Plan for new coastal ‘smart city’ in South Africa: report

The ANC is working on plans for a new South African smart city between Port St Johns and Margate on the country’s Wild Coast, the Sunday Times reports.

National Executive Committee (NEC) member and minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma presented the plan at the ANC’s NEC lekgotla earlier this month.

Dlamini-Zuma said the coastal city would help reduce unemployment in the area, promote tourism and help reverse some of the semigration from the area, which had seen more people leave to the country’s larger cities.

The minister said that the new city would also address apartheid spatial planning, which many of the country’s major cities developed along racial lines.

Plans

The ANC’s plans follow similar comments by the national government, specifically by Department of Public Works and Infrastructure minister Patricia de Lille who said that work is currently underway to develop a new city somewhere in South Africa.

Answering oral questions in parliament at the start of September, 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. No specific location for the city has been announced.

“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 to build new cities and towns, with local and international scholars tapped to research the project.

Lanseria smart city

This project is separate from the new ‘smart city’ being developed close to the Lanseria airport in Gauteng.

De Lille 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.

Mooikloof 

Officially launched by president Ramaphosa in October 2020, the Mooikloof Mega-City development is set to be built in the east of Pretoria.

The development has a total project value of over R84 billion and is one of the 62 Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) gazetted at the end of July 2020.

“The first phase of the project is residential developments, and some 50,000 sectional title units are planned,” the president said at the time.

“Once completed, the Mooikloof Mega-City may end up becoming the world’s largest sectional property development, with land also earmarked for schools, shops and offices,” he said.

The mega-city is a public/private collaboration with developers Balwin Properties.

Balwin said it plans to build an initial 16,000 apartments at a present value of approximately R9.6 billion in phases over the next few years in what it describes as one of the world’s largest sectional title developments.

The group said that this may be extended to up to 50,000 apartments with a total development value of approximately R44 billion in today’s terms. Apartment prices will range from R499,000 to R799,000.


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Plan for new coastal ‘smart city’ in South Africa: report