Regeneration of African Inner Cities

by Hogan Lovells
Contact

Hogan Lovells

It is said that the shift from rural to urban population is the most significant phenomenon since independence in most African countries. Projections indicate that by 2030, Africa’s population will exceed that of Europe, South and North America combined. Between now and 2050, it is projected that the number of Africa’s urban dwellers is to increase from 400 million to 1.26 billion. The actual realization of such population distributions will depend on the rapidity of Africa’s infrastructure expansion to unlock sparsely populated areas, and its ability to create livelihood opportunities in these areas.

It is well published that African cities are burdened by high infrastructure deficits and shortages in access to technologies and services. To overcome the deficit the economies of scale in production, large markets for labor and goods, and the ease of information flows in urban environments may enhance productivity and innovation. Moreover, the density and diversity of cities can encourage the emergence of progressive values and institutions that promote social cohesion. Urbanization could be a major driver of this and this is seen more and more in Johannesburg.

Property trends in South Africa's central business districts are being driven by rapidly changing urban lifestyles. City dwellers are generally spending less of their disposable income on their gardens, for example, and more on lifestyle oriented activities such as art and food markets, gym memberships, health services and eating out. Urbanization in Johannesburg has taken an innovative turn, which is seeing young professionals living and working in the Johannesburg city center. It is said that a new breed of developers in Johannesburg are ushering in a new residential dimension that is turning past housing trends, of having a garden and a white picket fence, and transforming once shunned locations into trendy properties. Security considerations and the advent of disposable living are fueling the new trends, which are attracting property investors and young home buyers into the inner city. Mixed use residential units located in the Johannesburg city centre no larger than 36 square metres are selling at a rapid rate. 

Mixed use precincts such as Maboneng in the city centre, which have loft apartments on top and restaurants, food and art markets, retail stores, art galleries, gyms and tree lined walkways below are proving popular. The private sector has taken advantage of the current craze, which has given rise to investment opportunities in the inner city. Property developers taking advantage of this have had the foresight to purchase derelict buildings and refurbish them into stylish one and two bedroom loft apartments. Such developers have undoubtedly been instrumental in reshaping the inner city. One only has to look at the Maboneng Precinct where numerous buildings have been refurbished and transformed into trendy apartments such as Main Street Life, Revolution House, Artisan Lofts, Urban Fox and Rocket Factory. This has brought a significant proportion of younger and more educated people into the inner city.

Agents of change in Johannesburg, bringing a significant proportion of younger and more educated people there, may be attributed to the private sector and public private partnerships as well as civil society. For residents, the attraction is the cosmopolitan ambience, good security and the lock up and go lifestyle. For investors, residential developments in the Johannesburg city centre offer opportunities such as tax incentives through the urban development zone. Through the urban development zone scheme, the South African government is incentivising investors to spend money on urban rejuvenation. 

The refurbishment of buildings into trendy apartments in the Johannesburg inner city, more often than not, means that the developer would need to open a sectional title register and have the sectional plans registered over existing space. From a legal perspective this would require that a conveyancer attending to the opening of the sectional title register to, simultaneously with the opening, ensure that the Registrar of Deeds issues the developer a certificate of registered sectional title in respect of each unit that have not been sold.

The rules governing Maboneng Precinct developments have been drafted and settled from a great deal of legal input in order to cater for the mix use nature of the developments. The rules cater for restaurants, food and art markets, retail stores, art galleries, gyms and tree lined walkways activities, which meant that the standard rules had to be changed.

Should Africa's population exceed that of Europe, South and North America combined as projected then most African city centres will most probably be populated by young professionals who are inclined to spend their disposable income on lifestyle oriented activities. Being that the case, the current real estate trend in the Johannesburg city centre may well be a catalyst signalling what a typical African city may look like in 2050.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Hogan Lovells | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Hogan Lovells
Contact
more
less

Hogan Lovells on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.
Feedback? Tell us what you think of the new jdsupra.com!