The Gauteng Province has come up with a bold plan, made of five new Mega City Projects setting out to remake the province’s landscape from one haunted by apartheid era inequalities and inefficiencies into an inclusive urban landscape.
These are in Cullinan, Daggafontein, Goudrand, John Dube and Stinkwater. Each Mega City includes massive infrastructure development with immense residential, commercial, industrial components and social amenities like schools, universities, hospitals and transport hubs.
A report produced by one of the country’s largest property services player, Excellerate, gives an insightful summary of the Gauteng Mega City Projects.
The report notes that the Mega Cities will unlock new opportunities for commercial and industrial property development and investment. “They represent a paradigm shift away from sporadic and uncoordinated developments to purposely planned and developed Mega Cities that are completely self-sufficient in providing for the housing, economic and social needs of the community.”
Here follows brief profiles of the five projects from the report:
Cullinan Mega City
Location: 45km east of Pretoria CBD; 2km from the Cullinan CBD and 4km from the Cullinan Diamond Mine.
Characteristics: Dynamic modern mixed-use new-town development with a range of housing types aimed at a socio-economically stratified market requiring a diverse product mix and unique settlement form. The development includes public facilities, open space and commercial business activities. Walkability and public transport usage will play an important role in the offering. More than 5,000 housing opportunities are expected.
Daggafontein Mega City
Location: Springs; adjacent Edelweiss Extension; 50km east of Johannesburg CBD.
Characteristics: The development includes 17,000 housing units of which 15,511 units will be subsidised. The units, with potential for owners to expand, will be surrounded by parks with open-air training facilities, smart street lights, free access to fibre optic internet connections, free public wi-fi connection, a solar farm as well as medical, retail and education developments.
Goudrand Mega City
Location: Randfontein Road/Main Reef Road (K198); 50km west of Johannesburg CBD.
Size: to be confirmed
Characteristics: The first phase of the development is a mixed-use project comprising of 13,197 housing opportunities, five educational sites, three shopping centre sites, seven crèche sites, eight worship sites, a hospital, a cemetery and municipal sites. The whole development should account for between 20,000 and 25,000 housing opportunities.
John Dube Mega City
Location: Nigel; 65km south-east of Johannesburg CBD.
Characteristics: The aim of the project will be to maximise the unit yield while remaining environmentally sustainable and cost-effective. For the sake of quality space and liveability, a balance will be struck to meet the end-user needs in the light of all project constraints. The development will include public facilities and other amenities with emphasis on non-motorised transport throughout the development. It is anticipated that there will be a mix of visitors and residents, and dynamic movements of people throughout the area during the day, week, and over weekends.
City Stinkwater Mega City
Location: Zandkop Zyn Laagte; Stinkwater; 60km north of Pretoria CBD.
Characteristics: The development will include 9,495 housing units with provision for a wide variety of ownership options as well as business developments, churches, schools, creches and several parks. It is estimated that about 20,000 jobs will be created.
The report notes that “South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world, and this stark reality is particularly evident in Gauteng’s cities and towns.”
Social exclusion, says the report, is underpinned by the spatial composition of most South African cities. “An affluent minority of people is concentrated in centrally located and extremely wealthy nodes close to core economic activities and employment opportunities, while the poorer majority is located far away from economic activities and employment opportunities, usually on the outskirts of cities.
“This is still the unfortunate result of apartheid, a dark time in South Africa’s history that shaped the composition of most cities in the country. A constant collaboration between government, business and civil society is aimed at correcting the spatial inequalities of the past to make the Province, and South Africa, more integrated, productive and sustainable. One such project is the Gauteng Mega City Project.”