Johannesburg Urban Development Zone

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Johannesburg Urban Development Zone

Johannesburg investors share the Johannesburg City Council’s vision of making Joburg a world-class city by 2030.

They are highly enthusiastic about taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the UDZ tax incentive and the upcoming events leading to the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup. Revitalising the inner city is a key city priority, hence the mobilisation of the inner-city stakeholders around the agenda for the regeneration of this important economic hub. The revitalisation of distressed areas such as the inner city of Johannesburg is of high priority to the Johannesburg City Council, and the UDZ legislation has therefore been very helpful.

It has also assisted us to pursue the City of Johannesburg’s vision of attaining World Class African City status by 2030. So far, as a result of successful and intense promotion of the incentive, we have recorded about R2.5-billion worth of investment directly linked to the UDZ tax incentive.

Private investors have welcomed the incentive and have demonstrated confidence in the inner city by investing billions of rand towards resuscitating the economy in this strategically important region of the city.

A high number of refurbished buildings are located in the core inner city, Braamfontein and Newtown. Braamfontein refurbishments are predominantly conversions from commercial use to residential, primarily due to the proximity to Wits University and other tertiary institutions. In the core inner city, Braamfontein and Newtown, there is largescale development of commercial buildings such as Turbine Square and Turbine Hall, the Mills, the Standard Bank Parkade, the BHP Billiton expansion, South Point Management Services, the Brickfield Developments, etc. It is desirable to encourage further investment in commercial property and tourism facilities as well as the industrial sector, in order to meaningfully derive economic regeneration. Efforts are therefore afoot to pursue the large corporations to get on board. Abundant opportunities still exist in the traditionally marginal nodes where the UDZ pick-up has been rather slow, including Hillbrow, Berea, Yeoville, Bertrams, Doornfontein, Fordsburg, Belleview, etc. These areas are characterised by pockets of small residential properties and have been red-lined by the financial sector.

Marketing drives depicting their positive attributes are in the pipeline. Investment by BEE and women investors has had a slow uptake, so the city is intensifying its efforts to attract investment from this important constituency. Currently, the BEE investment on the city’s records amounts to about 10% of the cumulative total investment. The city has decided to measure the BEE contribution not only in absolute direct investment but also in respect of participation in the value chain.

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