As early as 1997, the Gauteng Department of Housing and Local Authority at that time (Western MLC) invited development proposals for a large housing initiative situated to the West of Soweto on portions of the farms Doornkop 239 I.Q. and Zuurbult 240 I.Q. This housing project was placed on hold due to the parallel identification of a provincial small farmers resettlement programme.
In the 2003/2004 financial year, the Gauteng Department of Housing conceived an integrated urban development project and appointed a team of professionals to conduct a project feasibility study. The “Doornkop Greenfields” project as it was known at the time, was always intended to be a large scale mixed income, mixed typology and mixed tenure housing development in keeping with the latest policy shifts of the National Housing Ministry in terms of Inclusionary Housing and the Breaking New Grounds (BMG) strategies. The integrated and mixed nature of the Doornkop Greenfields project meant that its planning phases were jointly conceptualized by the City of Joburg and the Gauteng Department of Housing.
The Joburg Property Company (JPC) was identified as the entity responsible for project implementation in the short term and initiated the process of land purchase and transfer from various national and provincial government departments and private land owners. The Gauteng Department of Housing currently still represents the principle funder of the project to date; while the agreements between Province and Council listing Council as the developer of the project.
From the outset, Doornkop Greenfields was planned as a project that could potentially address a large part of the housing backlog, backyard dwellers and informal settlers of Soweto. To this end, the Gauteng Department of Housing provisionally allocated 25 000 capital subsidies to the project with the approval of the project feasibility study in 2004. Urban Dynamics assisted with the preparation of this initial Feasibility Study under the RPT (Regional Professional Team) Program. After project funding approval by the Housing Advisory Committee, the preliminary planning process commenced which culminated in Urban Dynamics preparing and circulating a Spatial Development Framework in April 2005.
The circulation of the draft SDF for the Doornkop project enabled the various services utilities and departments to consider the project and the implications that it will have on infrastructure. This SDF also enabled the appointed civil engineers to calculate bulk services requirements for the project and engaged the authorities regarding funding for such infrastructure.
The extent of services and a shift in approach by the National Housing Ministry towards “Inclusionary Housing” prompted Council and the Gauteng Department of Housing to appoint a team of specialists to conduct a Business Plan for the implementation of the project. The Powerhouse Consortium (of which Urban Dynamics is a consortium member) was appointed to conduct a Financial Feasibility and Bankability Business Plan for the project. This Business Plan was completed for JPC and as adopted by Council. The project was since moved to the Joburg Housing Department who, through the Lufhereng Project Office is the entity managing the implementation of the project in accordance with the approved Business Plan.
To date, layout plans have been approved for the first phases of the Lufhereng Project which covers approximately a third of the total project in terms of land area and the planned 21 556 residential units. In addition, the Gauteng Department of Housing appointed a contractor for the implementation of the first 1000 subsidized dwellings in Lufhereng.
Urban Dynamics is proud to be associated with this exciting and truly inclusionary housing project. Urban Dynamics was involved with the project from conceptualization, through feasibility, urban design, planning and now implementation we believe that this project will become the benchmark for all BNG and Inclusionary Housing Projects in South Africa to follow.
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