In a bid to address the lack of housing in the City of Johannesburg, Mayor Herman Mashaba has announced R20 billion development project in the inner city.

City-owned properties are being released to the private sector for redevelopment. 27 developments across the city have been earmarked as mixed use buildings.

Mashaba announced the awarding of tenders for 24 developments spanning 84 properties in the inner city.

On one plot of vacant land, the developer has created space for a taxi rank within the mixed housing development.

The City of Gold, once known for its unique skyline and bustling city life, is now derelict.

Many of the iconic buildings defecated and Hijackers have called it home. But the City Mayor is trying to change that by turning the inner city into a construction site.

From the city centre to the surrounding areas, almost 30 developments are expected to begin. These are hoped to alleviate some of the housing pressures Johannesburg currently faces.

Mashaba says “Through the release of city properties to the private sector for redevelopment, the city expects to realise R20 billion in expected investment value, which will soon be visible in the inner city – with 24 developments set to start within six months. This is in addition to the 3 developments already underway in Hillbrow and Newtown.”

Construction is expected to begin within six months.

Mashaba says he has proven his critics wrong after pulling off the largest corporate capital investment in social housing in the country’s history.

Mashaba says rentals are as low as R900 per month.

“You remember the very same day that I made the announcement that I’m going to turn the inner city into a construction site, take it away from the criminal elements, I mean all hell broke loose. It has never happened in the history of South Africa or Johannesburg in particular. This city is what? 136/7 years old in the 136/7 years, it has never received a R20 billion investment in one shot.”

Meanwhile, ANC head of elections in Gauteng Lebogang Maile says despite its shortcomings, the Alexandra Renewal Project has brought some tangible development. He says there’s a misconception that R1.3 billion was set aside for the project.

The failed project has been in the spotlight since the two-week-long protest in the township, north of Johannesburg. Maile says the project was announced during former president Thabo Mbeki’s term and the Gauteng government had to reprioritise its budget to fund it.

Maile briefed the media and provided an update on the party’s election campaign and also opened the ANC Pavilion at the 2019 Rand Show in Nasrec, south of Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“London road was expanded. There’s a school called Ekukhanyisweni; the school called Skyn. It was built through that Alex Renewal Project. There’s houses, I think, at Hlabela. Maybe the question is ‘did the Alex Renewal Project do all the things it was supposed to do.’ And I don’t think so because they never had sufficient money. But in the last term, we then re-allocated the Alex Renewal Project to the City Johannesburg. Ask Mashaba! He closed the project. During Park Tau’s time, it was taken to Johannesburg.”