UNDER its land regularisation programme, the Joburg Property Company will transfer thousands of council-owned properties into the hands of residents, so helping to meet the goals of Joburg 2040.
Over the next three to five years, the Joburg Property Company (JPC), through its innovative land regularisation programme, will transfer some 3 700 properties across Johannesburg into the hands of local residents.
The Land Regularisation Programme is unique to the City of Johannesburg, forming the basis of a sustainable property economy through expediting the transfer of properties to beneficiaries, as well as releasing vacant sites on public tender.
The advantage of this approach is that it will support sustainable economic growth through private sector investment and increase the rates, taxes and service repayment base of the City.
Properties have been identified in Alexandra, the greater Soweto area, the greater Orange Farm area, Ivory Park and surrounds.
The JPC began its revolutionary land regularisation process in 2005, looking at releasing City-owned land that was not required by the council.
The process has two phases: an audit of all council-owned property and the implementation of a land release strategy. The property audit identifies properties that are vacant and includes council-owned shops, occupied land and land regarded as “farm portions”. Through the land release strategy, legitimate beneficiaries are able to get legal access to the property by transfer. Properties that can be released to public tender or withheld for public sector investment are also identified.
In the short term, the programme seeks to verify and quantify the total number of properties under the control of the City of Johannesburg. In so doing, it legitimises local government in the eyes of its ratepayers, updates the existing database of council-owned property and provides strategic property plans for the release of council-owned property.
In the longer term, the council will have a clear land release strategy that will not only grant ownership, but also access to council-owned land.
The process allows transfer to legal tenants, provides economic incentives to invest in strategic parcels of land and identifies specific precincts that stimulate economic and social development.
By transferring the properties to beneficiaries – and simultaneously compiling a verifiable and more accurate asset register – the City is better placed to secure an increased rates base, while also [contributing] to the implementation of the City’s Growth and Development Strategy.
In this way, the JPC is contributing in a fundamental way to Joburg 2040, the City of Johannesburg’s Growth and Development Strategy. One of the outcomes identified in the Joburg 2040 document is to “provide a resilient, liveable, sustainable urban environment”.
Access to land and home ownership is vital to this process.