Picture: 123RF/Sergei Dmitrienko
Picture: 123RF/Sergei Dmitrienko

Joburgers have been told to brace for a construction frenzy that is set to hit the inner city in coming months. But whether the construction will affect traffic flow in the already gridlocked city centre is something that is to be seen.

On Tuesday‚ the South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP) hosted an inner-city tour‚ allowing its members to see potential business opportunities in there. This followed the Joburg Property Company’s (JPC) call for requests for proposals (RFQs) from developers‚ requesting long-term leases and development of some of the properties in the inner city and some parts of the city.

JPC CEO Helen Botes said the city would be giving 50-year-leases to developers that came up with compelling proposals in line with issues they wanted to address.

"Housing and student accommodation are a serious problem in the city and we looking for developers who would come up with solutions‚" Botes said.

She added that the city was not going to allow chance-takers‚ and stressed it would not be lenient in any way to developers. She said that once a developer had been awarded a tender‚ they would immediately be given a detailed timeline to start with the project.

Botes said the city would also try to assist emerging developers by inviting funding institutions to the next briefing session‚ to be held sometime in September.

One of the biggest challenges would be dealing with hijacked buildings: 35 of the 71 properties that have been earmarked for development are situated in the inner city and some of the buildings are those previously hijacked.

Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba said the city was happy to see the positive response it received from the private sector. He said he wanted to see the inner city rejuvenated as soon as possible‚ as this was one of the promises he made to residents when he took office in 2016.

One of the property developers attending the tour‚ Nandi Malindi of Dijalo Properties‚ said she was happy that the city was opening up about opportunities and not withholding information to those interested in doing business with the city. She said the transparency in the whole process was remarkable.

"This tour really gave a full view of opportunities available in the inner city‚ and that levels the playing ground for those that are interested in the property business."