The purpose of the City of Johannesburg’s growth and development strategy is to create a future city that is people-focused, caring, smart, sustainable, financially successful, and institutionally functional, however, the city’s administration and people faced numerous challenges to achieve these goals.
Infrastructure acts as the enabler for economic development by attracting investment to an area and assisting in social upliftment. Two of the biggest challenges that the City of Johannesburg was facing – and would continue to face without a consolidated infrastructure plan (CIP) – were preventing uncoordinated spending on infrastructure and accommodating the rising population in terms of service provision.
In 2015, Zutari was appointed to create a CIP for the City of Johannesburg, and again in 2017 to continue with the plan, after great progress had been made. The purpose of the CIP is to consolidate and integrate the planning, implementation, and management of infrastructure-related programmes to reduce the city’s infrastructure backlogs and meet its future growth needs.
The population growth is largely due to migration, which will continue to rise. It has been estimated that Johannesburg’s population will grow by approximately 12 000 people every month, of who more than 80% are economically disadvantaged, and have no income.
Well-located available land for housing is one of the key shortages that the city is currently facing. While the housing department is addressing the shortage by delivering housing units in a number of developments, socio-economic projections have shown that the population migration into the municipal area outstrips delivery, and results in a growing backlog. Migrants looking for work tend to settle in informal settlements, which are known for poor hygiene and unhealthy living conditions because large numbers of people live in close proximity to one another, and few services are available. Housing and service provision will remain at the top of the government’s agenda.
Besides the shortage of houses, there are also challenges related to the distance that people need to travel from home to work. People living in informal settlements on the periphery of the city often spend more than 40% of their income on transport to get to work, which doesn’t leave much for living costs such as food.
The purpose of the CIP is to consolidate and integrate the planning, implementation, and management of infrastructure-related programmes
We are developing a strategy that will ensure people are able to live well, work well, and move well in a prosperous, vibrant city,”
This is a problem that the City of Johannesburg is addressing through its spatial strategy, the Corridors of Freedom, which is supported by the CIP.
The project involves studying population growth and locations for housing, identifying and prioritising programmes and projects, and analysing infrastructure capacity requirements and investment as part of the CIP. Implementing the CIP principles has unknowingly directed the city’s planning and management of its capital budget towards a post-Covid-19 scenario, which will assist in the major challenges currently experienced.
The expertise used for the project includes strategic and integrated planning; demographic growth and economic development projections; sector engineering for water, sanitation, roads, stormwater, electricity, solid waste, and transportation; financial analysis; capital expenditure analysis and projection; and revenue management. More than a million people will be positively impacted by the project.
“The CIP is far more than a plan to address infrastructure maintenance and upgrades over the next decade – it’s a plan that will better the lives of the people of Johannesburg and future generations. We are developing a strategy that will ensure people are able to live well, work well, and move well in a prosperous, vibrant city,” says Johan van den Berg, Zutari Associate – Environment and Planning.
*The Aurecon Africa business has been officially renamed Zutari as at 21 July 2020. Zutari acquired Aurecon Middle East on 20 November 2020.