South­ern sub­urbs get R1.95bn hous­ing boost

Pub­lic trans­port and road up­grades on the cards

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ANNA COX

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.

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