The City of Johannesburg plans to convert 500 dilapidated buildings into affordable accommodation, including for students, within the next two years with the support of the private sector as it attempts to solve a growing housing backlog in SA’s economic powerhouse. This forms part of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s plan to combat the neglect, crime and grime that have beset SA’s wealthiest city. A large part of this redevelopment will be focused on the inner city, which experienced an exodus of big business in the 1990s. Property developers have already committed to redeveloping 86 buildings as part of a first phase, with the city having accepted bids worth R20bn. These properties will be converted into 24 developments whose funders include Absa, First National Bank, Capitec and property finance specialist TUHF. The government would continue owning the buildings, but would enter into leasing agreements with developers and property managers. Councillor Reuben Masango, who is in ...

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