​The Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba has awarded Redevelopment Certificates to two developers of three of the 84 Inner City properties earmarked for revitalisation.

The awarding of these certificates on Thursday, 24 January 2019, by the City Manager, Dr Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni, signals the start of Mashaba’s plan to work with private developers in turning the inner city into a construction site to build affordable accommodation for poorer residents of the City.

Dr Lukhwareni said the awarding of certification for redevelopment was the first bullet in the fight against urban decay. The three properties are Vannin Court and Beaconsfield Court in Hillbrow and vacant land on 82 Gwigwi Mrwebi Street in Newtown, Joburg’s cultural precinct.

Vannin Court, a seven-storey building on Kotze Street, is almost 99 years old. Once revitalised, it’ll house 95 appropriately sized rooms. Beaconsfield Court, on 65 Quartz Street, also has seven floors and will be developed into 56 units. It stands on Edith Carvel Street in the heart of Hillbrow, opposite a Rea Vaya station. Both buildings will be redeveloped by EGC Properties at the cost of R85 million.

EGC envisages creating over 400 jobs during the construction phase and hiring about 80 SMEs as partners in the development.  

Evan Dryden, EGC’s managing director, said the plan is to modernise both buildings and make them energy efficient and environmentally friendly, with rent costing R900 a month per unit.

The Newtown development which will be spearheaded by the Brickfields Housing Company, with a potential 253 social housing units to be built. The company pledged to spend R250 million on various housing projects in Newtown over years.

Mashaba said the inner city could only be revitalised through public private partnerships. He said an additional 80 to 100 buildings will be released for redevelopment this year alone. 

The mayor said the handover of these properties is proof that the private sector has the appetite to rehabilitate the Johannesburg inner city.

Anne Steffi, the director of the Inner City Partnership, said the redevelopment of the inner city was a brave initiative. “This will make a huge difference in the make-up of the inner city thanks to the City of Joburg for this brave initiative.” 

The City of Joburg attracted over R8 billion investment in the previous financial year and the plan was to use the revitalisation of the inner city to double this in the current fiscal period.  “This is the way we begin to close the chasm between the rich and the poor in our City,” said Mashaba.​