MMC gives the regeneration of Braamfontein Precinct impetus
The future of Braamfontein is in good hands and looks bright, so says City of Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee for Development Planning Cllr Funzela Ngobeni.
MMC Ngobeni was addressing a workshop attended by the Braamfontein Regeneration and Innovation Steering Committee (BRISC) on Friday March 17 to look into the future of one of the City’s most important precincts.
Braamfontein is home to, among others, Wits University, leading insurance company Liberty Life, National School of Arts, Johannesburg Theatre, Enoch Sontonga Memorial Park, the City’s Metro Centre and other municipal offices.
According to steering committee member Ndumiso Davidson, BRISC will take stock of where Braamfontein is currently and formalise the partnership between the City, residents, users, institutions, business and developers.
“Under the direction of MMC Ngobeni, the committee is mandated to guide planning and development in the broader Braamfontein area,” Davidson said.
According to Ngobeni, Braamfontein as a key inner city node will in the new financial year be prioritised to strengthen the pedestrian link between the Metro Centre and Park Station and increase investments in the Metro Centre precinct.
“It also means concluding the Braamfontein Traffic and Transportation Study to provide critical evidence for determining the impact of key interventions put forward by groups of hard working Braamfontein stakeholders who have invested their time and efforts in looking at the future of the precinct through the ‘Walkable Braamfontein Project’,” Ngobeni said.
He said as far as the operational urban management was concerned, a third Pikitup shift, additional peace officers focused on by-law enforcement and a refocused informal trading approach were expected to have major positive impacts on safety and cleanliness in the precinct.
Ngobeni acknowledged the beginning of improved engagement between the Braamfontein stakeholders and the City through work streams or sub-committees.
“I would like to see a work stream dealing with inclusivity and the community to be instituted and that all of these work streams report back at the proposed quarterly BRISC meetings. I am committed to chairing these meetings as often as I can,” he said.
Ngobeni told the workshop that the City’s new administration would over the next 18 months seek to reabsorb the municipal entities to improve service delivery and responsiveness.
He also said Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba’s 10-point plan had a direct impact on what was being envisaged for Braamfontein.
“Cllr Mashaba wants a responsive and pro-poor administration, plans to achieve 5% economic growth, reduce unemployment, fight corruption, revive the inner city and be business friendly, and attractive to investors and entrepreneurs,” Ngobeni concluded.