Advice and Opinion

Jo'burg's R2-million roads plan – comment from Ronald Ennik

“If Johannesburg residential property was a share market, home prices would be rallying on weekend media reports that the City plans to spend around R2-billion over the next three years on rebuilding and upgrading road infrastructure,” says prime property marketer Ronald Ennik.

He says homeowners in and around the business districts of Sandton and Rosebank will be particularly pleased at the news (source: Saturday Star) that roads in their areas – not least the M1 and M2 motorways and other key arterial roads – will be a major focus of the renewal programme announced by Mayor Parks Tau.

Ennik is the founder and CEO of Ennik Estates – the exclusive affiliate in Gauteng of London-based Christie’s International Real Estate.

“The announcement is particularly welcome given the serious weekday peak-hour gridlock that has taken hold in key areas north of the City as commercial development and redevelopment continues to outpace infrastructural maintenance and expansion,” says Ennik.

It is also encouraging, he adds, that Mayor Tau reportedly singled out for special attention the perennial pothole problem – on which Johannesburg will be spending almost R80-million on patching and fixing cracks.

“In May this year I warned that ongoing poor maintenance of Johannesburg’s decaying suburban road infrastructure posed a real threat to the city’s residential property values – particularly in prime areas (where, ironically, the highest municipal rates are paid!).

“The fact remains that even the most astute of buyers who visit homes on roads blemished by potholes, broken and blocked kerb inlets, and poorly constructed pavements – or, worse, no pavements – subliminally devalue the property before they even get to look at it, let alone make an offer,” says Ennik.

“By turning this problem around, Jo’burg City will be restoring lost value to many individual streets, and even entire suburbs, that have become ‘marked down’ as a result of past poor delivery on road maintenance and development.

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