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  Region 9

Region F provides all its residents with access to good quality, affordable services, in a customer focused and responsive manner.

Its slogan is "Always striving for service excellence", which shows its intention to support fully the implementation of the City's programmes and projects.

Partly comprising Johannesburg's central areas, or the inner city, the region is the site of the original mining camps of the City of Gold, which was established towards the end of the 19th century.

Over time, the city spread out: its central business district became dense, with high-rise office and residential buildings and excellent infrastructure were developed. Some of the earliest residential, business and industrial areas that grew up around the centre of Johannesburg form part of Region F.

There was an exodus of business investment to decentralised nodes during the 1980s and 90s, resulting in degradation of the CBD and a spread of urban blight into some surrounding areas.

For all its problems, however, the region is blessed with some of Johannesburg's most important facilities and attractions, including the University of the Witwatersrand and world-class theatres.

It is also the hub of the city's transport network and is still home to a significant business population, especially in the banking sector.

Region F contains a collection of upper- and lower-income residential areas mixed with a number of older, heavier industrial nodes. From an industrial perspective, there are limited new developments in these areas, but they are generally well located on the freeway system, with easy access to the M1, M2 and N1 highways.

The province's only inland container terminal is found at City Deep.

Though in the past there has been less retail development in the southern part of the region than in the active north of Johannesburg, this has changed drastically with the building of Southgate and The Glen Shopping Centre, among others.

Regional Director

Nkosinathi Mtetwa is not one for desktop models. The regional director of Region F prefers to walk the inner city streets himself to see first-hand what goes on.

Where we are

Region F is bound by Killarney Ridge in the north – Regions E (Houghton and Orange Grove) and B (Parktown), the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality to the east, the Klip River to the south, and to the west by Regions D (Soweto) and G (Joburg South). It includes Southgate, Fordsburg and Mayfair.

It combines Johannesburg's inner city and its lower density, predominantly residential areas to the east of the City Centre. The higher density suburbs of Berea and Hillbrow are to the northeast, and the areas of Newtown, Fordsburg, Pageview and Vrededorp are to the west.

The southern boundary of Region F comprises the southeastern corner of the metro and is commonly known as Johannesburg South. To the north, it meets the inner city along the mining belt and the M2 freeway.

General description
Land use in the region varies from residential in the northwest, the west and the south, to industrial and manufacturing areas in the northeast. Alexandra, a small but densely populated area, is undergoing a radical face-lift, with efforts to de-densify it, introduce proper street signage and lighting and prevent encroachment along the banks of the Jukskei River.
New developments along Alex's East Bank have gone some way towards alleviating housing pressure. Neighbouring Alex is Sandton central - reputed to be the richest spot in Africa - complete with world-class shopping; entertainment and hospitality facilities; the JSE Limited, the South African stock exchange; office blocks housing local and multinational institutions; and luxury apartments. Sandton also has the second highest amount of office space in the country, behind the Johannesburg inner city, and has clearly established itself as the leading financial district in South Africa.

There are a variety of established residential areas in the region, from the large expensive homes of Houghton Estate, Saxonwold and Bryanston in the north, to the middle-income areas of Sandringham and Lyndhurst in the east and Linksfield in the centre. To the south, Orange Grove, Bezuidenhout Valley and Malvern are in transition, thanks to their proximity to the inner city.

The City has been making a concerted effort to gentrify the area, by improving the infrastructure and trying to attract middle-income homeowners. Here the popular Eastgate Mall shopping centre provides a major retail and entertainment focus, while the Bruma Office and Commercial Park is the most significant business centre. Industrial areas include Wynberg, Marlboro and Linbro Park.
Nearby Modderfontein is used by AECI for the manufacture of explosives, and light manufacturing takes place in Wynberg. The vast Frankenwald site, owned by the University of the Witwatersrand, is earmarked for mixed-use development.

Major roads in the region include the M1 motorway, sections of the N1 Western Bypass and the N3 Eastern Bypass, Louis Botha Avenue, Corlett Drive, Oxford Road and Rivonia Road.

The region's two main geographic features are the Jukskei River, which drains to the north, with its tributary Sandringhamspruit, and a portion of Linksfield Ridge to the south. The latter is regarded as ecologically sensitive, as are the Harvey Nature Reserve, the Mervyn King Trail and the Jukskei and its tributaries. Aside from its rich diversity of trees, bushes, flowers and bird life, Linksfield Ridge is also of historical importance. In addition, a section of Modderfontein has been designated as a conservation area, but it has yet to be fully developed and remains under-utilised.

The Jukskei River has been adversely affected by very large informal settlements in Alex. People living below the flood line have frequently suffered during heavy rains when the river floods its banks. Johannesburg is involved in several initiatives to rehabilitate the river and its banks; a prime example is the development of Jukskei Park on the eastern bank of the river in Alexandra. City Parks has also been conducting education programmes, encouraging school children to clean up the river and to urge others to keep it clean.

General description

Region F is an area of contrasts; it ranges from degraded residential areas such as Bertrams and the more stable commercial suburb of Braamfontein, to the affluent middle- and upper-income suburbs of Glenvista, Mulbarton and Bassonia along the region's southern boundary.

The central area (Joburg's central business district) has a vibrant street life, with an estimated one million commuters passing through the inner city daily. It functions as a regional shopping node for residents from around Johannesburg and visitors from other African countries.

Because of well-maintained infrastructure, Region F is well integrated with the surrounding urban areas. All major arterial roads originate from this area and radiate out into other parts of the city. The main railway station, bus terminuses and large taxi ranks are also situated within the inner city.

The suburbs close to the inner city, in particular, Joubert Park, Hillbrow and Berea, have a large number of high-rise blocks of flats. The CBD has a lack of green open space, although small neighbourhood parks exist in the suburbs. Joubert Park is the main green space in Johannesburg and is home to the Johannesburg Art Gallery.

Johannesburg South leads through some of Johannesburg's oldest working-class suburbs, with newer residential developments spreading outwards as the further one moves from the city.

Demographic information

The region's population is estimated to be 433,054 (Census 2001, Stats SA). However, this figure is inaccurate because the number of people living in the inner city on a temporary basis is unknown.

There is a distinct difference in demographics between the inner city and the southern part of this region. In the past few yea​rs, higher-income residents and whites have moved away from the inner city bowl and are being replaced by a lower-income population of blacks.

This is in complete contrast to the southern part of the region – Mulbarton, Glenvista, Aspen Hills, Allan Manor, Bassonia and so forth – which is 66 per cent white and relatively youthful, with 38 per cent being under 25 years old.

The population of Johannesburg South is young and growing, partly because of an influx of new homeowners from Soweto drawn by better housing, land value and facilities, as well as swift, convenient access to their places of employment.

Key issues

  • Addressing city blight, the degradation of buildings and physical deterioration of service infrastructure;
  • Decreasing high levels of crime and lack of security;
  • Reversing the flight of office workers and associated users to suburban nodes;
  • Addressing the physical degradation of public areas caused by litter and decay;
  • Upgrading the area to stop the decline in rentals and property values;
  • Decreasing illegal occupation and land invasion in residential suburbs and vacated buildings; and
  • Paying attention to the increasing presence of immigrant entrepreneurs and associated xenophobic tendencies.
  • Johannesburg South
  • There are a number of issues specific to the Johannesburg South suburbs.
  • A declining office environment in favour of the northern suburbs;
  • Addressing dust and run-off pollution from mine dumps;
  • Increasing safety and security at Aeroton; and
  • The under-utilisation of precincts around Nasrec and FNB Soccer City.
Contact  details Region E

Inner City
Ground Floor,
CJ Cronje Building,
80 Loveday Street
Tel: 011 376-8600

Joburg South
Eureka House,
92 Marlborough Road, Springfield
Tel: 011 681-8000