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Plans to further transform the Jabulani Precinct in Soweto into a modern and world-class urban space have been completed.

The plans were presented by Alan Dinnie, the Johannesburg Property Company’s Property Development Manager, to Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Parks Tau, his Mayoral Committee, residents and other stakeholders at the Jabulani Civic Centre during a Tirisano Mmogo campaign in Region D on Tuesday July 12.

The Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) is City of Johannesburg’s property and facilities management entity.

The MMCs who witnessed the unveiling of the plans included Cllrs Rosslyn Greeff (Development Planning), Ruby Mathang (Economic Development), Chris Vondo (Community Development), Mally Mokoena (Group Corporate and Shared Services), Sello Lemao (Public Safety) and Nonceba Molwele (Health and Social Development).

Also present were representatives of the Soweto Business Forum, Witwatersrand Taxi Association, National Tourism Association and the Qedindlala Informal Traders Association.

Hailed as Soweto’s CBD – it already boasts a multimillion-rand shopping mall, highly acclaimed theatre, modern hospital and a trendy townhouse complex – the Jabulani Precinct is to undergo further developments totalling R3-billion in value over the next few years. The developments, according to Dinnie, include:

A new retail complex;
An office square;
More than 4 000 mixed income residential units; and
A 3.5-hectare cultural precinct that will incorporate the existing Soweto Theatre.
In his presentation, Dinnie said the precinct was always earmarked as the CBD of Soweto and had since 2006 begun to flourish and take its rightful place in the wake of the city’s growth, with a number of significant developments getting off the ground.

Dinnie said the Jabulani Precinct project sought to consolidate the area into a “vibrant, world-class and high-density pedestrian-orientated, mixed-use node with a high-quality public environment”.

He said 128 of the planned 4 000 residential units – to be built at a cost of R190-million – had already been completed. The cultural precinct will cost R290-million. The construction of the R150-million Bolani Mall is scheduled to start in October. The office square will cost R4-million to develop.

Other projects include:

Upgrading of the Jabulani Amphitheatre at a cost of R14-million;
Development of a R1.8-million incubation village;
Building of the R30-million double-storey Caiphus Semenya Music School;
Development of the MK Museum and Technology Hub; and
Creation of the Vuyani Dance School at a cost of R12-million.
The stakeholders and residents commended Mayor Tau and his team for the “excellent work” but complained about narrow and congested roads, red tape when applying for liquor licences, crime committed in open spaces, the neglect of informal traders, SMMEs being exploited by big contractors and the lack of transparency in the awarding of Jozi@Work packages.

In his reply, Mayor Tau said the City needed to adjust its policies and create space for informal traders and taxis.  He called on SMMEs to visit the Jozi SME Hub for advice on how to start a business, access funding and comply with tax requirements.