The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) celebrates 20 years in existence this year and the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) says the agency will aim to further advance its impact over the next ten years by building a welcoming, competitive and resilient city to live, work and play in.
The agency has undertaken more than 1 000 projects throughout Johannesburg and its capital expenditure over the past 20 years was about R12-billion.
The JDA is guided by the overarching and evolving frameworks of the National Development Plan, the Gauteng 2055 vision, the CoJ's 2040 Growth and Development Strategy and its Spatial Development Framework.
The JDA was established in 2001 at a critical moment in Johannesburg’s history as part of the iGoli 2002 re-engineering process and is an area-based development agency of the CoJ. It initially focused on the inner city but broadened its mandate to become an area-based development agency that straddles both a market- and citizen-facing approach.
The JDA deals with the renovation, innovation and re-imagination of Johannesburg’s built environment and urban communities through a reinforced programme of place making and area-based development. It combines a social, economic and environmental mandate. Johannesburg cannot afford to only consider economic factors but requires developmental approaches attuned to complexity, the CoJ says.
“We believe the co-production of solutions in partnership with local communities and stakeholders allows for our development programmes to meet local needs and mitigate needs. This is an essential component of development interventions in cities,” says JDA CEO Anthony Ngcezula.
“We give much emphasis to precinct-based development, working with stakeholders to enhance areas and address local challenges and needs in a sustainable way through our capital investments.
"By doing this, we ensure that a more responsible and effective approach is to work with local stakeholders to produce solutions, drawing on their knowledge of the development context. This can cultivate a much more sustainable sense of ownership, civic pride and citizenship.”
During the first five-year mandate from 2001 to 2005, the JDA implemented iconic infrastructure and property development projects intended to catalyse investment by the private sector. The selected development areas were the Newtown Cultural Precinct, the Faraday taxi rank and market, Constitution Hill and Braamfontein.
That was followed by the township regeneration in Kliptown Soweto.
During the second five-year mandate from 2005 to 2010, it concentrated on three development areas, namely the inner city, marginalised areas and the 2010 Legacy developments. The inner city development areas include the Fashion District and High Court Precinct.
In marginalised development areas, it successfully delivered the Stretford station precinct, Orange Farm and Diepsloot developments.
The third development was during the 2010 World Cup Legacy developments. It delivered the Vilakazi street precinct, Nasrec, Ellis Park Sports precinct, Rea Vaya busways and stations on trunk routes 1A and 1B.
During the third five-year mandate from 2011 to 2015, the JDA successfully delivered transit nodes and corridors. The priority areas focused on the resilience, liveability and sustainability of the infrastructural projects.
Four priority areas were identified starting with the Station Precinct (transit-oriented node) developments, including the JDA-delivered Park Station Precinct, Nancefield Station Precinct, Jabulani node and Randburg central business district.
This was followed by the Corridors of Freedom, which entailed developing the Soweto Corridor, the Empire-Perth corridor and Louis Botha corridor.
Meanwhile, the JDA was also instrumental in rolling out Rea Vaya busways and stations on trunk Route 1C Section 15, Alexandra non-motorised transport infrastructure and Alex Renewal Projects projects, the Hillbrow Tower Precinct and Turffontein development area.
During this period, the JDA also implemented the construction of various city clinics including the 4th Alex Avenue Clinic.
In the most recent five-year mandate from 2015 to 2020, the JDA delivered Bophelong Clinic, Florida Clinic and Orchards Clinic.
Transport projects undertaken include the Johannesburg International Transport Interchange, Watt Interchange, Alex Depot, bus rapid-transit Stations Phase 1C and Selby Depot and Drieziek public transport facility.