Herman Mashaba on a tour of filling stations in Soweto. Photo: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – City of Johannesburg executive mayor Herman Mashaba on Wednesday said that investment of over R100 million is expected in Soweto.

On Wednesday Mashaba was joined by the MMC for Economic Development Leah Knott and the Joburg property Company (JPC) on a tour of filling stations in Soweto that will be made available for development, with investment expectations to the tune of over R100 million.

"This is indeed a conservative figure, as investment in one property will affect the growth of businesses surrounding it, in turn uplifting the entire community and creating much-needed jobs. These filling stations can also bring in other services and support other businesses that will make the investment even greater," Mashaba said.

The tour, according to Mashaba, was a preview of both filling stations and mixed-use developments that will soon go out on tender across Joburg and the full prospectus of all these properties that will be made available for development will launch in the coming weeks.

"JPC has identified these properties to be leased in order to address the socio-economic priorities of the City of Johannesburg. These long-term leases will lead to the economic revitalisation of the area, stimulating entrepreneurial development and job creation long into the future," Mashaba said

"Through the release of these City-owned properties, like these filling stations that have gone unused visited today, the City aims to facilitate job creation for the residents of Soweto through investment."

Mashaba encouraged local entrepreneurs to take full advantage of this opportunity to own and manage these businesses and by allowing 50-year leases, local entrepreneurs and SMMEs will be able to approach lending institutions or petroleum companies to fund their businesses.

"With the development of the six filling stations that will go out on tender alone, over 12 000m² will be developed or upgraded and 580 jobs created. In October last year, Council approved the release of these properties as part of this economic revitalisation in Soweto," said Mashaba.

He said he made it clear when the multiparty coalition government took over the administration in 2016, that it would create a business friendly environment that attracts investors and entrepreneurs that lead to the creation of much needed jobs, and ultimately, achieve a five percent economic growth rate by 2021.

"Investment in previously disadvantaged areas like Soweto is key in addressing both spatial inequality and access to economic opportunities for many of our people," Mashaba said.

African News Agency (ANA)