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

A new city will rise on the banks of the Vaal River.

The first foun­da­tions of the planned Vaal River City, the new “hy­dropo­lis” and en­ter­tain­ment cen­tre in south­ern Gaut­eng, was of­fi­cially laid by David Makhura in May last year when he of­fi­cially an­nounced it.

Vaal River City will be the hub of Gaut­eng’s south­ern de­vel­op­ment cor­ri­dor, the plans for which Makhura out­lined in his state of the prov­ince ad­dress (SOPA) as the cat­a­lyst to un­lock the mas­sive po­ten­tial of the Vaal River as an as­set and to cre­ate a com­pletely new econ­omy for the peo­ple of the Sed­ibeng re­gion.

The pro­ject is part of the Makhura ad­min­is­tra­tion’s in­ter­ven­tion to re­con­fig­ure Gaut­eng’s spa­tial sys­tem as part of its pro­gramme of rad­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion, mod­erni­sa­tion and rein­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion.

The other de­vel­op­ment cor­ri­dors are the cen­tral cor­ri­dor ( Jo­han­nes­burg), north­ern cor­ri­dor (Tsh­wane), east­ern cor­ri­dor (Ekurhu­leni) and western cor­ri­dor (West Rand), which will each have unique in­dus­tries and sec­tors for de­vel­op­ment.

Makhura said in his 2015 SOPA that the pri­vate sec­tor planned to in­vest more than R4 bil­lion in the Vaal River City de­vel­op­ment.

The to­tal de­vel­op­ment, he said, would cost an es­ti­mated R7 bil­lion to R11 bil­lion and was ex­pected to cre­ate 7 500 jobs in the con­struc­tion phase alone.

He said at the of­fi­cial launch in May last year that plans for the new city had been well re­ceived by all rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers in the Sed­ibeng re­gion.

Ac­cord­ing to Makhura, the de­vel­op­ment would give the re­gion’s econ­omy a mas­sive boost.

“This jus­ti­fies our op­ti­mism that Sed­ibeng will never be the same again, and a new eco­nomic node is be­gin­ning to emerge in this part of our prov­ince.”

Makhura said that in ad­di­tion to the de­vel­op­ment plans for the Vaal River City, work was un­der way to max­imise the agri­cul­tural po­ten­tial of the re­gion, with a fo­cus on agri­cul­tural pro­cess­ing.

“Our goal is to make Sed­ibeng the food bas­ket of the Gaut­eng city re­gion.”

He re­quested all stake­hold­ers to sup­port the fu­ture plans.

“We owe it to the peo­ple who died dur­ing the Sharpeville and Boipa­tong mas­sacres, as well as the Se­bo­keng shoot­ing and many other in­ci­dents that placed the Vaal re­gion in the middle of the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle in the 1960s and 1980s.

“There is no room for fail­ure. There is no place for petty squab­bles and in­fight­ing among us. The pro­vin­cial govern­ment and mu­nic­i­pal­ity must do their part to en­sure that the re­birth of Sed­ibeng as a new eco­nomic pow­er­house in south­ern Gaut­eng is a suc­cess.”

Ac­cord­ing to Makhura, the pri­vate sec­tor has al­ready done a lot for the pro­ject by us­ing its own land and re­sources to con­trib­ute to de­vel­op­ments in the area.

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