Overview | Profile | Projects


The dusty sidewalk in Diepsloot before the upgradeArea-based regeneration in townships is a priority for the City of Johannesburg. Forming part of the City's Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and falling within the framework of its Growth and Development Strategy, the upgrading of marginalised townships aims to integrate the first and second economies of these areas into the larger economy of Johannesburg.

The City considers areas like Soweto, Orange Farm and Diepsloot to be high priority for future development because of their proximity to transport corridors and because of their marginalised status.

Soweto dates back to 1903, when Kliptown was established, the first mixed-race township for Johannesburg. The most cosmopolitan and populated township in the country, Soweto is home to over a million people. The township economy is vibrant and ranges from informal traders to bed and breakfasts, the latter frequented by the more than 100 000 tourists a year.

Visitors to Johannesburg almost always include Soweto in their itineraries, going to sites such as the Hector Pieterson Museum, Vilakazi Street and Kliptown. The last two areas have had substantial upgrades done by the JDA, with more developments planned.

After the Diepsloot upgradeOrange Farm lies in the extreme south of the city, and forms part of the Deep South, as Region G is also called. As a result of this geographic isolation from Joburg's economic centre, its development has been severely hampered in the past, with the area still largely untouched by private investment.

Informal business is the dominant form of trade. Almost half of the population is young, the residents in the prime of their economically active years. They continue to live in informal homes, however, and exist on the meagre income generated from their informal trade. Inhabitants of Orange Farm who have work commute long distances daily. Stretford Station in Orange Farm is the central meeting place for everyone. From here, commuters catch taxis and trains to Roodepoort, the city centre and the southeast of Johannesburg.

Diepsloot township was established in 1994 as a relocation area for informal households from Zevenfontein, and later for those people removed from Alexandra East Bank. Located in Region A, it is densely populated and dominated by informal structures set up in haphazard fashion. The total population of Diepsloot is estimated at 150 000 people.

Major backlogs still exist in terms of infrastructure and housing provision. Economic opportunities are still very limited and stronger links with other areas of opportunity are necessary. The township is in close proximity to economically active business corridors such as Fourways, Midrand and Sandton.

The limited number of proper roads hampers strategic densification, and the negligible number of sites with business rights has resulted in the proliferation of illegal and unregulated informal sector activities.