The City of Johannesburg says a proposal for the city to introduce a 24-hour working day would bring many economic benefits – but said residents should not expect changes to happen overnight. the following day.
Speaking to ENCA, Johannesburg City Spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said no formal plan to effect the change had been drawn up and the city would need at least six months to flesh out the details of the proposal.
Only once a clear plan has been drawn up can the city move forward and engage with Johannesburg’s various communities, he said.
The city held an engagement session earlier in June, through which members from the real estate, investment and business sectors proposed a 24-hour workday to unlock endless opportunities for efficiency , growth and employment in the city.
In the proposed system, Johannesburg would be inspired by other first world cities such as New York, Buenos Aires or Tokyo which benefit significantly from a night economy. Residents and tourists in these cities enjoy cafes, supermarkets, cinemas, gyms, public transport and other services that are open 24 hours a day.
This would not only stimulate economic activity in the city, but also help deal with the growing unemployment crisis, by introducing a full second work shift which would require more employees to manage.
However, reaction to the proposal has been met with skepticism by residents, who cite crime and the wider South African energy crisis as major stumbling blocks.
Modingoane acknowledged these responses, saying all stakeholders – particularly from the safety and security and energy sectors – should be invited to participate in the discussion around a 24-hour work cycle.
“Earlier this year we held an energy indaba – this indaba looked at other innovative ways to try to be less dependent on the Eskom grid. These discussions are continuing alongside this new idea,” he said.
“Some of these ideas, we’ve started to unpack them – what’s doable? What are quick wins? »
He said the city operates on an integrated planning model that spans five years, but can be revised. He suggested the city could consider rolling out plans in specific neighborhoods, which could be modified quickly to change the way business is done in the city.
“A neighborhood that has 24-hour business operations may need 24-hour waste management services, etc. The Public Security MMC will have to come up with a plan that responds to these processes,” Modingoane said.
However, he stressed that the city’s top priority is to “lay the groundwork in place” and be a business-friendly city that helps create jobs. The proposed 24-hour work plan could be one of them.
The process now involves bringing in other managers in their respective departments to see how business operations can change, he said.
Read: Joburg wants to introduce a 24-hour working day to boost jobs and economic growth