In 2015, the Gauteng government revealed its plans to build South Africa’s first “post-apartheid” city along the Vaal River with the R11 billion Vaal City Project.
The new city, which was unveiled by Gauteng Premier David Makhura in May 2015, will be located in Gauteng’s southern corridor, within the Sedibeng district. It will have access to key roads that link up to Sasolburg, Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging.
The area has a rich history and is the home of the liberation struggle as the area was the site of the Sharpeville massacre in 1960, the Boipatong massacre in 1992 as well as Vaal uprisings in 1984. This space is also the site where Nelson Mandela signed the final draft of the constitution into law at Sharpeville, Vereeniging on 10 December 1996.
Described as South Africa’s “first post-apartheid” city, the development will house 400,000 square metres of commercial office space; 60,000 square metres of retail and leisure component; 20 hectares of park areas – including a bird sanctuary; and 5,000 residential units.
The project has an estimated cost of R7-billion to R11-billion and will initially create up to 7,500 jobs in the construction phase alone. Infrastructure planning started in the 2015/16 financial year, with no end date yet set.
Behind the build is a BEE consortium headed by Reginald Kukama, CEO of property and infrastructure services group, Yaetsho Investments and Projects.
The group works primarily on government projects and has scored contracts worth billions of rands – such as road maintenance and contructing government buildings and hospitals.
Controversially, the new city would mean that the trio of the Midvaal and Emfuleni local municipalities and the Sedibeng district municipality will ultimately merge into a single metropolitan municipality.
This would put the Democratic Alliance, which runs the Midvaal municipality at a big disadvantage, politically, as the party would stand to lose its only current hold in the Gauteng province.
This is the vision for the new city: