4 000 units in Joburg CBD earmarked for student accommodation, SMMEs

Skyline view of Johannesburg. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Skyline view of Johannesburg. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

The city will release 50 to 100 buildings annually for development for mixed-use, low-income commercial and residential properties.

Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said today that he was hoping to deliver at least 4 000 units for student accommodation, small business premises and affordable accommodation through 71 buildings earmarked for the regeneration of the inner city.

Mashaba launched an inner city revitalisation project, “Building New Jozi”, which will see city-owned properties converted into affordable, low-cost housing for residents, while others are converted into commercial spaces for small businesses, entrepreneurs and investors.

He said the city was sensitive to the fact that skills development, employment and SMME development must happen alongside plans to transform the inner city in order to address the unemployment that faces many of its residents. At least 5 000 temporary jobs are earmarked during the construction phase.

“The city is making its property available for the purpose of progressively transforming the inner city into a space where residents can live, work and play,” Mashaba said.

“Unfortunately, the city simply doesn’t have the resources and capacity to bring this vision to fruition alone. It is for this reason I extended an invitation to property developers, funders, professionals and the construction industry to work with the city to redevelop the various precincts of the city.”

Mashaba said the city will start a process of rejuvenating the inner city by redeveloping bad buildings, starting with turning 71 properties into low-cost housing and commercial properties in which rent will cost between R800 and R1 000 a month.

During the launch at the Council Chambers, Mashaba said the city will release 50 to 100 buildings annually for development for mixed-use, low-income commercial and residential properties in the inner city.

Some properties in Hilbrow, which are currently illegally occupied, will be re-developed for mixed use while buildings in Braamfontein are earmarked for low-cost student accommodation. Vacant land south of Joburg CBD, which is currently an informal taxi rank, will be developed for sectional development.

Vacant space in Vrededorp is also earmarked for development of low-cost student accommodation and mixed-use property. Mashaba said the city was looking to cut red tape and make it easier for investors to enter the Joburg CBD, and bring work closer to people’s homes.

“I am excited to by engagements from leading financial institutions such as ABSA Capital, Nedbank, Rand Merchant Bank and Standard Bank for expressing their support and interest in the work we are undertaking,” Mashaba said.

African News Agency (ANA)

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