The City of Johannesburg launched the prospectus of 71 properties that have been released to the private sector for development on 14 August, hoping to see cranes operating in the inner city soon.
These buildings are in addition to the 13 other properties which were made available late last year for the purpose of creating affordable housing.
Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba called it a historic moment, ‘because in bringing this plan to life, residents of this City will enjoy the benefits of service delivery that speaks to their needs’.
“It is no secret that the economy is growing at a snail’s pace, this – coupled with high unemployment and ongoing crime – spells a recipe for a disaster,” he said.
“These 71 buildings earmarked for the regeneration of the inner city are expected to deliver at least 4 000 units for student accommodation, small business premises and affordable accommodation for some of our poorest residents.”
The City is making its property available for the purpose of progressively transforming the inner city into a space where residents can live work and play, he said.
An invitation has been extended to the private sector to redevelop the various precincts of the City. The mayor said the City has already received support from leading financial institutions.
But skills development, employment and SMME development will also need to be encouraged alongside granting the 50-year leases. As part of the submission process, developers will be required to set out how many work opportunities are to be generated as part of their bid.
Over 200 key property players met with the City where Mashaba also said 50 to 100 buildings would be released annually for development for mixed-use, low-income commercial and residential properties in the inner city.
“The City has identified about 500 buildings that are either hijacked or abandoned and it is in these properties that we will house our people at affordable monthly rates of between R800 and R1 000.
“We want to bring work closer to home. People shouldn’t have to travel 80kms to get to work or see their children once a month due to lack of low-cost accommodation and affordability, they should have a choice.”
MMC for Economic Development, Leah Knott, said investors would receive incentives in order to make the partnership between the City and the private sector work. These include the establishment of a fast-tracking committee for town-planning issues, urban development zone incentives, rates and taxes holiday during the construction phase and staggered discounted rental and rates incentive for social landlords and the inclusionary housing incentive.
Tenders will be available from 16 August for purchase at the Joburg Property Company’s Office in Braampark. Interested parties have until 30 November to respond.