Department of Public Works and Infrastructure minister Patricia de Lille says work is underway to develop both a new city and a ‘smart city’ for South Africa.
Answering oral questions in parliament this week, de Lille said that the new city would be the first of its kind in South Africa since the democratic elections in 1994.
This project is still in the early planning stages, and several studies will need to be completed before construction starts.
“The framework is being developed through an intensive research and consultative process, which will then culminate in a strategic and action plan for a new democratic city in South Africa,” she said.
“So far, we have set up the core project team and a reference group, and we have developed the terms of reference for the project. We will further set up a stakeholder, communications and research unit that will look at international best practices.”
This unit will look at other countries and the models used for building new cities and towns, with both local and international scholars tapped to research the project.
De Lille said that an investigation into land ownership will also take place so that a decision can be made on the best place to build this new city, with no official decision made on the location as yet.
These processes are set to be completed by April 2022, after which a final report will be presented to the cabinet and the inter-ministerial committee.
Following this, a proposal will go out to build this new city in an open and competitive procurement process, de Lille said.
Lanseria smart city
De Lille clarified that this project is separate from the new ‘smart city’ being developed close to the Lanseria airport in Gauteng.
She said this smart city is being headed up by the Gauteng provincial government and surrounding municipalities.
The Lanseria smart city development aims to create the first post-apartheid city in South Africa based on ‘best practice’ in urban sustainability and the smart city’s principles.
“It is to be inclusive of the broadly defined South African socio-economic spectrum and must stimulate a vibrant, mixed urban economy,” the master plan states.
The city will be built surrounding the Lanseria International Airport, north of Johannesburg, in a project expected to take around 25 years to complete.
Sitting in the centre of the development, the airport will be the main economic driver for the city’s growth.
Strong residential growth in the surrounding areas is expected, supported by improvements to existing roads in the area.