Gauteng Premier David Makhura has highlighted the importance of Lanseria International Airport, and planned projects around it, for the development of the north-west quarter of the province. He was delivering the keynote address at the official opening of the new Control Tower and Fire Station complex at the airport on Tuesday.
"Lanseria, in our vision, is a new economic node, in the north-west of our province," he affirmed. Apart from the about R1-billion being invested in the airport itself, by its shareholders (Lanseria is a private-sector airport), another R9-billion is planned to be invested in developments around it, largely by other private sector investors.
Altogether, these developments are called Lanseria Airport City. They will include industrial, commercial and residential projects. "Lanseria Airport City development -- it sounds like a dream," he stated. "Lanseria International Airport is the inner circle of that dream."
"You need bulk infrastructure to catalyse the development of the [airport] city," he pointed out. "We [public sector] come in on the bulk infrastructure." He also stressed the importance of including the poor in such large-scale private sector development projects.
In his address at the same event, Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi, affirmed that Lanseria International Airport played a role in the provincial government's plans to develop "airport cities". "It is essential we use this airport as a point of economic growth."
Makhura, in his speech, observed that mining, once the dominant economic activity on the West Rand, is now in continual decline. Alternative economic activities were needed to replace it. The Lanseria Airport City would provide one of these alternatives.
"As part of our Gautrain expansion programme, the Gautrain will reach Lanseria," assured the Premier. "The Gautrain will connect with Lanseria. That is part of our vision. This is not for our children. These things will happen, I am confident, in the next 15 years."