Mashaba's dream: To end spatial apartheid AND get business on board

02 May 2018 - 12:39 By Claudi Mailovich
Herman Mashaba
Herman Mashaba
Image: Sunday Times

The City of Johannesburg is set to introduce a housing policy that proposes that every new development of 10 dwelling units or more must include 20% pro-poor housing.

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba said in his second state of the city address that the city was set to introduce the policy‚ which was currently in draft form and out for public comment‚ through its Development Planning and Housing Departments.

“I am all too aware of the fact that for us to stand a chance of providing dignified housing to our residents‚ we must strike a balance between our objective and incentivising business to buy into our plan‚” Mashaba said.

He said the city’s vision for inclusive housing‚ when managed privately‚ should cater for households with an income of R7‚000 or less per month.

“Ultimately‚ we must all ask ourselves‚ irrespective of our views on how to do business‚ what kind of City do we want? Do we want to further entrench apartheid spatial planning or do we want an inclusive city whose development will foster economic and racial integration?” Mashaba asked.

He said the people of Johannesburg wanted an inclusive City‚ that “no longer reflects the painful memory of a segregated past.”

He said the city believed that the private sector had a role to play in the provision of affordable housing‚ and that the role stems not only from social responsibility‚ but also from the value provided to developers by the city in terms of land use rights and bulk infrastructure.

Some of this value must be returned to the residents of the City‚ Mashaba said.

He said one way of addressing the housing crisis is to “rid ourselves of the mistaken belief that there is no good business to be done in the affordable or low-cost rental housing market.”