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Note to editors: the following speech was delivered by City of Cape Town Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, at the 2017 Mayoral Awards held at the Cape Town Stadium last night, 1 July 2017.

It is truly my pleasure to be with you all tonight as we celebrate the people who make Cape Town the great city that it is.

We are here tonight to say thank you, baie dankie, enkosi, shukran to all of you and give recognition to the people who have been part of steering the city onto a new course of action and a team of people who have exemplified what we mean when we speak of about dedicated servant leadership.

Whether you win an award or not, you are all valued.

Without you all and the rest of the staff members who make up the 27 000-strong team, we could not do what we do and that is to build a leading African city.

Cape Town has year-on-year proven itself to not only be the best-run metro in the country and the only municipality to achieve a clean audit for the 2015/16 financial year, but I am pleased to share that the world is really starting to see Cape Town as a worthy contender on the global stage in a range of issues – whether it is tourism, business, or addressing environmental and social issues.

Cape Town is making its mark, but as I always say, there is so much more work to be done. We cannot become complacent or arrogant with position or power.

While we celebrate your successes tonight, we need to revel in that moment for a while and then we must continue getting on with taking Cape Town to the next level.
I would like to highlight some of the global awards we won this past year.

In Germany, we won a gold award in recognition of the quality of the Project Portfolio Management (PPM) in the SAP Quality Awards 2017 for the Africa Market Unit. Our PPM Programme is a key system which facilitates upfront planning while measuring and monitoring the progress of our plans and projects. The PPM Programme ensures alignment between the City’s strategic objectives, good governance practices, planning and delivery of projects. This award meant that we received the validation that our systems are of an international standard.

In December, Cape Town was also ranked 21st on a global list for our foreign direct investment strategy. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Intelligence, a division of the Financial Times, listed Cape Town as one of the top cities worldwide in their Global Cities of the Future winners 2016/17 for FDI strategy. Cape Town was the only African city to be ranked on this global ranking.

In May 2017, the City’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Strategy won the International Public Transport Strategy Award at the UITP World Summit in Montreal, Canada. Cape Town’s TOD Strategy beat other shortlisted cities in India and Russia to claim this top prize, giving us global recognition for our public transport and urban mobility strategy.

On Friday, we also just received the news that our Transport and Urban Development Commissioner, Melissa Whitehead, won the Women in Transport Award in the Transport Africa Awards. The award recognises the contribution of women to the improvement, administration, financing and governance of transportation in their respective countries and cities. This award is important to the City of Cape Town in that over the past five-and-a-half years, there has been substantial transformation and related investment in building an integrated transport agenda for Cape Town.

This includes the transformation in the governance and related infrastructure and systems – all of which was administratively spearheaded by Melissa Whitehead. We congratulate Ms Whitehead and we know that our transport plans will lead many transformative programmes in Cape Town as we escalate our efforts to redress the imbalances of the past and reverse the legacy of apartheid.

We have claimed many top awards and the leadership in the City are extremely grateful for the efforts which led to this but we cannot rest. We have to push the boundaries and reach our true potential.

We are leading a shift in the organisation where each one of us understands that no matter what you job is in the City, our collective role in this city is to serve the people of Cape Town to the best of our ability and to give each person a better living experience in this beautiful place we call home.

We are just a year short of the official start of the implementation of the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP). The ODTP is about taking the City to the next level and indeed local government.

ODTP simply means doing our best because the people of Cape Town deserve only the best.

You have all done exceptional work and many of you might not ever have heard that ‘thank you’.

Some of you may never get an acknowledgment or an award and I know there are people who work long hours, hours over weekends, and sometimes it feels thankless.

The truth is that is what servant leadership is. It is not for the faint-hearted. It is about doing all you can with integrity to get the job done and going beyond the call of duty.

A few years ago we conducted the Siyamamela (we are listening) survey and it wasn’t done for the sake of saying we did it. It was done so that we could know what we need to do to make sure that our greatest asset, the staff members, are satisfied. We received feedback from the survey which found that staff felt as if they weren’t being acknowledged for their achievements and so the Mayoral Awards was initiated.

We are now in the third edition of the Mayoral Awards and this year we received nearly double the number of nominations compared with last year’s awards, with 85 nominations and a total of 503 employees nominated.

There are many years of service among the staff members we are honouring tonight, with 26 of the nominees having between 30 and 38 years of service with the City.

This year we changed the awards to reflect the principles of the ODTP. I am proud to name these winners and congratulate them on a job well done:
• Outstanding Service to the Community – Winner: Jacobus Gelant: He was nominated by his superiors after an action-packed year that saw him defusing a situation on Muizenberg beach where about 50 rival gang members became embroiled in a fight. Officer Gelant successfully prevented serious injuries from occurring at the beach, which was full of innocent bystanders. He went on to make at least 31 arrests during the year, including apprehending two would-be hijackers who tried to attack two women along the Borcherds Quarry bridge on 29 July 2016
• The Customer Care Award – Winner: The MyCiTi Operations team: They went beyond the call of duty on 26 November 2016 by putting in place a plan to rescue 500 Metrorail passengers who were stranded at Cape Town station due to vandalism on the central line to Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain. The MyCiTi Operations team sprang into action when Metrorail requested their assistance despite them being off duty. Within minutes, the team devised a plan and worked tirelessly to arrange the necessary buses. By 22:00, just after an hour of the alarm being raised, the first bus was already loading passengers. The team worked together and by 23:45 the last of the stranded passengers were happily on their way home
• Customer Innovation (Internal customers) – Winner: SAP Portfolio Project Management Systems team: With the increase in the number of complex and interdependent projects, a need was identified in relation to Project Portfolio Management (PPM) processes and practices to improve the planning, selection and execution of capital projects with a view to improving the City’s integrated planning, strategy execution and capital expenditure. In response to this, a corporate integrated capital projects planning process and system was developed to enable better long-term planning, improve capital expenditure, and the effective allocation of resources to projects, thereby improving delivery. The internal PPM project was an innovative first in local government in South Africa, which entailed a holistic multi-disciplinary approach to the design, implementation, and support of capital projects from a people, process and technology perspective
• Customer Innovation (External customers) – Winner: Oliver Wentley: In 2013, government’s Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC) resolved to use innovative building materials – broadly defined as unconventional building materials, not covered by the national building standards – for 60% of all social infrastructure buildings such as schools, early childhood centres, clinics and student residences by 2017. Oliver Wentley was the project manager for the development of the new Delft Early Childhood Development Centre and this was the first time that the City of Cape Town has integrated alternative and unconventional building methods for the construction of a public building. It also embodies a major shift in the City’s mind-set towards a sustainable future and a greener economy, and this kind of leadership from a local government level is expected to have significant positive knock-on effects in the rest of the country
• Best Depot – Winner: Solid Waste Management Cleansing Team – Atlantic Area: The staff of the CBD Cleansing Depot –Atlantic Area, are responsible for cleaning the entire CBD central area, including Top- and Lower Main Roads from 12:00 to 20:00 daily. They are required to maintain a high cleansing standard to keep the environment healthy and clean. They often have to deal with surprise situations, such as marches to parliament, which often result in the accumulation of dirt and rubbish around the CBD. They always ensure that the CBD is clean after all major events, such as concerts and festivals, so that by the time members of the public come into town, it is spotlessly clean. The employees of this depot provide customer satisfaction by being highly motivated, well-disciplined and taking responsibility for the services they deliver to the community
• Best Team – Winner: Engineering and Asset Management Branch: The City’s Water and Sanitation Engineering and Asset Management Branch made history by becoming the first municipal branch within the City of Cape Town to receive three internationally recognised certificates for its integrated management systems. These include: International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) certificates for ISO 9001, ISO 4001 as well as the Occupational Health and Safety Standard (OHSAS) 18001. The successful certification would not have been possible without the support and commitment of all the Engineering and Asset Management (EAM) staff. The EAM branch was also awarded the runner-up for productivity, SA National Award, in the Public Sector category, after winning the Provincial Gold Award in the same category

The awards criteria incorporated the five ODTP values and the focus on customer-centricity to celebrate the employees’ exceptional achievements and the manner in which they embraced the values of the ODTP.

All employees were nominated by colleagues as their work reflected that they embraced the ODTP values and that they have made an impact on the community by providing outstanding service and setting the example of what a customer-centric culture looks like.

The five ODTP values are integrity, trust, accessibility, service excellence and accountability.

We have done great work but we must remember that there are still many disadvantaged communities where we have much more work to do to fulfill our commitment to them.

With the ODTP, residents must feel that we are becoming a city administration that is more responsive, more proactive, and more customer-centric.

Residents must know we are engaging, we are listening, and we are not dictating to them what can and can’t be done. We are taking hands and working with them to find solutions and make progress possible together.

Let us continue to strive to serve the people of Cape Town with distinction.

Let us get on with building a Cape Town that present and future generations thank us for and which the world looks to as an iconic and progressive city.

Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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