Ekurhuleni shares its big Aerotropolis plans

EKURHULENI AEROTROPOLIS.

The City of Ekurhuleni has approved the 30 years Ekurhuleni Aerotropolis masterplan, paving a way for the socio-economic impact projected at R8.1-billion per annum.

The Aerotropolis catalytic projects using labour intensive scenarios promises massive job creation, set to change the landscape of joblessness in the city and the Gauteng province.

Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina says the Aerotropolis is envisaged to be a game-changing intervention that would facilitate spatial, economic and social transformation, in order to reposition the regional economy as an ideal destination for trade, investment and tourism.

“The City of Ekurhuleni, the Gauteng Provincial Government and the Airports Company South Africa have embarked on the development of Ekurhuleni Aerotropolis.

“This programme is a deliberate growth trajectory that aims to reposition and enhance the value proposition of the Gauteng City Region, with a particular emphasis of the Ekurhuleni regional economy as the footprint of the first Aerotropolis in the African continent,” he said.

The Ekurhuleni Aerotropolis leverages on the presence of O R Tambo International Airport which handles 19 million passengers every year and has the capacity for 60 million passengers.

O R Tambo International Airport also handles 83 percent of all air cargo movements, thus playing a critical economic role for South Africa, Gauteng and Ekurhuleni.

This 30 year master plan, the mayor said, has been developed to identify projects in sectors such as retail, aerospace, advanced manufacturing, logistics and distribution, research and development, health and life sciences, to be used as enablers of the economic turnaround plan.

Furthermore, the mayor indicated that the critical road infrastructure networks are being prioritised to unlock the footprint of the Aerotropolis to enable mobility, integration and densification.

This through exploring ways of leveraging the economic opportunities created from having the O R Tambo International Airport located in the city to position the city to become a destination for investors seeking to relocate their operations.

“The O R Tambo International Airport is in a good position to accelerate its logistic and air cargo activities regionally. The airport is already a gateway for the transit of high value time sensitive products, such as electronic equipment, as well as textiles and footwear for nearby countries,” the mayor said.

At the centre of the master plan is the redesign of the city’s layout, infrastructure and economy to be centred on a major airport.

Mayor Masina explains that the funding of the Ekurhuleni Aerotropolis project requires a multi-layered approach that is capable of leveraging on the financial capabilities of the private and public sector.

The funding plan requires strategic partnerships between all stakeholders, including government, development finance institutions, property owners, developers and investors, research and development agencies, institutes of higher learning, external funders and underwriters through a systematic and coordinated integrated development planning process in order to deliver the strategic objectives of the Aerotropolis.

Press release supplied by Themba Gadebe, spokesperson for the City of Ekurhuleni.

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  AUTHOR
David Pienaar
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