Construction on the Turffontein storm water upgrade is currently underway. The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) completed phase 1A and are busy with phase 1B of the project. The design of the storm water system is in line with the Joburg Roads Agency’s (JRA) modern storm water system.

Launched in October 2017, The JDA’s Our City Our Block initiative called for submissions from local neighbourhood partnerships in the Inner City who could identify a project that would support socio-economic benefit activities being offered by the partnership members in their area. This call received eighteen (18) submissions that were evaluated based on published criteria. Of these, JDA awarded technical assistance to 5 local neighbourhood-scale partnerships to refine their project proposals. 3 of these partnership projects mentioned above will receive JDA implementation of a maximum of R5m each, beginning in this financial year. A further 2 are receiving technical studies required before proceeding to implementation

What sets Our City, Our Block apart from other processes is that it has been a largely inclusive process, giving the community, NGO’s and businesses the ability to identify and take ownership of the projects they want to see implemented in their area based on their immediate needs and concerns.

When asked why the stakeholders applied to be a part of this process, they said it was an opportunity for them to engage in the public space beyond their borders; a chance to engage on issues around safety whilst unlocking the possibilities of their precincts through interventions from the City.

The JDA’s CEO, Christo Botes stated that, “these are the kinds of projects that we as the JDA believe are of benefit to the community. Choosing to go for a bottom-up approach to planning gives the communities an opportunity to play a larger role in their projects and gives them a sense of ownership that will hopefully see them forming partnerships in the future to look after their community assets.”

The Our City, Our Block projects will now move into the implementation phase where all the key take-outs from the technical assistance phase will be fleshed out and updated to create user-responsive precincts that improve safety, incorporate local art, create quality public spaces and better urban management through shared responsibilities with partners.

Statement ends.

Issued by:
Johannesburg Development Agency
Susan Monyai