Shilowa dismisses centre's findings.

Posted On Friday, 08 November 2002 10:01 Published by
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GAUTENG Premier Mbhazima Shilowa said yesterday the provincial and local government were not paying too much attention to the Johannesburg inner city at the expense of other growth areas.

GAUTENG Premier Mbhazima Shilowa said yesterday the provincial and local government were not paying too much attention to the Johannesburg inner city at the expense of other growth areas.

Shilowa was reacting to the Centre of Development and Enterprise report titled Johannesburg: Africa's world city - a challenge to action.

He told the Midrand Business of the Year Awards ceremony this week that some of the recommendations of this report was 'out of touch with reality'.

One of the findings of the report was that the city council and the Gauteng government were paying too much attention to the old inner city, and not enough to new growth nodes such as Sandton and Midrand.

The report said the focus on the inner city contradicted the government's declared economic development objectives.

Shilowa said: 'Anyone who says the inner city regeneration should not be given priority is either ignorant of the history of Johannesburg or simply refuses to accept it'.

It was not a case of advancing the inner city and having no development in other areas. 'If this were so government would not have allowed further expansion in Sandton and Midrand.'

Shilowa said the degeneration of the inner city was largely as a result of apartheid. The development of the city reflected how black people only came to the city to work, but were forced to live in townships and hostels.

He said the government was now trying to change this through providing housing in the inner city to transform it from being 'a city by day and a ghost by night'.

The Centre of Development and Enterprise's proposal for a 'council of interests' made up of business, all levels of government and civil society to be formed and given the task of realising the city council's Jo'burg 2030 programme found little favour with Shilowa.


Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day

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