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.