The JDA was established at a critical moment in Johannesburg’s history as part of the iGoli 2002 re-engineering process. Since then, its role has evolved significantly. The JDA is guided by the overarching frameworks of the National Development Plan, the Gauteng 2055 vision, the CoJ’s GDS 2040 and CoJ’s SDF. In particular, the agency is led by the 2040 strategy’s ideals of resilience, liveability and sustainability – driven by the conviction that a resilient city is flexible and strong enough to solve complex and unanticipated problems.

Urban Development Agencies around the world operate on slightly different institutional models. In order to respond to the challenges, opportunities and local needs of the City of Johannesburg, the agency has evolved with the changing requirements of Johannesburg and its people. It has also learnt from its experience over the years. JDA has shifted its focus from triple bottom line outcomes (economic, social and environmental) in the inner city and marginalised areas to an emphasis on resilient, sustainable and liveable urban areas in identified transit nodes and corridors. This means that as an area-based development agency, we are more than just a project management agency or an economic development agency.

Every area-based development undertaken by the JDA is supported by development facilitation functions in the pre-development and post-development phases to enhance the value added by the capital works interventions and improve the longer-term sustainability of the capital investment. 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.

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To build a more welcoming, competitive and resilient Johannesburg that is a better city to live, work and play in.


Planning, implementing, managing and facilitating area-based developments in efficient, equitable, sustainable and innovative ways.

Key Values

The key values that inform the work and approach of the JDA are:

  • Accountability: To its shareholders, Board and key stakeholders
  • Innovation and creativity: Promoting an environment of fast-tracked decision-making and broader financial leverage, within which developments are planned, led, managed and implemented.
  • Responsiveness: To market forces, operating where it can make a difference, in locales and sectors where shareholders and their partners have a concentration of assets and expertise.
  • Results-driven and stakeholder-focused: With a ‘user friendly’ approach
  • Seeking to empower: Through progressive procurement and work practices

JDA Strategic Programmes

Strategic Development Programme/s Sub-Programme/s
1. Strategic Economic Node Delivery Programme 1A: Inner City Transformation Sub-Programme

1B: Economic Node Sub-Programme

2. Accelerated infrastructure Delivery Programme 2A: Deprivation Areas Revitalization Sub-Programme

2B: Urban Infrastructure Delivery Sub-Programme

3. Economic Empowerment Programme

4. Good Governance, Management and Administration Programme



SMME / EME procurement (PPR, 2017)

5. Good Governance, Management and Administration Programme N/A


The JDA aims to:

  • Restructure the city by developing defined, strategic geographic areas around the city and the movement corridors that link them.
  • Promote economic growth by creating efficient and competitive business environments that cluster industries and functions in these areas.
  • Turn around declining investment trends in these areas by upgrading public spaces, generating shared visions for future development, and encouraging urban management partnerships.
  • Develop local economic potential in marginalised areas to promote access to jobs and markets.
  • Encourage sustainable energy consumption and land use in the city by developing strategic transit nodes and corridors.
  • Promote economic empowerment through the structuring and procurement of the JDA developments.
  • Support productive development partnerships and co-operation between all stakeholders in these areas.

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