The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), which recently marked its 20th anniversary, looks set to charge into the next 10 years by continuing to build a more welcoming, competitive and resilient city to live, work and play in.
Established in 2001 at a critical moment in Johannesburg’s history as part of the iGoli 2002 re-engineering process, the JDA is the wholly owned area-based development agency of the City of Johannesburg.
It initially focused on the inner city but broadened its mandate to become an area-based development agency that straddles both a market- and citizen-facing approach. It combines a social, economic and environmental mandate. Johannesburg cannot afford to only consider economic factors but requires developmental approaches attuned to complexity.
The JDA deals with the renovation, innovation and re-imagination of Johannesburg’s built environment and urban communities through a reinforced programme of place making and area-based development.
The agency has undertaken over 1 000 projects throughout Johannesburg. Its capital expenditure over the past 20 years is about R12 billion. It is guided by the overarching but evolving frameworks of the National Development Plan, the Gauteng 2055 vision, the City of Johannesburg’s 2040 Growth and Development Strategy and its Spatial Development Framework.
The first 10 years
For the first five-year mandate, from 2001- 2005, the JDA implemented big iconic infrastructure and property development projects intended to catalyse investment by the private sector. The selected development areas were the Newtown Cultural Precinct, Faraday taxi rank and market, Constitution Hill and Braamfontein. It was followed by the township regeneration in Kliptown Soweto.
The second five-year mandate was from the year 2005-2010. It concentrated on three development areas that is the inner city, marginalised areas and the 2010 Legacy developments. The inner city development areas include the Fashion District and High Court Precinct.
For the marginalised development areas, it successfully delivered the Stretford Station precinct, Orange Farm and Diepsloot developments. The third development was during the 2010 World Cup Legacy developments. It delivered the Vilakazi Street precinct, Nasrec, Ellis Park Sports precinct, Rea Vaya busways and stations on trunk routes 1A and 1B.
The last 10 years
The third five-year mandate during 2011- 2015 the JDA successfully delivered the transit nodes and corridors. The priority areas focused on resilient, liveable and sustainability of the infrastructural projects. Four priority areas were identified starting with the Station Precinct (transit-oriented node) developments:
The JDA delivered Park Station Precinct; Nancefield Station Precinct; Jabulani node and Randburg CBD. This was followed by the Corridors of Freedom, which entailed developing the Soweto Corridor, the Empire-Perth Corridor and Louis Botha Corridor.
The JDA was also instrumental in rolling out Rea Vaya busways and stations on trunk Route 1C Section 15; Alexandra non-motorised transport (NMT) infrastructure and Alex Renewal Projects (ARP) projects; the Hillbrow Tower Precinct and Turffontein development area. During this period, the JDA also implemented the construction of various city clinics including the 4th Alex Avenue Clinic.
In the fourth five-year mandate from 2015 to 2020, the JDA delivered Bophelong Clinic, Florida Clinic and Orchards Clinic. Transportation projects undertaken include the Johannesburg International Transport Interchange, Watt Interchange, Alex Depot, BRT Stations Phase 1C and Selby Depot and Drieziek Public Transport Facility.
“At the JDA we believe the co-production of solutions in partnership with local communities and stakeholders allows for our development programmes to meet local needs and mitigate needs. This is an essential component of development interventions in cities,” said JDA CEO Anthony T Ngcezula.
“We give much emphasis to precinct-based development, working with stakeholders to enhance areas and address local challenges and needs in a sustainable way through our capital investments. By doing this we ensure that a more responsible and effective approach is to work with local stakeholders to produce solutions, drawing on their knowledge of the development context. This can cultivate a much more sustainable sense of ownership, civic pride and citizenship.”