Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s vision of turning the inner city into a construction zone came to life yesterday, with the release of three city-owned buildings to developers for a makeover.
The refurbishment of these formerly hijacked buildings will cost just over R200 million, creating about 900 jobs.
Speaking during a site visit, Mashaba said the awarding of the tenders to EGC Properties and Brickfield Housing Company, for the redevelopment of Vannin Court and Beaconsfield Court in Hillbrow and the vacant space on Gwigwi Mwrebi Street, Newtown, will ease the city’s housing backlog.
“[It] is conservatively estimated at 300 000 units with an average delivery of only 3 500 housing units per year,” said Mashaba. “This is a reality that frustrates me and this administration and, no doubt, our residents, who look to us to turn this crisis around.”
He said the inner city held great potential and the only way to tap into it was to invest in it.
“This means we need to provide quality, affordable accommodation in areas that are closer to jobs, schools and public transit hubs.”
He said the completion of the projects would see the delivery of about 384 units for mixed-use purposes, including for affordable housing at a maximum rental of R900 per unit a month, excluding municipal services.
“… I am more excited by the fact that soon such occasions will become a regular occurrence as we turn Johannesburg’s inner city into a construction site,” he added.
Mashaba said under previous governments the inner city had been “simply left to rot.”
A Vannin Court tenant who did not want to be named said Mashaba’s visit with the media was a cheap election stunt.