About the JDA

about top

City development agency, the JDA, aimed in its first phase of operation to create an attractive for investment. Now it is poised to take on a broader role, looking at urban regeneration.


As the City of Johannesburg’s development agency, the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) manages and facilitates developments efficiently and innovatively to build an equitable, sustainable and resilient city.

The agency was set up to facilitate area-based developments that give effect to the strategic City development vision and objectives.

To achieve its objectives the JDA has structured its operations into four substantive programmes within the Sustainable Services Cluster, and two operational programmes that give effect to the cross-cutting functions that enable the JDA to work in an efficient and effective way.

The substantive programmes are:
i) The greenways programme that focuses on providing resilient, liveable and sustainable environments within the City by using roads, rivers and transport modes to promote walking, cycling, and sustainable public transport. This programme includes the continued roll-out of the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system infrastructure and service.

ii) A transit oriented node development programme that encourages optimal development of transit hubs and corridors across the city, which provide access to affordable  accommodation and transport, high quality public spaces and amenities, and good community services.

iii) A programme on priority area planning and implementation that shifts the design of the city – including elements like streets, buildings and spaces of work and play – to improve liveability and create sustainable human settlements.

iv) An inner city regeneration programme that continues the strategic inner city upgrading focus for the JDA. Within this programme there are elements of transit oriented node and corridor development. Precinct developments are designed to respond to local conditions, needs and advantages, and to achieve economic, social and sustainable development outcomes.

All of these programmes are intended to restructure the space economy to give poor households better access to well-located accommodation, jobs and markets; optimise land use and energy consumption; and improve living standards and mobility for large numbers of people in well serviced and managed transit neighbourhoods.

They link back to three of the master programmes outlined in the City’s Growth and Development Strategy, Joburg 2040: enabling resilience, inclusion and sustainability; enabling growth and job creation; and going green.

The two operational programmes relate to strengthening the way in which the JDA works and the extension of the JDA’s mandate as a result of the institutional review carried out by the City of Joburg. These are:

v) The administration and management programme that accommodates the CEO, Finance, Marketing and Communications, Risk and Compliance, Supply Chain Management, and IT.

vi) The development facilitation programme is a new programme which gives effect to the extended mandate of the JDA as the development facilitation agency for the City of Johannesburg. It includes Development Implementation, Project Development, Land Development and Urban Management Support.

In its first phase of operation – 2001 to 2006 – the JDA set itself the goal of creating an environment to attract new investment and increase occupancy levels in the inner city. It also undertook to enhance the city’s cultural and tourism potential within specific areas.

This was done through the JDA facilitating capital investments and other programmes involving public and private-sector stakeholders.

The JDA drew on Johannesburg’s rich history to create new iconic symbols of the city, such as the Nelson Mandela Bridge, and Constitution Hill. Initial areas of focus included Greater Newtown, the Fashion District, Greater Ellis Park, Braamfontein, the High Court Precinct, Jewel City and Kliptown.

During this time, JDA positioned itself to take on a broader role, focusing on urban and economic regeneration of large-scale, multi-faceted areas.
In its second phase of operations – from 2006 to 2011 – the agency focused on projects that were vital to the success of the country, and the City of Johannesburg, hosting the FIFA World Cup™ in 2010.

The JDA established integrated sport precincts in Nasrec and Ellis Park, creating dedicated bus ways and bus stations for the BRT system, as well as developing priority (historically marginalised) areas such as Orlando West, Orange Farm and Diepsloot.

Now in its third developmental phase, the JDA continues to play an important role in the implementation of Joburg 2040, as well as supporting the development of the City’s ‘Corridors of Freedom’.

Joburg 2040 lays the foundation for multi-level, integrated responses to the challenges the city faces – driven capable and capacitated communities and individuals, the City of Johannesburg will become a more sustainable, inclusive city, in which communities and individuals who live in it hold the potential and the means to imagine and grow their neighbourhoods, their communities and themselves.

Over the years, the JDA has gained significant experience in:
•    Inner city regeneration
•    Development of economic areas
•    Regeneration of historically marginalised areas
•    Transit-oriented developments