|Small rental units to go alongside bigger houses
SOUTH Africas first mixed-income housing development hits
the market next month.
Jerusalem, in Fairland, northwestern Joburg, will
see lower- income earners living side by side with more affluent
Alan Dinnie, Jerusalem project manager, said if sales
meet the required levels, construction could start in July.
Plans are afoot to build 187 houses on 9.3ha of council-owned
Dinnie said social housing units would take up 30% of the development.
The 55m² social housing units will feature two bedrooms,
a kitchen, bathroom and living room.
They will be rented out for R1500 to R2000 a month to families
earning between R3500 and R7000 a month.
The other units, which will make up 70% of the development,
are expected to sell at over R1.5- million.
Deon Oberholzer, chairman of the Jerusalem Action Group and
vice-chairman of the Fairland Ratepayers and Residents
Association, said residents were initially extremely concerned
about the original proposals for an extensive low-cost housing
development in their area.
Despite his optimism about the development, Oberholzer said:
There are a number of concerns that remain in the minds
of the community. Any untested model naturally has a higher
risk of failure.
Sothebys International Realty chairman Lew Geffen said
the project would be an interesting experiment.
I think at the end of the day it will work and I think
its success is going to be an inspiration to the neighbourhood,
Property economist Francois Viruly said: The only issue
that we need to watch out for is that we build such units in
areas where there is sufficient infrastructure.
They have to be built near parks, clinics and schools;
those issues are going to determine the success of such developments.
A QUICK Metro survey found that Joburg celebrities had a
mixed reaction to the development.
Socialite and model Babalwa Mneno said: I wouldnt
live there. The surroundings would not be conducive to the kind
of person I am.
Socialite and choreographer Somizi Mhlongo felt that the mixed
housing development was a good move.
If it means a property worth R20 000 is in my complex,
thats fine, I dont have a problem with it. Who said
some areas are only reserved for the rich?
Gareth Cliff, 5FMs breakfast show host, said: Ive
always loathed golf estates theyre packed full
of white people with new money who are trying to shut the rest
of South Africa out. Most of these people dont even play
Having said that, forcing poor and rich people into close
proximity is a very bad idea we know birds of a feather
flock together; theyre not going to get along. Someone
will move out.
Businesswoman Basetsana Kumalo supported the concept, but was
cagey about whether she would buy in such a development. I
support the idea. I think its the way the country needs
to go; those models work well overseas and that also begins
to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots. It begins
to get people to have much more understanding of each other
as they live in a common space.
Umm: Basetsana Kumalo likes it in theory.
Hell, no: Babalwa Mneno would never.
Not me: Gareth Cliff thinks its a bad idea.
No problemo: Somizi Mhlongo doesnt mind.
Full range: An artists impression of
the development to be built in Fairland . The image shows a
typical Joburg Social Housing Companys unit on the left,
in the middle is a typical two-bedroom standard unit, and on
the right is a standard three-bedroom unit. Picture: Courtesy