Construction work on the new Vaal River City project is set to begin at the end of this year. Located in 250ha of land in Vereening in Gauteng, the project is expected to cost between US $0.58bn and US $0.91bn (R7-billion and R11-billion) and is expected to improve on the economy and industrialization of the region.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura has said this week during a visit at the site, that the residential and commercial development project would serve as a channel to improve on investment and economic development of the region and residents of the area will benefit from it directly.
In addition to easing on the Sedibeng district’s dependency on steel industry that is now wobbling, the planned “hydropolis” project will help unlock the potential of waterfront developments in Emfuleni and Midvaal areas in the district.
Up to 10 000 jobs will be created during the construction phase while 19 000 jobs will be available when the project is complete and open for use.
Makhura also noted that the aim was to improve the economy of the Vaal region by US $3.32bn in the next 15 years.
The mixed use city project will integrate the Midvaal and Emfuleni local municipalities into one metropolitan Municipal and will have facilities to offer government services.
Makhura said the project will mark another strategy of delivering mass houses to ease housing backlog – the mega human settlements – as is the trend being adopted. The premier said they were planning to build 120, 000 houses in the next five years to ease the housing burden.
Construction at the Vaal River City project will involve setting up a 60 000m2 life center, 400 000m2 commercial office park and park lands. 20%-25% of the Vaal River City project will comprise of residential units, although the whole idea of the project is to have mixed-use facilities.
60% of the residents would hail from Sedibeng according to River City Development Company CEO Reggie Kukama during the ceremony. He said the project will allow public access to the river – the intention is to build a river city with a waterfront. The project, which now joins other developments in Gauteng such as the Steyn city and Blue Crane Eco Park, will not only make the area attractive to tourists but also act as a blue print for development of future cities. He said the district lacked infrastructure to stimulate growth of economy.
The construction project is a joint venture between the public and private sector in order to help the region avoid over-dependency on the steel industry in the region. Sedibeng mayor Simon Mofokeng was also present and said the project will leave an environmental and economic blueprint for future generations.