Sona Preview: Lanseria smart city still in the pipeline, 4 years later

Around R15-billion will be required to fund the municipal bulk infrastructure required for the new smart city that will be developed in Gauteng’s Lanseria.

This was the response given this week by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya.

New smart city for the precinct

He was responding to questions sent to him by Sunday World on how far the presidency was with establishing this new Lanseria Smart City (LSC).

During his State of the Nation Address (Sona) in 2020, Ramaphosa said a new smart city would be developed in Gauteng’s Lanseria area in the next decade. He said up to 500, 000 people were expected to reside in this new city.

Funding options

The Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) and the Infrastructure Fund are working closely to explore alternative financing options. These are to fund the required municipal bulk infrastructure.

Four years later, Magwenya said the Lanseria area will be home to more than 3 million people.

Magwenya said the planning process for the new smart city was completed in December 2020. He said this was following consultations with property developers and various infrastructure experts.

“The Greater Lanseria master planning process for the New Smart City, which will ultimately be home to over 3.5 million people, was completed in December 2020.

“This included consultative webinars with property developers or large landowners, waste/water/electricity infrastructure experts. Also roads and transport networks, human settlements, social infrastructure leads, and ICT experts,” said Magwenya.

He said the Land Use Rights Transfer contract for privately owned land was signed in September 2022. It’s a contract between the GGDA and Lanseria SEZ Precinct acting as the Lanseria Landowners consortium.

Biggest sanitation infrastructure project 

Magwenya also said Johannesburg Water has undertaken the process of rolling out the Lanseria Regional Water Sanitation Scheme. The scheme is the biggest infrastructure project by the four municipalities for the node.

“The developed Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan indicates that the Regional Sanitation Scheme at Lanseria is an apex project. It’s required to unlock large-scale development in one of the fastest-growing economic nodes in South Africa,” he said.

Magwenya added that in January last year, the GGDA partially deployed the LSC Project Management Office. He said the rest of the technical expertise will be procured through a transaction advisor. The procurement process is currently underway at a bid evaluation stage.

He said the municipal bulk infrastructure required for LSC was costed at about R15-billion. This was done by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) in 2021. It would be rolled out over 10 to 15 years.

Airport expansion project  

Magwenya said the Gauteng Management Agency is also investing over R9.5-billion to expand the network in and around LSC development. This is also to anchor the Lanseria International Airport R2-billion expansion programme.

“The city is not to be an assembly of private, gated developments. But instead it will be assembled according to the principles of perimeter-block development. Generally, four, six, and eight-storey buildings stretch around the street block’s outer perimeter.

“They are looking both out onto the street and inward onto the internal courtyard. These interior courtyards will be more personal and semi-private to those people inhabiting the block. And are to form inner parking lots, gardens, and play lots.

Multi-sector project

“This is a multi-sector project, and each institution involved has a set budget for its deliverables. The Gauteng province has set aside R30-million over three years to establish a project management office within the GGDA,” said Magwenya.

He said the office of the Gauteng premier, Panyaza Lesufi, was mandated to implement the project.

LSC will border various metros

“The envisaged Lanseria Smart City will comprise a cluster of new commercial, industrial, and residential developments in the Lanseria region. They will be bordering Gauteng and the North West Province.

“They will cover areas under the jurisdictions of the City of Johannesburg and the City of Tshwane. Mogale City Local Municipality, and Madibeng Local Municipality will be covered too. The GGDA and Infrastructure Fund are working closely. This in order to explore alternative financing mechanisms to fund the required bulk infrastructure,” he said.

Ramaphosa is scheduled to deliver his eighth Sona on Thursday at 7pm at a joint sitting of parliament at the Cape Town City Hall.

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