MEGA CITIES TO REVOLUTIONISE HU­MAN SET­TLE­MENTS

Public Sector Manager - - Provincial Focus -

The Gaut­eng Depart­ment of Hu­man Set­tle­ments (GDHS) is im­ple­ment­ing the long awaited mega hu­man set­tle­ments projects, which will yield over 500 000 houses in the prov­ince. This comes af­ter months of plan­ning and rais­ing funds from lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional in­vestors. The Depart­ment has part­nered with a num­ber of de­vel­op­ers to en­sure that this is re­alised. Mega Cities are in line with the fifth ad­min­is­tra­tion of govern­ment as pro­nounced by Gaut­eng Pre­mier, David Makhura dur­ing the 2014 State of the Prov­ince ad­dress when he said: “In the next five to 15 years, we shall turn the tide against the cur­rent spa­tial pat­terns of apartheid in pur­suit of spa­tial trans­for­ma­tion and mod­erni­sa­tion of hu­man set­tle­ments in our prov­ince. “We must in­sist on planned and in­te­grated ur­ban devel­op­ment which will en­able us to build more in­te­grated and sus­tain­able hu­man set­tle­ments and com­mu­ni­ties that are in­clu­sive and di­verse. We shall take rad­i­cal steps to trans­form the spa­tial con­fig­u­ra­tion and land­scape of Gaut­eng prov­ince through bet­ter and co-or­di­nated land use man­age­ment and spa­tial devel­op­ment. We shall work with mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and state-owned en­ter­prises to en­sure that a new built en­vi­ron­ment and in­clu­sive spa­tial land­scape emerges across the Gaut­eng city-region. This will be done through pub­lic trans­port in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment and the cre­ation of new in­te­grated and sus­tain­able hu­man set­tle­ments and post-apartheid cities that are more con­nected, live­able, smart and green. “New post-apartheid cities will be a com­bi­na­tion of mod­ern pub­lic trans­port modes, in­te­grated and sus­tain­able hu­man set­tle­ments that are so­cially and eco­nom­i­cally in­clu­sive and pro­mote ur­ban green devel­op­ment. Par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion will be paid to the West Rand and Sed­ibeng re­gions re­spec­tively, in or­der to re­vi­talise their economies and con­nect them

to the eco­nomic cen­tres of the Gaut­eng city-region. The re­newal of old towns and in­ner-city re­gen­er­a­tion will be a key fo­cus of the provin­cial govern­ment, work­ing to­gether with mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and the pri­vate sec­tor.” Th­ese Mega Cities are guided by the depart­ment’s man­date, which is to en­sure the pro­vi­sion of In­te­grated Sus­tain­able Hu­man Set­tle­ments within a smart Gaut­eng City Region and its vi­sion which aligns with the strate­gic par­a­digm shift away from spo­radic and unco-or­di­nated de­vel­op­ments to pur­posely plan and de­velop Mega Cities that are com­pletely self-suf­fi­cient in pro­vid­ing for the hous­ing, eco­nomic and so­cial needs of the com­mu­nity. Mega Cities are post-apartheid cities that con­sist of more than 10 000 houses of dif­fer­ent ty­polo­gies. The ty­polo­gies in­clude bonded houses, Fi­nanced Linked In­di­vid­ual Sub­sidy Pro­gramme (Flisp) houses, rental stock, and RDP houses. This is done to cater for res­i­dents of dif­fer­ent in­come and also bridge the gap be­tween those who can af­ford and those that are dis­ad­van­taged.

Mega Cities will pro­vide res­i­dents with mixed ten­ure op­tions as the houses will also be avail­able for own­er­ship and rental. Th­ese mixed ty­pol­ogy of houses will have free-stand­ing and multi-story walk-ups, as well as the devel­op­ment of Smart Cities, in­clud­ing but not limited to the im­ple­men­ta­tion and use of gas retic­u­la­tion sys­tems, re­new­able en­ergy, solid waste and waste wa­ter re­cy­cling, along with broad­band In­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity. The Mega Cities also have so­cial ameni­ties such as schools, uni­ver­si­ties, pub­lic trans­port ter­mi­nals, parks, and health­care fa­cil­i­ties, eco­nomic, com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial op­por­tu­ni­ties. The Gaut­eng Depart­ment of Hu­man Set­tle­ments will im­ple­ment a to­tal of 31 Mega Cities. A num­ber of new Mega Cities will be rolled out in this fi­nan­cial year. Th­ese new post-apartheid cities will be im­ple­mented in phased stages in the iden­ti­fied five mega city cor­ri­dors. The cor­ri­dors are: The Cen­tral Cor­ri­dor (Jo­han­nes­burg region), North­ern Cor­ri­dor (Tswane region), South­ern Cor­ri­dor (Sed­ibeng/Vaal region), East­ern Cor­ri­dor (Ekurhu­leni) and West­ern Cor­ri­dor (West Rand region). Through the Mega Cities pro­gramme in the five cor­ri­dors, the Gaut­eng Depart­ment of Hu­man Set­tle­ments aims to build 520 000 hous­ing units al­lo­cated into 140 000 hous­ing units in the Cen­tral Cor­ri­dor; more than 100 000

in the East­ern Cor­ri­dor; more than 160 000 units each in the North­ern and the West­ern Cor­ri­dors and more than 120 000 units in the South­ern Cor­ri­dor by the end of the cur­rent term in 2019. As the Depart­ment rolls out the Mega Cities pro­gramme, which is about build­ing new cities of the fu­ture that will rad­i­cally trans­form how hu­man set­tle­ments are de­liv­ered across all the cor­ri­dors of Gaut­eng, it is go­ing to work with key part­ners to en­sure proper plan­ning for all ser­vices such as wa­ter, san­i­ta­tion, electricity, roads and so­cial ameni­ties. Th­ese part­ners will in­clude: The Depart­ment of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion, Depart­ment of Health, Depart­ment of Roads and Trans­port, Eskom, Rand Wa­ter and pri­vate sec­tor among oth­ers. This is a move away from fo­cus­ing on one pro­ject to a more clus­tered ap­proach in or­der to max­imise out­put in the pro­vi­sion of de­cent houses and im­pact on the erad­i­ca­tion of in­for­mal set­tle­ments. The new cities will pro­mote so­cial, racial, eco­nomic and cul­tural in­te­gra­tion. All the new cities will have ma­jor so­cioe­co­nomic ben­e­fits with re­gard to de­cent em­ploy­ment and eco­nomic in­clu­sion. Mega Cities will pos­i­tively and de­ci­sively im­pact on pri­mary, sec­ondary and top struc­ture con­struc­tion in­fra­struc­ture, as well as house­hold econ­omy. This is ow­ing to the fact that Gaut­eng is the small­est prov­ince in South Africa, but ex­pe­ri­ences high lev­els of in-mi­gra­tion, which means land man­age­ment and use must be more ef­fi­ciently planned. Mega Cities will cre­ate a healthy and vi­brant house­hold econ­omy that will en­sure job op­por­tu­ni­ties are cre­ated closer to places of work, thereby re­duc­ing trav­el­ling costs and will also be close to other so­cial ameni­ties.

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