Aug 05, 2014

As part of its quest to make Johannesburg a sustainable, liveable and resilient city, City of Johannesburg executive mayor Parks Tau says through its capital investment programmes, it is hoping to partner with property entrepreneurs to ensure that there is adequate housing to drive the city’s mandate to create Corridors of Freedom.

PrintIn May last year, Tau said that adoption of the concept of Corridors of Freedom is aimed at transforming entrenched settlement patterns, which have shunted the majority of residents to the outskirts of the city, away from economic opportunities and access to jobs and growth. He added that these corridors consist of well-planned transport arteries, with an emphasis on mixed-use living, noting that high-density accommodation will be interspersed with office complexes, shops, leisure and recreation infrastructure.

 Addressing property entrepreneurs at the Gauteng Partnership Fund (GPF) property entrepreneurs’ seminar on June 4, Tau relayed that the City of Johannesburg is planning to invest in ageing infrastructure; previously disadvantaged communities in impoverished townships to ensure access to services and infrastructure in housing, water and electricity; and economic infrastructure, which will enhance the economy of the city in ways that target development and expansion of the city.

“With sustainable human settlement being one of our pillars to drive capital investment and the Corridors of Freedom, we will be spending about 10% of our budget this year to drive this change by investing into housing projects run by property investors. We are also hoping to form partnerships with the GPF in order to ensure that the mandate is realised,” said Tau.

GPF CEO Boni Muvevi also indicated during the seminar that GPF’s purpose for this seminar was to make entrepreneurs aware of various funding that is available to promote property development in Gauteng. He noted that running such a seminar allowed face-to-face interaction between property entrepreneurs and possible funders, as the seminar allowed different funding bodies that work with the GPF to present ways in which property entrepreneurs could be funded.

“We also specifically asked the mayor to address us during this seminar because we know he is on a drive to facilitate economic activity within Gauteng and promote strategies that present opportunities to property entrepreneurs,” he highlighted.

Tau emphasised that as part of its framework to improve the state of living in Johannesburg, the City of Johannesburg will give particular attention to economic activities and sectors that will position Johannesburg as a global city of the future, a ‘city at work’ that will incorporate innovative small businesses and deliver sustainable jobs as well as deracialise the economy.

Also speaking at the seminar were representatives from the National Housing Finance Corporation, Trust for Urban Housing Finance and Affordable Housing Company, which gave insight into how property entrepreneurs could access funding.

By: Zandile Mavuso 

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