23 July 2007
The Gauteng housing department, Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality and banking group Absa launched a R1.8-billion mixed-use housing project – the largest in the province to date – in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, on the weekend.
Like the Cosmo City development north-west of Johannesburg, the Chief Albert Luthuli Housing Park will be a mixed-income development, featuring both bonded and government-subsidised houses as well as amenities such as parks, clinics, schools and police and fire stations.
Sipho Mashinini, director of Absa property development arm Absa Devco, told Business Day that 10 300 houses would be built over the next three years, with the bonded houses expected to cost between R180 000 and R300 000.
Speaking at Sunday’s launch, Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa said the project aimed to provide quality, affordable housing “in an environment that allows integration across economic and racial divides and closer to opportunities for economic activities.”
Building social cohesion in South Africa, Shilowa said, required a break from “apartheid spatial planning that separates people according to wealth and colour and dumps the poor in places far from areas of economic opportunities and social advancement.”
The launch of the project coincided with the 40th anniversary of the death of Albert Luthuli, president-general of the African National Congress from December 1952 until his death in 1967, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960.
SouthAfrica.info reporter and BuaNews