In­te­grated res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments bring the poor nearer to work

CityPress - - Gauteng State Of The Province - LLEWE­LYN PRINCE projects@city­

A mas­sive hous­ing de­vel­op­ment in the heart of Marabas­tad near the Pre­to­ria CBD will in fu­ture make it pos­si­ble for the poor­est res­i­dents of Tsh­wane to live closer to eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties, their work­places and pub­lic trans­port net­works.

The Town­lands Vil­lage de­vel­op­ment is one of sev­eral ma­jor hous­ing projects to be built in Gaut­eng as part of part­ner­ships be­tween na­tional, pro­vin­cial and lo­cal gov­ern­ments.

Gaut­eng premier David Makhura said in his state of the prov­ince ad­dress (SOPA) last year that such projects were among the key el­e­ments of rad­i­cal eco­nomic and spa­tial trans­for­ma­tion that would help the prov­ince to cope with the legacy of apartheid in terms of town plan­ning and, in the process, in­te­grate eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties, trans­port cor­ri­dors and res­i­den­tial ar­eas.

Tsh­wane ex­ec­u­tive mayor Kgosientso Ramok­gopa launched the Town­lands Vil­lage de­vel­op­ment in Marabas­tad last Tues­day.

This is the first large-scale so­cial hous­ing de­vel­op­ment pro­ject in Tsh­wane and will con­sist of 900 low- and medium-cost hous­ing units of var­i­ous sizes.

The de­vel­op­ment will cover sev­eral thou­sand hectares and cost about R405 mil­lion to build.

Pre­to­ria res­i­dents who earn be­tween R2 500 and R7 500 per month will qual­ify to rent the units.

Ramok­gopa said at the launch that the de­vel­op­ment was a ma­jor mile­stone in the city coun­cil’s ob­jec­tives.

“The painful truth is that poor peo­ple spend 70% of their in­come just on trans­port. Ef­fi­cient spa­tial re­con­fig­u­ra­tion will en­sure that we break this trend. Ten­ants of Town­lands will be brought closer to eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties, their work­places, pub­lic trans­port net­works, shop­ping cen­tres and sev­eral other ameni­ties. This will en­able them to spend their hard­earned cash bet­ter.”

Ac­cord­ing to Ramok­gopa, the pro­ject will also serve as a cat­a­lyst for the re­newal of the Marabas­tad en­vi­ron­ment and be part of the big pic­ture to re­store the area to its for­mer glory.

Makhura said in his SOPA last year that, in its quest for rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion, his ad­min­is­tra­tion would carry out three macro-in­ter­ven­tions, namely spa­tial re­con­fig­u­ra­tion, the revitalisation of town­ship economies and mas­sive in­fra­struc­ture projects.

Th­ese would be done in co­op­er­a­tion with mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and the pri­vate sec­tor to change the res­i­den­tial ar­eas and struc­ture of the econ­omy of Gaut­eng and to ad­dress, in­ter alia, un­em­ploy­ment, poverty and in­equal­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to Makhura, it was es­pe­cially im­por­tant that res­i­den­tial ar­eas be trans­formed and re­con­fig­ured be­cause apartheid’s ur­ban ge­og­ra­phy and spa­tial in­equal­ity was still con­tribut­ing to the in­creased liv­ing costs of those on the edges of cities.

Makhura then promised that the in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment and in­vest­ment pro­grammes would be co­or­di­nated by the Gaut­eng In­fra­struc­ture Co­or­di­na­tion Com­mis­sion, of which he is chair­man.

It will con­sist of all the may­ors of the prov­ince to en­sure speedy de­ci­sion mak­ing to sup­port the new spa­tial-de­vel­op­ment per­spec­tive of all five de­vel­op­ment cor­ri­dors in the prov­ince.

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