A massive property development that will create a whole new town 22km to the north-west of Pretoria will soon get under way on 450ha of land restored in 1998 to the Rama community that had been forcibly removed during the apartheid years.
The integrated development, dubbed Rama City, will take about 15 years to complete and will cost around R1,3bn in today's terms. It is being undertaken by professional developer Rama Horizon Developments in partnership with the Rama Community Property Association (RCPA).
The formation of this partnership is a groundbreaking move that could provide a development and resettlement blueprint for other communities that were victims of forced removals under the apartheid government and have now reclaimed land.
"This project will not only give the community access to about 3000 new homes, but will turn underused land into a new town complete with shops, schools, clinics, churches and parks that is within easy commuting distance of the employment opportunities in Rosslyn, Brits and Akasia. As such, it will be of enormous practical benefit to the Rama community," says RCPA chairman Hendrik Nhtite
"More importantly, the community is a full partner in the planning and decision-making process for the project, and an extensive training programme will ensure the transfer to the community of valuable skills, not only in the building and construction fields but in information, technology, design, communication and management."
The Rama City site is located just south of the Garankuwa hospital and Medunsa campus and is served by a railway line and a provincial road as well as regional bus and taxi nodes, so already has the basis of a good public transport system. It will be developed in phases, the first of which will be a residential area for the direct beneficiaries of the land claim.
This area will contain some 650 residential stands as well as a primary, middle and high school, a cultural centre and market, a community centre, a church, clinics and a series of parks with communal sports facilities. It is in an excellent position in relation to the new town centre that will be developed, which will create future wealth for its property owners.
The stands, set along paved roads, will be fully serviced and are already being allocated to the legal beneficiaries of the Rama Community. Meanwhile, provision has also been made for the development of apartments that can be rented to provide accommodation for those members of the community who do not qualify for grants or subsidies and who cannot afford to buy a home.
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