is an alphabetical list of all the residents' associations and community groups in the City of Johannesburg that we're aware of. If you of know one that isn't included here, please e-mail us at jag-sa(at)telkomsa.net, and we'll include it with pleasure.

Last updated: 20 May 2012

Bank Road Residents' Association (Bromhof Ext. 23)
e-Mail: Julia_evans@mweb.co.za

Bryanston East Community Forum
e-Mail: admin@becf.co.za

Buccleuch Forum
e-Mail: jimpowell@mweb.co.za

Craigpark Residents' Association
e-Mail: mwpatmac@iafrica.com

Emmarentia Residents' Association
e-Mail: costav@mweb.co.za

Glen Austin Residents' Association
e-Mail: info@glenaustin.co.za

Grant Avenue Community
e-Mail: support@grantavenue.co.za

Houghton Residents' Association
e-Mail: info@houghtonresidents.co.za

Huddle and Environs Anti-Degradation League (HEAD League)
e-Mail: laserson@telkomsa.net

I Love Kensington Association (ILKA)
e-Mail: kensington2094@gmail.com

Jukskei River Catchment Area Management Forum (Jukskei Forum)

LenzInfo (Lenasia)
e-Mail: info@lenzinfo.org.za

Louis Botha Business Association
e-Mail: info@louisbothabusinessassociation.co.za

Mondeor Community Organisation
e-Mail: info@mondeor.co.za

North Riding Estates Property Owners' Association
e-Mail: Kevan Jones kevan@sacia.org.za

Norwood Orchards Residents' Association (NORA)
e-Mail: info@nora.org.za

Orange Grove Residents and Ratepayers Association (OGRA)
e-Mail: orange@telkomsa.net

Our Bezhuidenhout Valley Residents' Association (OBVRA)
e-Mail: our.bezvalley.res@gmail.com

Parkhurst Village Residents' Association
e-Mail: chair@parkhurst.org.za

Parktown North Residents' Association
e-Mail: pnr@mweb.co.za
Paterson Park Precinct Oversight Committee
e-Mail: rchad@telkomsa.net

Queen Street Business Association
e-Mail: info@queenstreet.co.za

Rivonia Valley Residents' Association
e-Mail: info@rvra.co.za

Saxonwold and Parkwood Residents' Association
e-Mail: info@sapra.org.za

Sundowner Residents' Association
e-Mail: chairman@sundowner.org.za

Vorna Valley Residents' Association
e-Mail: vornavalley@gmail.com

About Us | Contact Us

A Fresh Approach to Advocacy in the City of Johannesburg
The Joburg Advocacy Group (JAG) is an independent, non-aligned civil society advocacy group working for best practice governance, social justice and environmental protection in the City of Johannesburg, based on the principles outlined in the Constitution.

The group deals with issues of governance, usually on a per-project basis, both within the Joburg metro and, where appropriate, on a broader basis. We also research and make public a wide range of information of importance and interest to Joburg residents.

Our aim is to take peaceful direct action to address such issues as financial oversight, community security, service delivery and environmental protection. We aim to unite with other community groups around the issues, and to work with both our supporters and all interested and affected parties to find solutions to the problems that affect the everyday lives of people living and working in the metro.

JAG encourages participation and feedback from all residents of the city, as well as from all interested and affected parties regardless of political affiliation - and we advocate for everyone equally. Our work, which is all voluntary, is intended to build a safe, healthy, efficient community that is united in respect for diversity, constitutional democracy and the rule of law.

In summary, it is our aim to unite around the issues rather than to polarise along partisan lines; to work hard to build a safe, clean, well-run city that can be enjoyed and celebrated by all who live in it; and to hold both councillors and city workers accountable to the people they are either elected or employed to serve.

Methodology

Our methodology is:

(a) to empower residents to take peaceful direct action on a number of different issues by informing them of their rights and of the specific channels of action and/or redress available to them;
(b) to provide residents' associations and community groups with issue-specific information for distribution to their members;
(c) to encourage broad-based citizen action to address governance, social justice and environmental issues at local level;
(d) to actively publicise all governance issues and violations in the media;
(e) to enable residents to hold local government to account on the basis of the law; and
(f) to lobby for change within the framework of the law and the spirit of the Constitution.

Contact Us:

Queries about the information on this site may be addressed to jag-sa(at)telkomsa.net.