Provincial governments are currently working on at least three ‘smart city’ projects in South Africa, with developments taking place everywhere – from middle-class suburbs in Gauteng to small towns in the Eastern Cape.
The latest announcement comes from the Mpumalanga provincial government, which is in the process of developing Nkosi City, on the western border of the Kruger National Park.
The development is expected to take the form of an ‘agricity’ with small-scale farming land parcels next to RDP houses, which will be integrated into the urban design from the outset. The farming projects are expected to create 15,000 jobs for unemployed women and young people.
Power to the new city will be partially supplied by a solar farm and a biomass renewable energy plant, the province said.
Construction on the R8 billion project could start as early as June, with all government approvals already obtained, developer Dovetail Properties told the City Press.
Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane announced that work is underway to develop a separate new smart city in the province.
Presenting his state of the province address on Thursday (17 February), Mabuyane indicated that the project is still in the planning and design phase, with the provincial government working to attract investors.
“The development of the African Coastal Smart City is gaining momentum, following the president’s roadshow on the eastern seaboard towards the end of 2021.
“This initiative is going to serve as a game-changer and a catalyst for further development and investment attraction throughout the Wild Coast. There are already investors who have expressed an interest in the area. To facilitate implementation on the Eastern Cape side of the programme, we have appointed Coega (Special Economic Zone) to package our projects.”
In his state of the province address on Friday (18 February), North West premier Bushy Maape announced that work is underway on a new smart city that borders municipalities of Gauteng and the Madibeng local municipality.
Known colloquially as the ‘Lanseria smart city’, the 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.
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.