Jewels among squalor and rubble: developers’ ambitious plans for ...

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Jewels among squalor and rubble: developers’ ambitious plans for Joburg CBD

The inner city is undergoing a fascinating revamp as private investors reimagine its potential

Anna Cox and Gill Gifford

If the private property sector has its way, the Joburg inner city will become less grime and crime — and it’s getting their hands dirty doing it.

At least eight big private investors — Absa, Divercity Urban Property Fund, Ithemba Properties, Olitzki Property Holdings, Atterbury, Talis Property Funds, FNB and Standard Bank — have come to the rescue of the Joburg inner city by establishing city and retail inner city districts (CIDs and RIDs) in pockets of the area. Property owners collaborate and meet monthly to engage on communal problems. They pay for their own security, cleaning and maintenance, and even repair the municipal pavements and potholes.

Last month the CBD received a R500m cash injection from CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution. The money was given to the Divercity Urban Property Fund, an affordable housing platform focused on the regeneration of SA cities, as part of CDC’s investment in Africa...

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