Distilling the issues for the Summit & Charter.

Nearly all of the third round of Stakeholder Working Group sessions leading to the Inner City Summit and Charter have been completed and a list of the critical issues that have emerged is taking shape. The following is the current ‘chopping block’ we are working on. These issues have obviously still to be refined and developed into commitments but the following will give you an idea of where we are going.


As I’ve previously mentioned, at Stakeholder after Stakeholder session the plea has been:  ‘Please don’t start with fancy new things. Focus on the basics.  Concentrate on doing what a municipality should be doing.’


In particular this relates to:


Waste, grime and disrepair
Taxi ranking
Street trading
By-law enforcement
City systems and processes that delay development (clearance certificates, etc)
Service delivery responsiveness and co-ordination
Visible policing

While it is clear that stakeholders want things cleaned up and sorted out, they also want an Inner City that is developed in a balanced way, and that accommodates all people and interests. 

•         Both commercial and residential. 

•         Not a dormitory for the poor, nor an exclusive enclave of loft-apartments, galleries and coffee shops.  There is a need to provide for both ‘the rich’ and ‘the poor’ 

•         A place of first entry, yet a place where people want to stay. 

•         Both a transportation transit point and a destination point where people want to walk in the streets


Specifics that have arisen from each SWG are: 


1.Transportation Issue
 By the Summit … 
•         BRT / ICDS
•         Announce exactly how BRT will function as an Inner City Distribution System
•         Greater Park Station Precinct
•         Reveal detailed designs of this 2010 legacy project, with clarification of how it will provide inter-modal interchange facilities for all transport modes, how it will link to Gautrain, and also support cross-border shopping 
•         Taxi ranking and rank management
•         Announce an approach to more managed taxi-ranking in the Inner City 
•         Parking
•         Propose a new approach to on-street parking and off-street facilities 
•         Integration with rail transport
•         From Metrorail/SARCC announce medium term plans to upgrade stations, and clarify changes to Park Station lines 
•         Mobility / congestion
•         Clarify improvements to traffic signaling, as well as measures to promote/facilitate non-motorized transport

2. Urban Management and Safety and Security Issue
 By the Summit … 
•         Concern about unresponsive service delivery and poor by-law enforcement
•         Provide a detailed, systematic and convincing picture of what the new Urban Management system will do and how it will work.  Fully resource Region F so it can be announced that this will be up and running within 2007 
•         Bad buildings
•         Propose a single window approach for identifying, mapping and tackling problem buildings.  Propose clear approach to preventing slum-lording and improving conditions.  
•         Visible policing and CCTV
•         Without detracting from smart policing, announce a plan to put a ‘foot patrol’ on every block in certain parts of the Inner City by 2010.  Clarify how CCTV will work across the inner city over the next five years 
•         Waste management
•         Announce a new waste management system that will keep the inner city clean on a 24/7 basis 
•         Street trading
•         Clarify the new approach to linear markets 
•         Disaster management
•         Clarify key interventions to respond to concerns 


3. Economic Issue 

•         Street trading
•         Apart from linear markets, announce an expanded programme of support for street trading 
•         Support to key economic institutions
•         Clarify support for Jewel City, Fashion District, etc over the next few years 
•         Other key industry segments that may be targeted for support
•         Clarify support measures for ‘tourism and hospitality’, ‘garment and fashion’, ‘BPO’, etc  
•         Telecommunications infrastructure (broadband)
•         Announce exactly what we can undertake to provide / ensure in terms of broadband infrastructure, especially to support an emerging BPO industry in the South Western quadrant of the Inner City 
•         Need to optimize cross border retail and wholesale trade
•         Announce exactly how the inner city will work as a cross-border shopping hub and what a cross-border wholesale and retail distribution system will do 
•         Commercial development
•         Clarify whether advisable to seek extension of UDZ incentive

4. Social Development Issue
 By the Summit … 
•         Early Childhood Development
•         Announce a targeted programme of support for Early Childhood Development facilities in the Inner City 
•         Support to NGOs, CBOs and FBOs
•         Clarify how we will scale up support to organisations over the next few years (including how we can respond to a strong request for assist in finding appropriate buildings) 
•         Countering xenophobia
•         Announce a package of measures to counter xenophobia including when a Migrants Desk will be established and how it will work 
•         Support to special groups
•         Announce approach to addressing needs of street children, aged, etc 
•         Health access
•         Clarify how the Hillbrow Health Precinct will continue to be developed, and how health outreach will be supported.  Also clarify plans for upgrading clinics 
•         Sports and recreation
•         Deteriorated and closed facilities are being audited. Define a programme of upgrading over next few years linked to 2010 


5. Arts, Culture, Heritage and Public Open Spaces Issue
 By the Summit … 
•         Walkable streets
•         Announce comprehensive programme of pavement upgrading / street furniture development rolled out across Inner City in the next 5 years.  Link to a lighting plan and visible policing plan for whole of Inner City.  Propose agreement with ground floor retail etc on removing roller shutters and refurbishing foyers 
•         Parks and other green infrastructure
•         As part of Spatial Design Framework, announce the design and roll-out of a new set of green lungs for the Inner City.  Also a plan to refurbish existing parks and to green streets 
•         Iconic public spaces
•         Identify a range of new iconic public space developments (some private sector led, some which we will have to drive) 
•         Arts, culture and entertainment groups
•         Propose coherent programme of support for arts and culture groupings.  Possibility of a structure to provide advocacy and mutual support. 
•         Heritage
•         Clarify approach to balancing heritage & development

6. Residential Issue
 By the Summit … 
•         Need for accommodation to be built at scale
•         Announce a Housing Plan for the Inner City including plans to substantially increase housing stock  
•         Involvement of the private sector in supplying to the middle and lower end of the market
•         Propose a package of ‘inducements’ and ‘incentives’ that will encourage and enable private sector to enter lower end of the market.

–        Reduction in the time-cost of development by pushing Inner City applications to top of queue

–        Fixing clearance procedures

–        Revenue system flexibility to ensure selected buildings don’t pay commercial / marginal rates

–        Building owners become retail suppliers of water and electricity, etc, etc 
•         Sectional title
•         Announce programme of support for body-corporates to address collapsing sectional title 
•         Better Buildings Programme
•         Announce new approach to Better Buildings (this is currently being developed and tested legally) 
•         Non-account holders in tenancy arrangements do not benefit from free water, electricity etc
•         Propose creative approach to ensuring that non-account holders in selected areas such as the Inner City can access the social package  
•         Hostels
•         Good practice is emerging from the Alex Renewal Programme.  State how this will be applied to refurbishing hostels in the South Eastern part of IC 
•         Informal settlements
•         Clarify how we are getting on top of the situation 
•         Emergency / short term / transitional accommodation
•         Announce clear plans for providing emergency & short term accommodation at scale for decanting where buildings are unsafe and therefore evictions unavoidable 
•         Residential Improvement Districts
•         Announce a coherent approach to formalising and supporting improvement districts in residential areas under stress

The big ‘deals’ included in the programme will, hopefully, be:


Establishing a large Public/Private Inner City Fund to be used for (a) public environment / street upgrading (b) security interventions and (c) purchase of land for targeted development.
Developing a credible Housing Plan for the Inner City (supported by all the necessary efficiency improvements)
Getting the efficiencies and institutional arrangements right

Big call?  Big city!


Walking/Bus Tours by the Parktown & Westcliff Heritage Trust:- costs below are members/non-members. Bookings at Computicket 011-340 8000 or www.computicket.com  any queries phone 011-482 3349  mornings only


Saturday 10th March – walking tour - “Sophiatown” - recall the turbulent history of Sophiatown with a specialist guide from Cultural Encounters – meet at St Joseph’s Home, corner Good & Herman Streets, Sophiatown at 14h00 - R100.00/R120.00 – 3 hours.


Saturday 17th March – walking tour – “Parktown Convent ” – an exploration of this landmark on Oxford Road – meet at 40 Oxford Road, Parktown at 14h00 – R50.00/R70.00 – 2.5 hours




Hosted by the Joubert Park Project, Cascoland is a dynamic public art project which utilises the skills of local and international artists, architects and designers, together with local urban communities, in creating a public art festival. The aim of the project is to create awareness of particular urban issues in a creative framework and have communities get actively involved in shaping their public spaces. Daily programme of activities..

For more information see www.cascoland.com contact: info@cascoland.com
phone:  079 4027 255

Loading comments
More news articles
Guidelines to securing a home loan
29 May 2018
Many young South Africans are working hard to achieve their dream of purchasing their first home. However, the process can be challenging due to the daunting application process, which can take up to 2 years and is often enough to discourage prospective buyers.
read more
Things you should consider before upgrading to a new home
23 Apr 2018
The thing about the property ladder is that at some point in our lives we all have reason to want to climb a rung or two higher. Sometimes, it’s because we’ve outgrown our previous dream home, or because we want to be in a better neighbourhood that’s closer to work or to schools. Sometimes it’s because our circumstances have changed, and we’re taking care of elderly parents or relatives. Sometimes, it’s just because we want a property that reflects the financial status our hard work has won.
read more