Massive new CBD for Soweto’s Jabulani

Massive new CBD for Soweto’s Jabulani

JSE’s top performing share behind the integrated development.


Calgro M3 - the JSE’s top-ranking share for the first ten months of 2011 - is behind massive developments in Jabulani, Soweto in an attempt to turn it into a fully-fledged central business district, such projects a property analyst believes is the future.

A 300 bed hospital, a state of the art performing arts theatre and an integrated residential housing development form part of the mix to upgrade Jabulani in conjunction with the Gauteng government and other stakeholders.

Calgro M3, as an unusual mass housing developer and the best performing share on the JSE (JSE:JSE) in the ten months to October, has identified Jabulani as one of the growth nodes in Soweto as it is within walking distance of the Rea Vaya rapid transport system , the train station, the Jabulani Mall and other amenities.

Another part of the upliftment of the area is the demolition of the dilapidated Jabulani hostels originally built to house migrants who once worked the mines along Johannesburg’s reefs decades ago. Over the years the workers’ families have joined them in the hostels where there are no ablutions and sewerage runs freely through the complex.

Also in the development is what people in the business of property call “walk ups”. These are two and three storey apartment blocks without lifts and form part of the RDP element of the development.

Developers Calgro M3 Holdings (JSE:CGR) are working on making sure the development is aesthetically pleasing, with shrubs and greenery dotted along the grounds. While the units are generally compact, the structures are sound with the basic necessities to accommodate any family as a start-up.

CEO Ben-Pierre Malherbe says this kind of development is the face of the future to cope with the ongoing influx of South Africans into cities.

Property consultant Francois Viruly says an estimated 10m people are expected to flock to Gauteng by 2014. Malherbe says these mixed=income housing developments are set to become an important benchmark in managing urban population dynamics in Gauteng.

In Meadowlands another development known as Fleurhof is under construction. It comprises sectional title units ranging in price from R279 000 to R299 000. Free standing units also form part of the mix costing between R289 000 and R296 000.

Fleurhof is also a fully integrated development in terms of government’s 2007 policy for RDP housing to form part of any new housing initiatives. Provision has been made for the building of crèches, churches, a community centre and other amenities within the development. The location ensures easy access to transport and the Johannesburg CBD. It’s also close to an industrial hub where many Soweto residents work.

This is also in line with government’s new thinking on housing developments that they must be close to places of work and transport. This node is also serviced by Rea Vaya.

Calgro says its model allows it to sell in the open market and to institutional buyers. Malherbe explains that unlike some traditional developers, Calgro buys the land, develops it and at the end of the day provides a turnkey product that cuts out town planners, civil engineers and contracting contractors. This in turn helps cut costs, enabling it to add value to the development.

Calgro has 30 developments in the pipeline in various areas over the next seven to ten years.

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Denny Crane

Denny Crane
It's not me ... yet. Denny Crane from the TV series Boston Legal. Click on picture if you're not sure who he is!