City roadshow takes development planning to residents
The City of Johannesburg’s Development Planning Department has embarked on a series of roadshows to educate and sensitise members of the public about its core mandate.
The open days, which will be held in all the City’s seven regions over the coming days, follow the celebration of World Town Planning Day on Tuesday November 8.
World Town Planning Day or World Urbanism Day has been celebrated every year since 1949 in more than 30 countries to advance public and professional interest in town planning and to recognise and promote its role in creating liveable communities. The community outreach campaign started in Braamfischerville in Region C on Thursday November 10.
The open days will this week be held at the Danie van Zyl Community Hall in Brixton in Region B on Tuesday November 15, Lenasia in Region G and Marks Park in Emmarentia in Region B on Wednesday November 16, and Metro Centre in Braamfontein and Kopanong Hall in Dobsonville in Region D on Thursday November 17.
On the first day of the campaign on Thursday November 10, speakers from the various units within the department made presentations at the Braamfischerville Multipurpose Centre. The presentations centred on, among other things, city transformation and spatial planning, and land use. Zane Ali, Assistant Director of Land Use Management, said the purpose of the open days was to engage the public.
“This was an information-sharing session to sensitise people on what we are about. The focus was on strategic planning. We also explained to the community that if, for instance, you wish to extend your property you have to have to make an application before you go ahead. People are not aware of the importance of such processes. This is why these roadshows have to be interactive,” said Ali.
Policies that have been approved by the department in the recent past include the Spatial Development Planning 2040, Strategic Area Framework, Strategic Area Framework for the Mining Belt East 2016, Management District 1D Precinct Plan and the Westbury Precinct Plan 2016.
During the open day, members of the public heard that Braamfischerville was built near old gold mines and that a large section of the land was still owned by a private property company.
Community members complained that many did not have title deeds. They also raised concerns about the lack of public amenities such as clinics, libraries and sport facilities for the youth.
They said the mining dumps caused pollution and diseases such as TB. They added that these issues were first raised in 2014 but the City had not yet taken action. The department’s officials noted the concerns and said a follow-up community meeting, at which representatives of the relevant departments would be present, would soon be set up.