Southern suburbs get R1.95bn housing boost
Public transport and road upgrades on the cards
HE OLD south of Joburg, declared by many as an area that is dead and buried, is about to become the “newest south”.
These were the words of Joburg mayor Parks Tau at the launch of a R1.95 billion mixedhousing project in the South Hills and Moffat View suburbs that will see 5 327 housing units being built so that people can live closer to the inner city.
The project is 6km from the CBD and close to Linmeyer, Regents Park and The Hill.
It is being constructed as part of the city’s so-called corridors of freedom, aimed at reviving inner-city suburbs and allowing people to live closer to work, public transport and leisure opportunities.
The 199 hectares of land to be built on will be called South Hills and will include fully subsidised units, social, rental, gap and affordable housing. In addition, the project will have two new schools, crèches, churches and parks.
The existing public swimming pool and park are to be revamped.
“This project is about driving transformation and looking
Tat closer integration of the different historic communities, for the benefit of the residents who reside in these parts of the city. It will also make provision for all types of housing. “We have set aside 50 stands as a pilot project for people who have a little money saved and who have the skills, capacity and knowledge to build their own homes, and all they need is land. We, as the city, will bring our resources, and together we will assist them to build their houses – we will build houses together,” Tau said.
Older residents who had lived in the area for many years should not be concerned about the value of their properties, he said. The new development would increase their property values, because all land along public transport and development routes would be given additional rights to increase density on their properties.
“This, added to the massive improvement in infrastructure, will be of huge benefit to these residents who, instead of being ordinary property owners, could become property developers and make a lot of money,” the mayor added.
South Hills will take about six years to complete. The city will invest R750m in the form of grants and subsidies between now and 2020.
There will be 2 242 fully subsidised housing units, 1 560 social, finance-linked individual-subsidy programme houses and gap-housing units, as well as 1 525 freehold homes.
However, residents in these southern suburbs have been warned that they will suffer some inconvenience over the next few years as roads and intersections are upgraded and extended to connect suburbs.
Major infrastructure upgrading will also be done on the sewerage and water supply.
About 100 hectares will be left intact and developed into further park and recreation facilities.
The project is being done in collaboration with Standard Bank and Calgro. Kenny Fihla, global head of client coverage at Standard Bank, said the development was a good example of how banks can partner with municipalities and developers to provide more affordable housing opportunities in residential neighbourhoods closer to the inner city.
“We believe this project will go a long way in changing the face of suburban living spaces to the south of the city centre,” he said.
SUBURBAN RENEWAL: An artist’s impression of the South Hills development.