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R100bn to be spent on city over next 10 years

By Katlego Moeng | 2012-03-23 07:07:36.0

JOHANNESBURG will need about R100-billion in the next 10 years to upgrade infrastructure to keep up with its growing population.

Mayor Parks Tau said yesterday this was necessary to accommodate the ever-growing population - currently at 3.8-million residents and expected to rise to 4.1-million by 2015.

But Tau could not say when the city would finally resolve the problematic billing system that has seen thousands of residents receiving inaccurate and inflated bills.

He, however, said the municipality underwent an extensive 90-day community consultation initiative late last year to develop a new "growth and development strategy".

"There is an urgent need for investment in the upgrading of water reticulation systems, storm water, electricity substations, road infrastructure network and waste management plans in order for us to facilitate local economic activity and create an enabling environment for economic growth.

"We have identified key trade, manufacturing, construction, transport and tourism areas as engines for growth," Tau said during his state of the city address yesterday.

Soweto will see an investment injection of R1.2-billion with the Oasis in Soweto initiative.

"This project is focused on offices, residential developments, Oasis Heroes Bridge, a boutique hotel, retail opportunities, a convention centre and upgrading of Khumalo Street in Rockville," he said.

The mayor said a multi-million-rand mall would be built at Alexandra's Vincent Tshabalala Road.

"Alexandra and Ivory Park will benefit from new automotive industrial node developments. These initiatives are already supported by the city and national Treasury.

"The Poortjie Economic Activity Node will be developed so that basic retail services can be readily accessible to the Poortjie community," Tau said.

He said a regional development plan was in place for a northwest quadrant including Ruimsig, Cosmo City, Sunninghill and Diepsloot.

The city has worked with "relevant stakeholders" to create an economic node in Lanseria, which will be anchored by hotels, a conference centre, a research and development park, an agri-hub, a shopping mall and medical precinct.

A safety strategy had been developed where metro police officers would be deployed in wards throughout the city.