The 2010 World Cup provided the impetus for the Government's investment in infrastructure and SA is building on this to develop a lasting legacy for its people, including a much improved transport network and communications infrastructure
And Joburg is playing a prominent and trend-setting role in this. For example, the City has implemented an innovative ZAR 1.2-billion Bus Rapid Transit system (called Rea Vaya, which means 'We are Going' in Sesotho), designed to provide affordable, efficient and safe transport to the City's commuters. The first phases are up and running and further roll out will connect the Inner City and Sandton CBDs. The implementation serves as a blueprint for similar systems in the country's other main metropolitans. Another major infrastructure project was the Gautrain Rapid Rail, which links Johannesburg, the OR Tambo International Airport and Pretoria.
Further, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) is rolling out an impressive upgrade of current roads and building of new roads. The ZAR 20-billion Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) will eventually total approximately 560km of roads to improve accessibility and reduce congestion.
All these projects form part of an overall strategy to establish a strong inter-modal transport system for the City and the province, serving to contribute to further development of the region's economy. Communications and bandwidth infrastructure has been boosted through projects such as the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy) and Seacom, the SEA Cable System, along the East coast of Africa and SAT-3/WASC (West Africa Cable System) along the West coast.
Joburg is building a sophisticated broadband network and 900km of fibre-optic cable has already been rolled out. This is a public/ private project which will go live during 2015 to aid economic development, reduce telecoms costs and establish Joburg as a digital smart city. We are also rolling out free public Wi-Fi hotspots, including mobile ones on buses, and blanketing targeted areas with free Wi-Fi.
Investment in infrastructure is not only building a world-class City and region, but also provides substantial investment opportunities, creates a more conducive business environment and promotes SA’s role in Africa and the global economy.
R1.2-billion Bus Rapid Transit system (Rea Vaya – ‘We are Going’ in Sesotho), for more info, go to Rea Vaya
High-speed rail transport system, the Gautrain, providing rapid transport between Johannesburg and Tshwane (Pretoria); Sandton CBD and the OR Tambo International Airport, for more info, go to Gautrain
R20-billion Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, involving upgrading of existing roads and building of new roads to improve accessibility and reduce congestion, for more info, go to the National Roads Agency, under Major Projects
Communications and bandwidth infrastructure projects, including:
- the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy), for more info, go to the EASSy site
- SAT-3/WASC (West Africa Cable System), for more info, click here
- Joburg’s public-private broadband network project to ensure Joburg is a digital smart City, for more info.
City’s plans to ensure sufficient power capability beyond 2010, catering for the City’s continued growth and power demands, for more info, go to city power.co.za or Joburg.org.za
The Connected City:
In addition to the above, Joburg’s rail and road network connects it to all the main cities and ports in the sub-continent.
The City’s air network includes Africa’s biggest and busiest freight and passenger hub, the OR Tambo International Airport
,as well as Lanseria International Airport and Grand Central Airport.
The largest inland port in Africa and the largest container depot in SA, the City Deep Transport Logistics Hub, are found in Joburg.
Joburg is also home to the largest fresh produce market in Africa. The Joburg Market is located in City Deep, just 5km from the City’s central business district and 26km away from OR Tambo International Airport. The impressive 63-hectare property can be accessed from all the main freeways, drawing buyers from all over SA as well as from neighbouring countries, such as Botswana, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Joburg is the telecoms hub of South Africa, which ranks 23rd in telecommunications development in the world. The city hosts the headquarters of numerous local and international operations, and serves as the base for multi-nationals operating in the rest of the continent.
SA is the 4th fastest growing GSM (Global Systems for Mobile Communications) market globally and is growing at a rate of 50% per annum. SA has 83% penetration of mobile phones, with 34 million active handsets and 70% of these being data capable.
SA is also the continent’s dominant Internet centre, with a quarter of Africa’s users. Joburg-based companies are central to the Internet industry, with nine of the 12 major Internet Service Providers listed by the ISP Association based in Joburg.