JDA upgrades to prioritise Sol Plaatjie, Kliptown and Diepsloot


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The JDA’s business plan for 2013/14 prioritises developing these strategic nodes in marginalised areas.

These selected areas focus on neighbourhoods with large residential populations of mostly poor people. The intention is to develop sustainable economic hubs in order to shift jobs and economic opportunities closer to where poor people live, and to develop public amenities such as public spaces, parks, clinics, libraries and provide easy access to affordable public transport facilities.

The medium-term implementation timeframe (2013/14 to 2015/16) is guided by the City of Johannesburg's Growth Management Strategy and the Gauteng 2055 discussion document.

There are two primary development areas in this programme: Kliptown in Soweto, and Diepsloot.

In addition to these precinct developments, the JDA is providing technical assistance to the City's Directorate of Health to build and refurbish a number of clinics across the city. The JDA is also assisting to build roads and upgrade services in Sol Plaatjie to support the development of new housing.

The JDA will play a supporting role for the Department of Development Planning to ensure that infrastructure investment in Diepsloot is coordinated. In particular, the JDA will participate in the Diepsloot Coordinating Forum meetings.

Property development facilitation work in the marginalised areas includes: developing a small-scale retail programme that brings together a retail development partner, a funding partner and the City to develop small mixed-use properties along activity streets in Diepsloot and other priority areas.

Kliptown Development

The history of development proposals for Kliptown extends at least as far back as the early 1990s. Emergency services were provided to the area in the early 1990s, and a plan was developed for Kliptown in 1996.

In 2001 a new development project was drawn up and was partially implemented over the following five years.

The Greater Kliptown Development Framework (1996) made proposals for boosting Freedom Square as a historical tourism site, with a museum, public spaces, a park and a mix of shops and informal trading.

The Greater Kliptown Development Project, also referred to as the Greater Kliptown Regeneration Development, was established in November 2001 under the auspices of Blue IQ. The JDA was appointed implementing agent.

The initial impetus for a Kliptown project was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter in Kliptown. This commemoration would centre on architecturally upgrading Freedom Square. The Greater Kliptown Development Project was initiated with the launch of an architectural competition to design Freedom Square in April 2002. The square was renamed the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication (WSSD).

In addition to the WSSD, the JDA built a new taxi facility, improved access roads, rehabilitated the wetlands and constructed community facilities, including the museum.

In 2010 the JDA began a new four-year project to extend the public environmental improvements to the residential and business areas around the WSSD. Work done so far includes:

  • Upgrading Union Pedestrian Bridge and installing new ramps and building pedestrian areas across the railway line;
  • Installing 600m of paving and lighting to create a safe pedestrian walkway along the railway's western side;
  • A public environment upgrade of Union, Beacon, Future and Main roads, and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th avenues; Daffodil Street, Klipspruit Valley Road and the Northern Precinct. The street and pavement upgrades were intended to create an improved environment for economic activity in the neighbourhood around the WSSD; create safe public environments for pedestrians walking to public transit services; and improve or rehabilitate basic municipal services such as stormwater drainage and street lighting;
  • Installing CCTV around the Square;
  • Repairing tower mast lights and installing new cables at the visitors' centre, and street lighting behind WSSD;
  • Refurbishing the Study Centre, crèche, and community hall;
  • Refurbishing the Youth Centre;
  • Building sports facilities (basketball and netball courts);
  • Upgrading the public park;
  • Upgrading the soccer facility and landscaping at the Visitor Centre; and
  • Installing artwork commemorating the area's history.

In 2013/14 the JDA will complete this phase of development. The focus will be on upgrading the Fifth Avenue and Union Road soccer facility, and constructing a small park opposite the Soweto Hotel.

Diepsloot Development

The Diepsloot Township was established in 1994, to relocate informally settled households from Zevenfontein. It subsequently accommodated informal settlers relocated from the Alexandra Far East Bank in 1995.

Diepsloot covers approximately 5.18km²; it is located on the northern edge of the metropolitan council area, some 40km from the Johannesburg Inner City and 20km north of Sandton.

It is in close proximity to the Fourways Regional Node and the Midrand corridor. Diepsloot is bordered by the N14 highway to the north and William Nicol to the east. The Diepsloot area falls under Region A in the City of Johannesburg's administration, comprising Ward 95 and 96.

The City of Johannesburg's Development Programme for Diepsloot intends to establish the area as a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable human settlement that is spatially integrated into the City of Johannesburg, with access to basic services and opportunities for social mobility and economic development.

The following initiatives have been implemented:

  • A public environment upgrade of Ingonyama Road in 2009/10;
  • Constructing two pedestrian bridges, upgrading the taxi rank and constructing commuter links between the bridges and Ingonyama Road from the Expanded Public Works Programme fund;
  • Completing the public environment upgrade along Ingonyama Road in 2011/12;
  • Planning and design work for the Ingonyama Link Road Extension in 2012/13;

The 2013/14 scope of works will entail the first phase implementation of Ingonyama link road extension, including paving sidewalks, upgrading storm water drains and kerbing, road surfacing for 1.3km, planting at least 200 new street trees, and installing 80 street lights and associated electrical reticulation infrastructure.

City of Johannesburg Clinics Programme

The City of Johannesburg's Directorate of Health appointed the JDA to manage its capital works programme in 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14.

In the first year the JDA appointed a professional team to design a model clinic that could be adapted for any site. Some work was done to prepare two clinic sites for construction, and costing was done for the budget request for future work. In the second year one clinic was refurbished and three new clinics were completed. (The clinics are Petervale Clinic in Bryanston, Davidsonville in Roodepoort and Freedom Park near Eldorado Park.)

In 2013/14 the City of Johannesburg aims to construct clinics in Mountainview, Mpumelelo and Slovoville. The clinics will offer improved healthcare and access to healthcare facilities for the communities in these areas.

Sol Plaatjie

The Gauteng Department of Housing conceived the Sol Plaatjie Housing Development in the early 2000s. It was ceded to the Johannesburg Social Housing Company via the City of Johannesburg Housing Department in the beginning of 2006.

In 2012/13 it was requested that the JDA take on the role of implementing agent, to build road infrastructure on behalf of the City's Department of Housing and the Johannesburg Social Housing Company.

This is regarded as a technical assistance project in the JDA portfolio. The JDA completed Phase 1 of roads and stormwater construction in Sol Plaatjie Area 1 and Area 2.

The JDA has now been appointed to help implement internal roads construction, and construction on associated stormwater and attenuation ponds for Sol Plaatjie in 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16.

In addition, the JDA has requested permission to appoint an urban designer to develop an urban design framework for Sol Plaatjie.

The area is identified as a priority for high-density affordable residential accommodation. The vision is for a transformed area, with the vacant and underutilised land developed with higher density housing and supporting social facilities; leading to development opportunities that will be able to attract private sector investment, including business development.