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Big development plans for informal settlement

 

The Princess Crossing informal settlement, near the Westgate Mall on the West Rand, is to undergo a major facelift under a multimillion rand integrated development programme that will significantly transform the local economy.

The programme, which is expected to attract business investments and infrastructure development, was announced by Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee for Development Planning Councillor Roslynn Greeff during a public meeting in the settlement –home to more than 3 500 people – earlier this week.

The meeting was attended by more than 100 people, among them local church and community leaders, and representatives of political organisations.

MMC Greeff said the purpose of the meeting was to introduce the planning team led by development consultant Johan Olivier, who unpacked the proposed project, named the Princess Crossing Urban Development Framework.

The MMC said it was important to involve the community in discussions and planning. She said the next meeting – in a month’s time – would establish a task team that would brainstorm the project.
She added that the proposed integrated development would take a holistic approach to benefit the whole community.

“Forming a community pact is very important. Today is the start of the process. Let’s see what we as a community can bring to the table. Housing development and other processes will continue,” MMC Greeff said.

Though some of the residents were unhappy that housing delivery was taking too long to materialise, Jethro Tshabalala said he was excited about the proposed programme. He said he believed that the skills training, job opportunities and new investments that would come with the development would uplift the area.

Nhlanhla Soka said he was of the view that the proposed development would improve their lives and those of future generations.

"This process must be led by the community. Houses alone are not going to help us. We need this development to uplift our area,” he said.

Councillor Willie van der Schyff, chairman of Economic Development Section 79 Committee, said integrated development in the area had been a long time coming.