Inner-City trade worth billions

MMC for Development Planning, Cllr Reuben Masango is pleased to announce that an academic study commissioned by the Johannesburg Inner City Partnership has won an award at the South African Planning Institute (SAPI) Conference.
The study (conducted by urban planner, Dr Tanya Zack) was on the scope and nature of cross border shopping in the Joburg CBD.
It highlights the impact spending that international visitors have on the economy of the inner city, and the need for development of the precinct.
The national planning award in the academic category was conferred upon Dr Zack “for innovative methodology and packaging findings for decision making”.
She has presented the research at conferences in Singapore, Cambridge and Freiburg. It has also inspired academic research and architectural student projects.
According to the study, cross border shoppers spend over R10-billion in the inner city every year – twice the annual turnover of Sandton City.
For the last 15 years, Johannesburg grew to become a powerful wholesale and retail centre for local hawkers and traders from all of sub-Saharan Africa. This has resulted in billions of Rands’ worth of fast fashion sold annually in the traditional CBD and over twenty-large Chinese shopping malls west of the inner city.
“The inner city is a key node of opportunity, with historic infrastructure, relatively job-rich in both the formal and informal sectors.
“It is also a place that has been identified by this administration as having a huge potential for residential development including student accommodation,” said MMC Masango.
Speaking on Dr Zack’s study, MMC Masango added: “it is groundbreaking research of this nature that serves to unpack the kind of contribution activities in the inner city can make to the development of Johannesburg, and I would like to commend Dr Zack for her work.”
Covering over 50 blocks and more than 3000 shops, the retail phenomenon in the inner city (best known for the sale of cheap clothing, shoes, household wares and accessories) has created entrepreneurial opportunities for residents.
MMC Masango added that the major benefits of rejuvenating the inner city, a priority of the administration, is the creation of a well-governed and well managed inner city for residents, which will result in economic growth and creation of employment opportunities as well as sustainable housing and service delivery.

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