Khutsong Housing Development

The Gauteng Department of Human Settlements (GDoHS) embarked on an ambitious venture to assist the Merafong City Local Municipality in addressing some of its urgent housing needs. This initiative aims to address the pressing need for large-scale relocation of many of the constituents living in the North-Eastern suburbs of Khutsong and its surroundings in Carletonville.

 

The need arose and became a priority during the last 5-10 years as a result of high-risk underlying dolomitic formations, which led to rapidly worsening surface conditions and sinkholes. For large parts of the footprint being addressed, the current conditions have become an unacceptable safety risk with new sinkholes forming and appearing on a regular basis, as well as existing sinkholes becoming larger and more dangerous.

 

THE BACKGROUND

It all started with a socio-economic and structural integrity assessment for which GDoHS appointed ETL Consulting early in 2019. The study focused on old hostels and its inhabitants of nearly 400 beneficiaries , situated within the high-risk dolomitic area in Khutsong.

Through the course of the study, the urgent need for relocation of the broader area became apparent from Merafong and the footprint for the investigation was substantially increased to look at an integrated, sustainable approach for a comprehensive solution. Within the same period, the Housing Development Agency (HDA) embarked on a similar initiative to assist Merafong for the entire municipal footprint in addressing all its priority housing relocation needs.

These parallel efforts led to a joint course of events that resulted in the current co-ordinated effort whereby the HDA has assumed the lead role in the overall planning and management of the broader initiative, with the GDoHS together with ETL Consulting as professional team forming part of this through the planning and implementation of a specific portion of the bigger solution.

 

THE DEVELOPMENT SCOPE

From the joint initiative between the HDA, GDoHS and Merafong the planning of an integrated housing development took form with ETL Consulting as the lead service provider.

 

The proposed development is to be known as Khutsong South Ext.8 and entails the development of a large-scale integrated, sustainable human settlement that is comprised of the following key elements:

  • The development will be based on a Transport-Oriented Planning (TOP) layout approach with a major multi-nodal transport hub (catering for rail, road and pedestrian transport) as focal point.
  • The development master plan and layout is being developed based on the modern BNG principles for integrated, sustainable human settlements, also incorporating current applicable international best practices in terms of urban design. This includes the investigation of creative options towards addressing unique circumstances and challenges being faced by Merafong as the Local Municipality.
  • Phase 1 of the residential development is intended to focus on fast-tracking the provision of 10 000 multi-storey living units, which will be fully subsidised by GDoHS to address the most pressing needs of the poorest inhabitants of the broader Khutsong area, the majority of which currently reside in informal settlements within the high-risk dolomitic areas.
  • Future phases envisage the development of at least 20 000 living units, which will incorporate a range of appropriate densities and income profiles.
  • The development will also incorporate all of the associated amenities like schools, churches, parks, local economic development, etc. – all based on current best practice and catering for the specific requirements of the local and broader socio-economic profiles and that of the Merafong Local Municipality.

 

MOVING FORWARD

Phase 1 of the development is currently in its detail planning phase, with preparations for the township establishment application being well underway.

It is expected that the detail planning be completed for Phase 1 in order to commence with construction towards the second half of 2021.