By 2030 Gauteng will have two huge new cities, socially diverse, digitally connected and ecologically responsible and sustainable. That’s if the provincial government delivers on its plans for the west (Lanseria to Hartbeespoort Dam) and in the south, where Vaal River City will stretch from Vereeniging to Sasolburg in the Free State.

It has pledged to release 10,000 serviced stands as part of its Rapid Land Release programme and intends to finish incomplete housing projects in Alexandra, Evaton, Kliptown, Bekkersdal and Winterveldt.

Bodies such as the National Housing Finance Corporation, Indlu and Umastandi (social capital entrepreneurs) work with provincial authorities to find ways to formalise and monetise the township market. They want to generate sustainable incomes and affordable housing and make rental stock more readily available.

An important concept for developers in Johannesburg is a tax incentive that accompanies the Urban Development Zone (UDZ). The City of Johannesburg and the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) have developed a database for all UDZ properties. Information about the owner of the plot, the valuation and zoning rights is available for every stand.

Various “improvement districts” have also been created. For example, the RID (Retail Improvement District) where businesses in a designated area pay levies to secure improved cleaning and security services. The Johannesburg City Improvement District (CID) Forum shares information among the CIDs. Expenditure by CIDs collectively on supplementary public space safety, cleaning and maintenance is estimated to be about R61-million annually.

The Gauteng Partnership Fund (GPF) has attracted more than R3,5-billion in private sector funding for affordable housing in the province since 2012. The Brickfields housing and rental development in Newtown was funded by the GPF and implemented by the Johannesburg Housing Company (JHC) as one of the first inner-city rejuvenation projects.

The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) projects range broadly across many areas within the city. They include plans to use transport hubs to improve the lives of residents living in previously neglected areas.

Private developer Indluplace Properties has purchased nine large apartment blocks, taking its total buildings in central Johannesburg CBD, Berea and Hillbrow to 23. The listed company (its major shareholder is Arrowhead) intends to “aggressively grow its portfolio” of high-yielding rental properties.

 The successful Sandton model of office and accommodation space is replicating across the province.

The newest is the R6-billion Castle Gate Lifestyle Centre in Pretoria. It is the first phase in a multi-use development that will comprise offices, medical facilities, a hotel with a retail centre and more than 1,000 residential units. The largest is Menlyn Maine, in Pretoria East that aims to be South Africa’s first “green precinct”.

Professional services and consulting firm PwC has chosen the Waterfall City estate near Midrand as the site for its R1,5-billion headquarters, housing 3,500 employees and 40,000m² of lettable space.

Rosebank’s popularity as an office node continues to grow, and Melrose Arch proves to be a popular development. None of this is stopping Sandton. It remains the first choice as a national base for several large companies, including Discovery and Sasol.

Whether the “semigration” from Gauteng to the Western Cape will have a downward effect on Gauteng’s residential property prices remains to be seen. It is undoubtedly moving Cape Town’s prices upwards.