City of Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba has pledged assistance from senior city officials to expedite the redevelopment of the inner city’s eastern part. The rejuvenation stretches from Absa Towers through the six blocks of Jewel City to Maboneng.
The city last week announced that the Divercity Urban Property Fund had pledged R2 billion to upgrade that part of the city.
Jewel City was once the hub of the inner city and was home to major gold and diamond companies. But the six blocks have been standing unoccupied for many years.
The upgraded precinct will include more than 1500 residential units, retail units, a gym and commercial properties.
Addressing senior officials from the city and investors yesterday, the mayor described the cash injection as “the first in the country. We’ll use it as a case study.” He asked the developers how the city could help.
The mayor said this development, which promised to re-energise the eastern part of the CBD, would signal to the investment community that Joburg was truly open for business.
“We all have a responsibility to create an enabling environment for business in the city. As a city, we have taken the responsibility to be the driver of economic development for this country and for the continent.”
Speaking on behalf of Divercity, Tebogo Mogashoa said the first project would be the construction of a Jewel City as an extension of the Maboneng precinct.
“We have R2 billion to spend within the next financial year. What we are offering is an investment pipeline, not an investment pipe dream.”
Mogashoa added: “We are going to advocate the pedestrianisaton of the zone. We will need the city’s support in our quest to turn Fox Street into a pedestrian zone,” said Mogashoa.
A cornerstone of the development, Mogashoa added, would be the development of public open spaces and pedestrian boulevards.
The development would be an opportunity to collaborate with the arts industry in entrenching the precinct as a home of the fine arts in South Africa.
The mayor appealed to officials to take personal responsibility to ensure that this project succeeded.
– Anna Cox on 18 October 2018 in The Star