Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Mpho Parks Tau will tomorrow (Tuesday November 11) unveil a R1.95 billion mixed residential development in South Hills, southern Johannesburg, in a move aimed at reversing apartheid’s spatial planning and integrating communities.

On completion about six years from now, the development – in Region F, near Rosettenville – will consist of a total 5 306 housing units.

Undertaken in partnership with Standard Bank and developer Calgro M3, the 199ha development is 6km from the CBD. This is to ensure that residents live closer to amenities, places of work, transport and entertainment facilities in line with the City’s Corridors of Freedom vision. It is also envisaged that the development will reduce the inner city’s housing backlog. South Hills will provide different typologies of housing – fully subsidised units, social housing and rental stock, GAP and affordable units.

Land will also be provided for two schools, crèches, churches, sports facilities and parks. The existing public swimming pool and park will be rehabilitated. The project is a medium density infill development providing quality and secure housing at prices that many lower income earners can afford. GAP homes are available to people who earn between R1 500 and R7 500 a month (for rental units) and between R3 501 and R15 000 a month (for bonded units).

“The City has a long-standing relationship with Standard Bank and the fact that we have been able to partner with it and Calgro M3 to develop the South Hills project is testament to the potential that public private partnerships have to unlock value in the City’s property landscape,” says Mayor Tau. “This project is about driving transformation and looking at closer integration across the different historic communities, ultimately for the benefit of the residents who reside in these parts of the city.” The City will invest R750 million in the form of grants and subsidies between now and 2020. The South Hills project will see about half of the 199ha precinct transformed into a modern, residential district comprising 2 242 fully subsidised BNG (Breaking New Ground) units; 1 560 social, FLISP (Finance-Linked Individual Subsidy Programme); GAP housing units; and 1 525 freehold affordable units.

“This development is an excellent example of how banks can partner with municipalities and developers to provide affordable housing opportunities in residential neighbourhoods closer to the inner city,” said Kenny Fihla, Global Head of Client Coverage at Standard Bank. “We believe this project will go a long way towards enhancing the City’s ongoing efforts to change the face of the suburban living spaces to the south of the city centre,” he said. To make provision for the predicted increase in traffic, construction plans for major road upgrades as well as opening up road links to connecting suburbs are in place, in addition to the execution of a major sewer and water supply upgrade. The South Hills project will leave about 100ha of the original land intact to be further developed into parks for community leisure and sports activities.

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