Riverfields – a perfect fit for economic development in Ekurhuleni
Riverfields – located northeast of the Kempton Park Central Business District between O.R Tambo International Airport and Tshwane – is an unmatched property investment area in one of the richest and fastest-growth nodes in Africa.
The development – a hub for residential, commercial and retail developments – aims to create a sustainable urban node that facilitates a thriving economy and community consisting of business, logistics and warehousing, residential, retail, hospitality, education, medical and social developments.
Riverfields is in close proximity to the continent’s first aerotropolis in Ekurhuleni and is also a prime location within the Albertina Sisulu Development Corridor – one of the city’s highest priority expansion areas located between Tembisa to the northwest and the residential areas of Kempton Park to the southwest and Serengeti to the east.
The aerotropolis – which is an urban area where the layout infrastructure and economy are centred on an airport, the O.R Tambo International Airport in this case – aims to foster economic growth in line with on-going development and sustainability in Ekurhuleni.
Ekurhuleni executive mayor, Mondli Gungubele said in his 2015 “State of the City” address, “When we took office in 2011, we did so on the back of priorities and commitments contained in the elections manifesto of the ruling party, which directed us to: build local economies to create more employment and sustainable livelihoods; improve local public services and broaden access to them; build united, non-racial and integrated safer communities; promote community participation in local government; and build a more effective, accountable and clean local government that works closely with provincial and national government.”
In order to achieve the above agenda the city has adopted a three-dimensional value beam.
“The first dimension directs us to maintain the high standards of quality services enjoyed by our well-off residents, while at the same time extending and improving services to those in less affluent communities. The second dimension of transformation is informed by our will to ensure that everything we do should transform and develop our society. Thirdly, our resolve is that all this is necessary because we must ultimately become the destination of choice for investment,” said Gungubele.
The city went on to formulate an inclusive and broad-based growth and development strategy that’s anchored on five crucial strategic points:
• Re-Urbanise – to achieve sustainable urban integration;
• Re-Industrialise – to achieve job-creating economic growth;
• Re-Generate – to achieve environmental well-being;
• Re-Mobilise – to achieve social empowerment; and
• Re-Govern – to achieve effective cooperative governance.
Gungubele said effective implementation of these strategic imperatives in Ekurhuleni is expected to result in a future that can be defined in three interconnected ways:
• A delivering city – which will be a well-managed, resourced and financially stable city (between 2012 and 2020);
• A capable city characterised by an inclusive industrial economy and meaningful reduction in unemployment and poverty (between 2020 and 2030); and
• A sustainable city where all residents will have a clean, green and sustainable African manufacturing and logistics complex in a liveable and dynamic city highly integrated into the rest of Gauteng.
Gungubele also emphasised the importance of long-term investment for Ekurhuleni. “We will be intensifying infrastructure investments to reduce backlogs and address additional infrastructure requirements for new investments.”
Development in Riverfields first began in 1998 and since then numerous projects have been completed with several other plans for development in the future already in place.
The area, designated a mixed-use urban node by the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality Metropolitan Spatial Development Framework, offers a wide variety of opportunities for those interested in creating a diverse network of offerings (such as retail, hospitality, school and social spaces) that will satisfy a range of day-to-day needs of residents, property owners and business owners.
At Riverfields the vision is all about urban integration, catalytic economic development, inclusivity, sustainability, heightened mobility and good urban governance. Riverfields can therefore safely be described as a perfect economic fit for Gauteng and Ekurhuleni’s economic development visions outlined by the executive mayor.