Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba pictured with some of the developers who will be carrying out construction projects in the inner city. PHOTO: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said he is looking forward to seeing cranes across the inner city within six to eight months when construction on more than 20 developments worth around R20 billion is set to begin.

Mashaba was accompanied by the MMC for Economic Development Leah Knott, and MMC for Development Planning Reuben Masango, as well as City Manager Dr Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni as the Joburg Property Company (JPC) welcomed the group of developers and investors who will realise 24 developments to the Joburg inner city in the coming months.

"The R20 billion expected investment value to come from these developments have significantly invigorated the Inner City Rejuvenation Programme, which started in October 2017 with the release of city-owned properties to the private sector,” said Mashaba.

“This is indeed the biggest number of properties awarded simultaneously in the city’s history. This is also the largest number of mixed-use private sector developments focusing on residential and student accommodation being facilitated by the City at once.”

He said the developments will include mixed use affordable housing, student accommodation and affordable space for SMMEs.

“Today’s celebratory handover of the 24 developments, which consist of 81 properties, is a clear indication that the private sector is regaining confidence in the inner city. In fact, the JPC has never seen interest on such a scale before.

“It is one of this multi-party government’s most important goals to create a business-friendly environment in which economic growth can be sustained. I want business people to return to the inner city and help to create a safe space where people can work, live, and play,” said Mashaba.

Mashaba said in total, the first group of developments is also expected to yield 10,096 jobs opportunities within the city and approximately 6,500 housing units costing between R900 and R4,500 rental per unit per month, excluding utilities.

Though plans are still in the approval phase, it is expected that 1,500 of these will comprise student beds.

The properties are in Johannesburg Central, Yeoville, Berea, Vrededorp, Fairview, Salisbury, Marshalltown, Wolhuter, Turffontein and City and Suburban. With these developments set to commence soon, 27 developments will be under construction at the same time in the inner city.

The successful bidders were Briekfields Housing Company, Milzet Consulting, Nthwese Developments, Pace Group, Instratin Property Developers, Investors and Asset Managers, Phahamo Oliven, Izicwe Consulting Services, JM Corporate Real Estate Solutions and Ryden JV, EGC Properties, and Bayete Capital.

"Through this significant investment by the private sector, change is indeed coming to the inner city," said Mashaba.

African News Agency (ANA)