Inclusive development way to go for Jozi

Property owners, developers and residents have given the City of Johannesburg’s Spatial Development Framework (SDF) 2040 a thumbs up during a meeting on July 25.

According to the city’s communication specialist, Dudu Lushaba, the SDF 2040 and the nodal review were presented by officials of the City’s Development Planning Department.

“The plan involves refining the nodal areas in the SDF where the city will promote higher intensity commercial and residential development. The work to date is based on current infrastructure in the city which includes schools, clinics, public transit stations, open public spaces and jobs,” said Lushaba.

She said areas with better access to these amenities are highlighted as areas for higher intensity development.

“This is part and parcel of the SDF, which looks to create a more sustainable, equitable and efficient urban form of Johannesburg.”

“The plan also considers the construction of stations for the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system and the expansion of Metrobus routes in the medium to long term.The nodal review is intended to solicit inputs from the public to assist the city to define new nodes, re-rationalise allowable densities and hold discussions on the implications of the existing plans,” she said.

Andrew Barker of iProp, a property development company, said the city must ensure that the SDF grand plan is inclusive of peripheral locations to help integrate areas that had been historically neglected.

Barker said failure by the apartheid administration to employ all-inclusive plans will created inequalities, especially in predominantly black areas.

“There are certain areas in the city that have no services. There are areas that do not have schools and do not have open spaces because, back then, planning control was non-existent,” he said.

“We still have developments that are being undertaken without looking at the whole picture plan of developing the city. We need to find a way of bringing services and infrastructure to such areas to avoid having everyone move from their areas in the search for services elsewhere. If we do not resolve this problem now, we will be sitting with it for the next 50 years,” Barker said.

Chairperson of Chartwell Country Estates, Ben Jowitt, said the community does not have a problem with the development but would like to see it being sustainable within the framework of what is already in place.

“If we do not follow all the rules and regulations, all of these plans will come to nothing. If property developers are allowed to do whatever they want, and are not being managed correctly, then this is a waste of time. We also believe that homeowner associations need a forum that will enable them to engage with the city and relevant departments in order to share information. This is because there is a lot of information that is not filtering down to associations.”

Monyake Moteane, the City’s Senior Planning Specialist, said the SDF was a plan for the entire city that had been broken down into seven regional plans called Regional Spatial Development Plan (RSDFs).

RSDFs had further been broken down into various functional areas that focus on smaller central business districts within the city.

“Each of these plans will have a series of projects to enable the city to function as an efficient metropolis,” Moteane said.

The nodal review is expected to be concluded by the end of 2017.

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Mbavhalelo Malofha

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