Communities invited to give their input on Growth & Development plan for Joburg

By Max Rambau, CORC

ArtwellGardens

Children play on the new astro-turf at Artwell Garden’s Park in Joburg

On Saturday, 13 August 2011 I attended the City of Joburg’s Projects Tour with the MMC for Development Planning and Urban Management, Cllr. Ruby Mathang and the MMC for Housing, Cllr. Dan Bovu.

This projects’ tour was part of the Growth and Development Strategy theme: “Liveable City”.

There was a Press Briefing by both councillors at the City of Joburg Council Chambers before we were moved by bus to two projects. The councillors explained the theme for this week as part of the City’s Growth and Development Strategy.

Cllr. Mathang explained that the City’s Executive Mayor had instructed all the officials and councillors to go to the people and hear what they want and that the growth and development should be designed by them. He said that for the next eight weeks they would, under different themes, be going to the people for inputs into the Growth and Development Strategy draft document.

Cllr. Bovu also reiterated what Mathang had said about involving the people in planning for the city’s growth and development strategy.

After they had finished addressing the media, they allowed for questions.

We then moved by bus to the first project, the Artwell Garden’s Park located between Rissik, De Villiers, Joubert and Plein Streets in the Johannesburg’s CBD. Here the City of Joburg had spent about R4,5 million regenerating the part into a beautiful park. This park is comprised of an ablution facility, astro-turf soccer field, multipurpose courtyard, a children’s play area paved with a safety surface, paving, landscaping, irrigation, fencing, lighting and furniture.

After short speeches by both councillors, the plaque was unveiled to markthe official opening of the park.

We then moved by bus to Berea to the refurbished Casa Mia. Casa Mia was originally a hotel that was built in the 1940’s. It later became an old age home and in 2007 the residents were sent to other homes.

The City of Joburg refurbished the building after it had burnt down. It has now been converted into family units and bachelor units. There are 178 rooms. This project will accommodate and cater for low income groups.

A series of meetings and workshops will be held over the next eight weeks under different themes.