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09-05-2013: Major moves on new Transport corridors and high-density developments announced by Mayor Tau


Sweeping changes to Johannesburg’s urban landscape, including the introduction of high-density residential development along new transport arteries, were today (Thursday 9 May 2013) announced by the Executive Mayor, Clr Mpho Parks Tau. 

The new “Corridors of Freedom” will form part of a R100-billion investment in infrastructure over ten years and represents a decisive move away from private vehicle use towards public transport, bicycle routes and pedestrian walkways. 

Delivering his State of the City Address, Mayor Tau, said the new spatial master plan will transform entrenched apartheid settlement patterns and build a vibrant middle class environment where everyone can feel safe. 

It will also lead to an integrated public transport system in Johannesburg, linking the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System, Metrorail and the Gautrain, through a single travel card that can also be used to buy basic commodities such as bread, milk and newspapers. 

The urban design will strongly encourage the move away from private car usage. Streets and sidewalks will be designed to facilitate the use of bicycles and safety measures will create an amenable environment for pedestrians. 

Parking along the street curbs will be limited and traffic calming measures will make it increasingly difficult for private vehicles to enter the new pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods. 

New high-rise residential development will be focused along the six priority corridors and put an end to urban sprawl in Johannesburg. An emphasis on the provision of rental accommodation will open up access for all communities, resulting in a spatially integrated and united City. 

The Corridors of Freedom Project was one of several ground-breaking announcements made by Mayor Tau, in his address to the Johannesburg Council and guests at the University of the Witwatersrand. The speech was also broadcast live to residents and communities at public viewing venues across the City.

The multi-billion investment in infrastructure will ensure the city’s capacity to roll out new basic services to a growing population and help to maintain and upgrade existing infrastructure.


More than R30-billion will be spent on new infrastructure and the replacement and maintenance of existing infrastructure over the next three years.


Mayor Tau said Johannesburg must be able to compete with other cities on the African continent where seven out of ten of the world’s fastest growing economies are located. 

The African financial services sector is projected to grow by 40% in the next seven years to 2020. Africa will spend 1.1 trillion US dollars (10.12-trillion rand) over the next 25 years to modernise infrastructure – and Johannesburg must lead this wave. 

The City’s initiatives to attract investments, business and residents to the inner city are increasingly showing results. The CBD is becoming a precinct where the emphasis is on mixed-use development with a growing demand for low-income rental housing. 

A five year capital investment plan is in place to innovative incentives offered to social housing developers. 

Smart City 

Mayor Tau the roll-out of the Johannesburg Broadband Network, which includes more than 900km of fibre infrastructure, will be completed by the end of May. The next steps are is to make access available to the public, integrate the network into the City’s processes and systems, roll-out smart metering, introduce intelligent traffic management, improve public safety and e-health “so that residents can enjoy the benefits of living in a smart city.” 

By the end of the 2016 financial year, 250 000 households in Johannesburg will have electricity smart metering systems installed. The project has already been started in Blairgowrie and is being rolled out in Kensington, Dainfern, Florida, Witpoortjie and selected townships. 

Mayor Tau called on communities “to join the fight against crime.” The Joburg 10 Plus Programme, introduced last year, is integrating law enforcement, crime prevention and basic service delivery programmes and the City has now a “detailed understanding of the most critical problems facing communities.” 

The City is installing 110 000 solar water heaters in poor and low-income households over a period of three year which will enable residents to save on their electricity bills. This represents 10% of the national target of 1 million solar geysers by 2014, and will create around 20 000 job opportunities while stimulating local manufacturing. 

The City has also taken drastic steps to deal with property crime linked to slum buildings. Action was taken against city officials that colluded with slum lords and building hijackers to defraud the city and compromise its revenue management system.
Residents of Johannesburg will gain a greater say in the identification of priorities within their immediate wards through community-based planning. 

“Our citizens are not passive recipients of government services but are equal partners in the design and delivery of decisions that shape their future,” said Mayor Tau.