The JICP appoints Mpolai Nkopane as CEO

The Johannesburg Inner City Partnership would like to extend a very warm welcome to the new CEO, Ms Mpolai Nkopane.

Mpolai brings with her a wealth of experience and expertise in the fields of social development, strategy development, project management, systems development and organisational management.

In her previous job as Head of Development and subsequently Acting CEO at the Johannesburg Social Housing Company (JOSHCO), Mpolai constantly walked the Inner City looking for buildings to purchase for the purpose of renovating and converting into social housing units.

“What always struck me, and struck me hard was the bad state of not only buildings, but the Inner City at large, in terms of amenities, crime, traffic and the general state of muckiness of the City. I always thought that the Inner City needed a concerted and comprehensive approach in order to be properly rejuvenated. In my official capacity, I was always part of conversations within the City of Johannesburg to clean up and change the state of the city.

When I was offered an opportunity to apply for the position of CEO of the Inner City Partnership, it meant I could contribute to the work already being done to revitalise the City.   I am thrilled to have been offered the position, as it means I can contribute to this important cause.” Mpolai Nkopane.

The board members and inner city stakeholders wish Mpolai all the best in her new role as CEO.

About the JICP

The JICP has spent the past two years building a foundation for all the Inner City private sector stakeholders to forge closer working relationships with the City of Johannesburg (CoJ).

The support of COJ has extended to full council approving the JICP’s Terms of Reference, which in turn ensures a structured relationship between COJ and the private sector, as outlined in the Inner City Regeneration Road map. Strong support has been given to the partnership by the Executive Mayor, members of the Mayoral Committee and many senior officials, noticeably MMC Ngobeni and Thabo Maisela.

The JICP and COJ have already signed MOUs with the Department of Environment Infrastructure and the Department of Social Development, enabling ease of partnership development.  An MOU with the department of Health and Community Development is scheduled to be signed at the next Partnership meeting.

The work facilitated by the JICP has been made possible with the financial support of Standard Bank , ABSA, First National Bank, TUHF, AFHCO, The Johannesburg Land Company, The Chamber of Mines, Redefine Properties, Cityprop, Jozihousing and J-Prop.

Continuing in the role as an incubator, advocator, enabler and initiator” the JICP has;

  • Strengthened its relationship with tertiary institutions, noticeably WITS and UJ.
  • Continued to facilitate The Johannesburg CID Forum, which is now a thriving collaborative association of the Johannesburg communities engaged in voluntary urban management initiatives partnering with the local authority in the management of their “Place”. This voluntary association has become a founder member of the Association of Managed Precincts SA, and is currently working through AMPSA to network, share best practice, engage with other associate organisations and National government on raising awareness and professionalism of those involved in Urban Management in both the private and public sector.
  • Supported the Johannesburg Heritage Register, led by James Ball, in building the website in strong collaboration with other Heritage organisations and with CoJ.
  • Facilitated the Urban Agriculture Initiative led by Dr Michael Magondo of WIBC which partners CoJ, the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD), SEDA, UJ, JPOMA, AFHCO, and many other Inner City stakeholders. This project is an extraordinary example of successful collaboration leading to job creation, small business development, food sustainability education and practice.
  • Supported the CoJ submission to the International Horizon 20/20, City Agriculture Tools for Sustainability (CACTUS) project led by Nickey Janse van Rensburg, of the University of Johannesburg with support from the Urban Agriculture Initiative team.
  • Appointed Tanya Zack to deliver a critical piece of research on Cross Border Shopping led by AFHCO, together with many Inner City stakeholders, including but not limited to, Jozihousing, JHC and TUHF.

Going forward the JICP wishes to collaborate across a wide range of Inner City sectoral interests.   The JICP will seek out organisations in order to support work in areas such as homelessness, access to information, the provision of low cost housing, community development, business attraction and retention, job creation and skills development. This approach will not only benefit the Johannesburg and the Inner City, but South Africa as a whole.

Mpolai is interviewed by Reuters on the Urban Agriculture Initiative.