The Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Herman Mashaba, shared his vision of a transformed inner city with hundreds of delegates at the African Construction and Totally Concrete Expo in Gallagher Estates Midrand yesterday.
The expo is the continent's largest gathering of construction, cement and concrete industries that will showcase over 200 of the latest products and solutions over the next three days.
In his keynote address, Mayor Mashaba said: “Joburg has embarked on an ambitious inner city rejuvenation programme which seeks to turn Johannesburg into a construction site so this expo could not have come at a more appropriate time."
He expressed his excitement about the positive ripple effect the inner city rejuvenation would have on the construction companies, including the creation of much needed employment and urged them to partner with the city.
Earlier in the day, Mayor Mashaba met key industry players to discuss the inner city rejuvenation programme and its spinoffs. He indicated that 84 buildings had been offered to private developers via an open tender process and that a further 70 buildings will be released in September 2019. This is estimated to be a total R40 billion investment.
Exhibitors from countries such as Germany, Russia, Greece, Turkey, Italy, China, Mauritius and Zambia amongst others are participating at the expo.
As the host city, Joburg will use the expo to promote its infrastructure projects as well as more than 500 buildings and pockets of land that have been identified as part of its rejuvenation programme.
MMC for Economic Development, Cllr Leah Knott said the construction industry has a key role to play in aiding economic growth in Johannesburg.
“The mayor has made it his priority to see 5% growth by the end of his first term in 2021, and we know that the construction sector is key to achieving this. Work on demarcating priority economic zones throughout the City is already underway in a bid to boost endeavours to stimulate industrial development. These areas will receive dedicated infrastructure audits and turnaround plans so that industry does not have to worry about capacity for increased expansion," said MMC Knott.