THE Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) was established in 2001 as an agency of the City of Johannesburg to stimulate and support area-based economic development initiatives throughout the Johannesburg metropolitan area in support of Joburg 2030 - Johannesburg's economic development strategy for the next three decades.
As development manager of these initiatives, the JDA co-ordinates and manages capital investment and other programmes involving both public - and private-sector stakeholders. The JDA is also an implementing agent of three Blue IQ projects. Blue IQ is the Gauteng Provincial Government's Plan for a Smart Province.
As with most major cities around the world, Johannesburg's city centre has been through a period of stagnation and degeneration. However, in the past few years a number of initiatives have been adopted to reverse these trends. One of the most important of these is the Greater Newtown Development. Newton is one of five tourism developments aimed at inner-city regeneration. In partnership with Gauteng Agency Blue IQ, the City - through the Johannesburg Development Agency - is transforming Newtown into a safe and attractive place to work, live and visit.
Newtown is being developed into a vibrant, mixed-use area with a unique character based on existing cultural facilities including the indelible Kippies, the world renowned Market Theatre, Moyo Restaurant at the Market, the buzz of Nikki's Oasis, the numerous international artists who have graced the Newtown Music Centre and not forgetting the unique shopping experience of the Oriental Plaza just around the corner from Newtown.
The project entails several improvements of the area, all aimed at making Newtown safe, accessible, and attractive. These include five housing developments catering for different income levels. Over 2 000 housing units will be built over the next three years.
This destination has been made accessible through the construction of the Nelson Mandela Bridge and associated M1/Carr Street interchange. The Nelson Mandela Bridge opened on 20 July 2003 and has become the new gateway from the north into Newtown.