NOMINATIONS for the 2011 Halala Joburg Awards open in January, so there is still time to consider the names of people, projects and places that have improved the inner city.

The awards were launched in 2008 to recognise and thank those who had dedicated large portions of their time and money to enhancing Joburg’s CBD. “Celebrating inner city investment and regeneration” has become the catchphrase of these awards.

Regeneration of the city centre has been going on for about the last 15 years, but before the awards, were created, there was little or no recognition for those piloting these improvement projects. Since then, however, the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), under the sponsorship of the City of Johannesburg, has venerated these individuals, developments, projects and programmes. The aim is to:

Encourage extraordinary effort;
Recognise exceptional effort that breaks ground in urban regeneration;
Advance sustainable economic growth, community wellbeing and the quality of life of Joburg residents;
Foster originality;
Recognise pioneering programmes and innovative projects by thinkers whose passion has opened new horizons in decaying areas;
Encourage participation, equality and inclusivity;
Recognise commitment and dedication to fostering partnerships and initiating joint programmes;
Catalyse sustainable developments which promote social harmony; and
Celebrate inner city investment and regeneration.
There are seven broad categories that provide a framework into which each nomination can fit. These categories are:

Living Joburg;
Working and buying Joburg;
Relaxing and playing Joburg;
Sustaining Joburg;
Caring Joburg;
Believing in Joburg (the Stan Nkosi Achievement Award); and
The Colosseum Award for Conservation.
2010 winners
Living Joburg focuses on residential projects that provide innovative, progressive and inclusive housing that best addresses the needs of inner city residents. The theme “Not houses but homes” means that awards are given to those who enhance the quality of life of people living in the city centre. Winners in this category in 2010 were 9 Saratoga by Harmony Galz in the individual investors section and Cavendish Chambers by Afhco.

The beautifully restored Numsa head officeThe beautifully restored Numsa head office
Working and buying Joburg recognises striking commercial and retail developments that “create a business destination”. The Zurich building was 2010’s winner in this category.

Relaxing and playing Joburg honours creativity in the use of new and old buildings to form recreational spaces that make the city “the recreation destination”. Gyms, restaurants and theatres are all considered in this category and the winner in 2010 was Arts on Main.

Sustaining Joburg looks at those who use environmentally sound approaches to improve environment investment, regeneration and development. “Green buildings, green city” is the theme and the 2009 winner of this award was Main Street Mall.

Caring Joburg focuses on “Supporting Joburg’s citizens” and honours those selfless individuals who keep Joburg’s heart beating. Missionaries of Charity: Mother Theresa Home won the 2010 award in this section.

Believing in Joburg pays tribute to those who display unwavering levels of commitment to improving the city centre. It is also known as the Stan Nkosi Achievement Award, named for the late JDA chairman. This category affirms that Joburg is the “home of innovators, investors and implementers”, as the theme suggests. Ishmael Mkhabela, the founder and chief executive of Interfaith Community Development Association, won the 2010 Believing in Joburg Halala.

Finally, the Colosseum Award for Conservation looks at “Joburg past, present and future” and honours owners or developers who have shown an exceptional achievement in conserving heritage buildings. The Numsa head office won the 2010 award.