Annual Report 2005

A testing year it was indeed for JHC. What with our raising the bar through the massive undertakings of the new Brickfields project, the renovation of Rondebosch and the problematic Stanhope Mansions! I would like to commend the staff and the Board for their commitment in taking on the social and political risks involved in providing homes for low-income people in the city and creating new urban communities.

Brickfields in Newtown, the refurbishment of both Rondebosch and Stanhope in the central city, have come to symbolise the courage that has become synonymous with the JHC.

Brickfields embodied significant financial risks for JHC, in that it required a huge financial commitment, from public and private sector partners,to bring a new community into being in the inner city. Once the requisite finance was entrusted to JHC, the Brickfields Housing Company was then set up in 2003 as a separate entity within the JHC Group to manage this project and bring it to fruition. In June 2005 we saw the completion of the first phase. Brickfields was also important because no one knew prior to its opening who wanted to live in a mixed income development in Newtown, and in what numbers. The massive response to Brickfields has ended that debate.

Stanhope, and to a degree the refurbishment of Rondebosch in Hillbrow – one of the City’s Better Buildings Projects, raised different risks. Located in a difficult part of the city, the buildings were to present JHC with special difficulties. However, we embarked on these projects with purpose and within our mission of contributing to the regeneration of the Johannesburg inner city through the provision of decent, affordable housing, but with no guarantee of the outcomes. And we are succeeding.

Notwithstanding the particular difficulties encountered in Stanhope and the demanding scale of the Brickfields project, our staff proved themselves up to the challenge. Their performance has simply been outstanding.

That we at JHC have been able to manage the risks associated with the transformation and regeneration of the inner city is attributable not only to the skills the group has developed among its staff over the past 10 years, but also to the sound organisational and financial management framework it has established. I would particularly like to acknowledge the constructive interaction between the Board and management in dealing with all the issues and attendant risks occasioned by JHC’s pioneering work.

I also want to acknowledge the positive interactions between JHC and various government agencies – such as the SAPS and the JMPD, as well as others at local level, in particular the Johannesburg Development Agency, and at provincial level, the Gauteng Department of Housing – which have helped us in our drive towards restoring sound governance in city properties as an essential element of Johannesburg’s renewal. As JHC has grown, so has its level of exposure to and involvement with City and Provincial role players. I would like to thank these players for their support of our endeavours.

In its tenth year, JHC has established a solid base for its future growth. We look forward to the next decade of progress.

Murphy Morobe

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JHC 2005 Annual Report