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R6.2bn housing project for Gauteng

Cape Town - Calgro M3 on Tuesday announced a multi-billion rand housing project in Gauteng that is set to bring estate living, long the preserve of wealthier South Africans, within the reach of lower income earners.

A statement from the Johannesburg-based developer said construction would soon start on the R6.2 billion housing project. Yet, unlike most other self-contained estates and housing developments, Leratong City targets previously disadvantaged people and lies in a previously disadvantaged township area. The project in Mogale City will be developed in partnership with McCormick Property Development and Sasuka Logistics Services, a Mogale City-based black-owned and managed property development company.

While Leratong City won't exactly be a lush and leafy estate designed around a golf course, the "very large residential and commercial development project along the new Main Reef Corridor" would be a "trendsetter" in its own right, said Sasuka's chairman Thamsanqa Mfundisi.

"The project is aimed at transforming a disadvantaged former mining area into a more vibrant community where housing, shops, schools and places of work are integrated in a single, mixed-use neighbourhood," Mfundisi added. Situated across the road from the Leratong Hospital, the first phase will consist of 15 000 residential units, an intermodal transport hub, a government precinct and a 30 000 sq m regional mall. The total development extends over 400 ha and construction of the bulk infrastructure is expected to start by June.

Located on two major regional movement routes that form part of the primary movement network of Gauteng, the Leratong City project has been selected as an area for Neighbourhood Development Partnership Grant investment. Positioned at the intersection of major roads linking Mogale City, Soweto, Randfontein, Merafong, Roodepoort, Florida and Johannesburg, Leratong City would allow easy access to these business nodes. Calgro M3 said: "It forms an integral part of a larger regional node set in the context of a previously disadvantaged township area, which has the potential to transform into a high intensity regional node." Social amenities such as creches, a community centre, and educational and healthcare facilities will also be developed.

Other amenities will include mixed-use business centres, religious sites, recreational parks and green spaces as well as public sports facilities. Homes will be available for people qualifying for fully subsidised units to families earning more than R15 000 a month. "A wide range of quality, well-priced residential products will be offered to a range of income earners," said Calgro M3's managing director, Wikus Lategan.

"In addition, the implementation of this project will stimulate the local economy through the participation of the local community in the different phases of the project, in terms of Calgro M3's local community-based employment philosophy," Lategan added. The project also provides for road upgrades, including opening up links to connecting suburbs, a major sewer and water supply upgrade and the construction of a new electrical substation to support the development and surrounds.