SA Affordable Housing March - April 2019 // Issue: 75 - Page 33

FINANCE MATTERS Facing the many challenges of urban development What are the main challenges in urban development and how are ‘massive small’ projects geared for the future? By Paul Jackson, chief executive officer of TUHF U rban development has the main aim to upgrade the lives of South African citizens but government faces many challenges in achieving this such as urban sprawl, providing access to economic opportunities, decent public infrastructure and general economic and spatial dislocation. Our cities are dysfunctional and many of our housing and city development policies have accelerated apartheid planning. For example, poor people still live far from places of work and opportunities. Government’s urban development plans need to deal directly with combatting urban sprawl by promoting urban densification through small projects and increased multi- storey builds. To create efficient cities there needs to be spatial, social and economic integration and this objective is unlikely to be achieved through mega projects, which take place on the urban peripheries. It is more likely to be achieved through many small builds and medium-sized projects. As an SME financier, our mandate at TUHF is to finance property entrepreneurs who provide affordable and low- income housing that transform the complexion of property ownership, empower PDIs (previous disadvantaged individuals) and therefore actively contribute to urban land reform. As well as create efficient cities through urban densification to create economic activity in urban areas. We support initiatives that are geared towards inclusive growth and transformation. Government must remove hurdles to allow ordinary South Africans to get their foot in the door. When we talk about the scale of massive small, we are talking about 10 000 x 20-unit projects a year within city areas. MARCH - APRIL 2019 31