Alliance discusses Growth and Development Strategy with City of Johannesburg

By Max Rambau, CORC

On Thursday, 4 August 2011 I attended a meeting that was called by the City of Johannesburg to discuss its Growth and Development Strategy 2040 (GDS 2040). This meeting was held at the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens (Zoo).

The keynote address was given by Councillor Dan Bovu (MMC for Housing). He welcomed everybody. He said that the Planning Department of the City of Johannesburg must take a lead in the development of the city. He said that the city, in 30 years’ time must look completely different.

He challenged universities and other institutions to help the municipality in planning for the future.

He went on to challenge the participants to also assist in refining the Growth and Development Strategy 2040, so that it is a strategy that has the input of all stakeholders. He said that there were documents like the Freedom Charter, which, according to him, was a living document whose ideals must be realized. He said that the strategy document must take into consideration that Johannesburg is a young city of 120 years. He said that this city was not inhabited before the discovery of gold, and therefore all the people in it have their origins elsewhere. It was first populated by immigrants.

A presentation was then given by Walter Melato (Executive Director: Housing). He touched on the following issues:

  • GDS Context & Livable City
  • Planning Context
  • Housing Context
  • Community Development Context

After the presentation, participants (stakeholders) gave their input. Among the inputs of the participants was the issue of housing relating to rental stock and ownership. It was suggested that the City of Johannesburg, in its growth path must consider different options because not all people would want to own houses, they would prefer to rent because they have homes in other parts of the country. Also, the issue of continuing to build townships instead of integrating suburbs together with townships is like continuing with separate development. The inner-city housing should also be given attention.

It was agreed that issues relating to planning would be discussed in the next meeting.

The conference to finalise GDS 2040 will be held in October 2011.