The WozaWork Programme is an innovative Inner City regeneration programme of the Johannesburg Inner City Partnership (JICP) that focuses on employing Inner City residents, making streets and parks cleaner and safer, increasing local business spend and upgrading priority routes along the “Walkable Network”.
The Walkable Network upgrades include walkway and stormwater replacement, pedestrianisation of selected streets, installing street furniture, repairing streetlights, planting trees, installing street and tourism signage, making intersections safer via public art and undertaking “acupuncture projects”. One of these acupuncture projects is creating a music precinct, in partnership with the Downtown Music Hub (DTMH).
WozaWork Programme participants are employed as Urban Rangers and are responsible for tasks such as cleaning streets and stormwater inlets, removing graffiti and illegal posters and stickers, community patrolling, and assisting the public, including tourists, with wayfinding. They also report service delivery issues and damage to municipal infrastructure.
The Programme is funded under the Presidential Employment Stimulus. Funding flows via the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) to the JICP, a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) that has been working closely with the CoJ via a partnership agreement signed in 2016. The JICP was established in 1996, and its mantra is a cleaner, safer, and more welcoming Inner City.
WozaWork ran from March to November 2023 and employed 1137 individuals – 62% youth and 68% women. A total of 879 195 refuse bags were collected, and 116 arrests were facilitated by Urban Ranger. Inner City businesses received R20m in sales from digital shopping vouchers, which were financed from the participants’ wages, excluding their cash receipts. The Programme also seconded a team of Urban Rangers to assist the CoJ with law enforcement in the Inner City.
Unfortunately, the Programme had to be closed out at the end of November 2023 due to funding constraints. The balance of grant funding was however received in February 2024 and WozaWork 2.0 will once again resume with new vigour. It is anticipated that up to 3000 participants will benefit from this new rollout and Inner City businesses will receive approximately R35-million in sales from digital vouchers.
The Programme will be expanded to include maintenance teams who will undertake pothole and pavement repairs to curb painting and landscaping along the Walkable Network.
The WozaWork Programme will once again be implemented in both managed and unmanaged Inner City areas together with Voluntary Management Initiatives (VMIs), the CoJ, SAPS, the CPF, and the Gauteng Provincial Government (Department of Community Safety) who support participant vetting and provide backup for Urban Ranger patrols.
The JICP is a Public Benefit Organization (PBO) that is funded through projects and donations. If you’re looking to make a positive impact on the Inner City, please contact the JICP.