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Thursday, 18.04.2024
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001

Empty promises frequently punted by South African politicians, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, often mention “smart cities” or “bullet trains”, but little is being done to bring these plans to fruition.

In his 2019 State of the Nation Address, Ramophosa said he dreamt of a South Africa with a new city comprising skyscrapers, schools, universities, hospitals, and factories, as well as bullet trains to connect the country’s metros.

While there has been progress with one of the planned “smart cities” — the Mooikloof Mega City — others, including the Lanseria Smart City, are still in the early planning stages.

The Baldwin Group’s results for the six months ended 31 August 2023 revealed that the developer has 2,500 apartments being actively constructed at Greenkloof, with 124 already sold.

It has a further 10,234 apartments in the works for the Mooikloof Smart City, but construction on these has yet to begin.

Once complete, the Smart City will also have schools, shops, and offices, all built following green building principles.

The development has a total project value of more than R84 billion. The smart city is one of the few in South Africa to have made some form of progress.

In his 2020 State of the Nation Address, Ramaphosa punted the Lanseria Smart City as a “truly post-apartheid city” that will be home to 350,000 to 500,000 people.

“A new smart city is taking shape in Lanseria, which 350,000 to 500,000 people will call home within the next decade,” he said.

“It will not only be smart and 5G-ready but will be a leading benchmark for green infrastructure continental and internationally.”

Plans for the smart city were first unveiled in 2007, indicating a construction time of approximately 25 years once developers break ground in the area.

The City of Johannesburg adopted the provincial government’s plan for the Lanseria smart city in May 2021. It is set to be built in the area surrounding Lanseria International Airport, north of Johannesburg.

The plans include building a city that is innovative, sustainable, green, and designed to ensure minimal environmental impact.

Government intends to achieve the latter by implementing rainwater harvesting and solar power generation systems.

Another aspect of minimising the city’s carbon footprint is a focus on eliminating the need for cars. The plan is for residents and workers to commute on foot, bicycle, or, if need be, public transport.

To achieve this, developers will focus on optimising vertical integration, with retail businesses planned for buildings’ ground floors, offices for mid-level floors, and residential apartments, penthouses, and hotels above.

The city will be built on “smart” technology and systems to benefit all who visit or reside there, using up-to-date infrastructure for cell phones, Wi-Fi, information networks and high-speed broadband.

MyBroadband visited the area in January 2023 to capture the project’s progress, and, based on appearances, it seemed as if no progress had been made.

We travelled a bisect along Ashenti Road between the entrance to Lanseria International Airport and the Blair Athol Golf Estate. We saw no construction or development relating to the smart city plans for the area.

A small informal settlement with spaza shops, small businesses, and housing is located approximately halfway along the route. The development of the Lanseria Smart City would likely involve moving the informal settlement and its residents.

The other side of the road, like most of the area, comprises open grassland with several electricity pylons visible from the road.

It should be noted that the Lanseria Smart City isn’t the only promised “smart” development that has yet to break ground.

Announced by developer Dovetail Properties in February 2022, the R8-billion Nkosi City is set to be a unique “agricity” comprising urban farms built near the Kruger National Park’s western border.

The developer initially anticipated that construction could commence as early as July 2022, as it had already received the necessary government approvals.

However, the project has yet to get off the ground. Pretoria News reports that ANC members in the region had resolved to boycott a recent ANC anniversary celebration at Mbombela Stadium to get Ramophosa’s attention.

“We are not going to participate in any activities of the ANC today or any other time until the president comes to see the Nkosi City development project that never got off the ground,” said ANC zonal election official Mandla Mhlanga.

In September 2021, then-minister of cooperative government Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma presented a plan for a coastal smart city set to be built in the Eastern Cape.

The city will be developed on the Wild Coast between Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape and Margate in KwaZulu-Natal.

In February 2022, Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane announced that work was underway to develop the smart city. While very little is known about the project, Mabuyane said there were already investors who had expressed their interest.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Myles Illidge

Quelle/Source: My Broadband, 23.01.2024

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