City rolls up sleeves, crafts Joburg’s new future

Johannesburg- The City of Joburg will unveil key pilot projects in line with the country’s district development model (DDM) that ensures all spheres of government work together for strategically focused long-term service delivery plans in metros and district municipalities.

The launch of the City’s programme, which is known as the Metro One Plan, focuses on high-priority investment areas with clear envisaged outcomes and spatial opportunities as outlined in the Johannesburg spatial development framework.

Orange Farm, Kliptown, Ivory Park and the Lanseria Smart City, which is a presidential initiative, have been identified by the One Plan as priority investment areas.

Orange Farm is the biggest and most populous informal settlement in the country but is also one of the most economically marginalised.

Several projects have already been identified and are already rolling out. These include the tarring and upgrading of gravel roads, public lighting, converting open drains to an underground storm-water system and updating the urban development framework.

A public transport facility including loading bays, ablution facilities, a taxi holding area, trader stalls, a public forecourt and security offices will also be built.

Incomplete housing projects and new housing developments in Orange Farm also form part of our City’s One Plan, as many homes are still galvanised iron shacks.

In Kliptown, there will also be upgrades to water, sewer and storm-water systems, early childhood development centres and building gender-based violence centres.

In Ivory Park and its surrounding areas, there will be sewer and water upgrades, the tarring of roads and a new housing development.

In 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa outlined the new post-apartheid city for Lanseria that will become home to about 500 000 people by 2030.

There has already been movement on Lanseria, which was recently gazetted a strategic integrated project under the Infrastructure and Development Act. Also, memorandums of understanding will be entered into with strategic partners.

In addition to the above, other projects are rolling out to improve people’s lives in Africa’s leading commercial city.

Generally, the main areas of focus in our DDM One Plan for Johannesburg fall on high population concentration, where the need for rapid but well-planned urban development is greatest.

The areas of focus mainly comprise low-income and informal settlements and a highly fragmented spatial legacy. They also have poor connectivity to urban centres as there are limited transport options, they are situated far away from economic centres and have few principal or secondary sub-centres in the surrounding regions.

The City of Joburg, which comprises seven districts, is the first of the three metros and two district municipalities in Gauteng that will launch its One Plan. The plan includes a combination of local, provincial and national projects.

Already our City and the province have involved some social partners, who are supporting the pilot projects, and advanced discussions are happening with stakeholders and will continue throughout the lifespan of the DDM, which aims to ensure that implementation continues over the next 20 to 30 years.

To ensure we avoid a silo approach in implementing the various One Plans, the City is already capturing data on a geographic information system-based tracking tool for the province, which so far includes 380 long-term projects for Gauteng. Also, a dashboard is being developed that allows users to view the phases of projects.

The dashboard will show us which projects are in their planning phases and which are being implemented, what commitments have been met and eventually the monetary value of each project. This dashboard will serve as a smart GIS-based tool for the implementation of the DDM One Plans.

This is only the beginning for the new future of the City of Johannesburg, defined by innovative and human-focused spatial planning, building safe and prosperous communities, sustainable living, working, and communal spaces, and a thriving economy.

  • Ebrahim is acting group head of strategy, policy coordination and relations in the City of Joburg.

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