Amenities? What amenities?

2012-04-22 11:18

Ask City of Johannesburg developmental planner Peter Ahmad what Ward 97 has in terms of amenities, and he says “not much”. He’s right.

There is no bus service, no government schools, no state hospital, and the nearest state clinic is in the adjacent ward. The closest police station is in Honeydew, 20km away.

The density of the townhouses, Ahmad says, is “not high enough to supply the area with a public transport system, but high enough to cause traffic congestion”.

The area, he says, needs at least two more major roads to alleviate gridlock on Beyers Naude Drive and Hendrik Potgieter Road.

The big issue is land, of which the city does not own much.

“Retrofitting (building infrastructure in an area that has already developed) that area is not easy because of the way it has developed.

“With the available land the opportunities are limited to retrofit with amenities even with higher population densities. It’s very, very challenging.”

Clearly, residents don’t get what they pay for. Says Ahmad: “Does the area contribute to the rates base? It would be difficult to say that it doesn’t.

“This represents one of the biggest growth areas in the city in the past decade. These are not subsidised houses – these are private market-driven developments that are rate-paying.”

The city, he says, is “committed to addressing the backlogs”. 

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