R30bn for Joburg infrastructure

2013-05-10 09:22

The City of Johannesburg has budgeted R30 billion for infrastructure development for the next three years, mayor Parks Tau has said.

This would form part of an ambitious public transportation development programme dubbed “freedom corridors”, he said yesterday in his state of the city address.

“Over the decade, we will introduce transport corridors connecting strategic nodes through an affordable and accessible mass public transit that includes both bus and passenger rail.”

He said mixed income housing, schools, offices and community facilities would be erected along the corridors. This would eradicate previous settlement patterns, as well as slow the uncontrolled spread of informal settlements around the city.

“Johannesburg will lead in South Africa and in Africa to link transport development with high density housing and create viable, sustainable and integrated communities.”

Tau said the plan was intended to reduce the use of private cars.

“Over time we will eliminate the need for private vehicles as the city progressively moves towards an effective public transport system.”

This would help reduce carbon emissions, resulting in a healthier environment.

Tau said each resident had a right to an integrated and united city. This would be achieved by reconnecting the divisions created by apartheid, he said.

While progress had been made in fighting crime in Johannesburg, the mayor said property crime, rape and vehicle hijackings were still rampant.

“We are working to improve the safety of our streets, have more public lights and CCTV cameras in the city... .But by far the most important safety and crime prevention intervention is for communities to join the fight against crime.”

The city would continue upgrading informal settlements and hostels.

“As part of this programme we will create a regulatory environment where backyard shacks are transformed to become acceptable rental accommodation.”

Tau said the roll out of the Johannesburg broadband network would be completed by the end of May.

“The next step is to make access available to the public, integrating the network into the city’s processes and systems.”

Special economic zones would be established across Johannesburg.

“In these zones a special regulatory and planning regime will apply, covering areas such as taxation, infrastructure planning and access to services.”

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