SAPOA has expressed its deep concern about the ongoing infrastructure crisis in the City of Johannesburg, saying it is committed to offering its expertise to help address these critical challenges.
The association, which represents almost 90% of SA’s commercial and industrial real estate owners, promoting member interests by representing them on matters affecting the property industry at national and local government levels, intends to collaborate with the City to ensure that businesses can operate without hindrance and that residents have access to essential services.
The City of Johannesburg is facing a dire situation with crumbling infrastructure and a breakdown of essential services. Persisting load shedding exacerbates the difficulties that Johannesburg faces.
SAPOA believes it can adopt a ‘programme’ jointly with the city and other stakeholders to improve service delivery in the face of waterborne diseases and mal-functioning sewage treatment plants, sewage spills, water pressure problems, and crime.
The severe water cuts and water interruptions are also of a particular concern.
South Africa’s economic hub has been hit with a water crisis driven by several factors including the poor state of infrastructure and alleged corruption, which in turn, has affected the functioning of municipalities and municipal treatment plants. This has resulted in property owners incurring capital expenditure for water storage and pumping facilities to keep their fire control systems operational to ensure that health and safety measures are not compromised.
“The situation in Johannesburg is of deep concern to us. Many SAPOA members own and control about 90% of commercial property in the metro and are, therefore, significantly exposed to the City of Johannesburg,” comments SAPOA President and CEO of Attacq Limited, Jackie van Niekerk.
“As a major contributor to the city’s rates base, we understand that businesses and residents are enduring significant hardships due to the ongoing infrastructure collapse. We are ready to collaborate with the City of Johannesburg to offer our skills and resources.”
“We believe that by pooling our expertise, we can address the city’s infrastructure challenges and work towards a Johannesburg where businesses can operate fully, and residents can lead secure and prosperous lives.”
SAPOA’s proposal to assist the City comes at a critical juncture with a pressing need for cooperation among various stakeholders to overcome these challenges.
SAPOA’s CEO Neil Gopal highlights that SAPOA conducted a ‘State of Infrastructure’ survey among industry leaders: “The survey seeks to not only provide city decision-makers with industry sentiment but also to encourage debate with South African Local Government Association on plans to create new approaches to private investment, and for the industry to assist with the necessary engineering, finance, legal and other requisite skills which may be required at a local level.”
SAPOA recognises the importance of a well-functioning city to attract investments, foster economic growth, and improve the quality of life for all its inhabitants. As such, SAPOA is ready to engage in discussions with city officials, relevant authorities and other stakeholders to chart a path forward.