Almost every day we are confronted by news headlines that, to any outsider, and many insiders, describe Johannesburg as a city in siege to a host of criminal syndicates. While it is true that the level of crime in Gauteng is unacceptably high, as the province’s Premier and Police Commissioner have acknowledged, a brief tour of JHC’s buildings in the inner city would paint a refreshingly different picture.
On entering a JHC building, you will be presented with a sense of order and good housekeeping. Efficient and effective access control. People going about their daily lives peacefully. Children coming home from school and, in some buildings, attending our supervised homework programmes. The little ones may be in crèche or in the well-kept playgrounds. Parents coming home from work, which for many is now within walking distance of where they live. In the early evening, the sounds and smells from many kitchens give one an indication of a diverse community in harmony. The housing supervisor, who lives in the building, is always available to answer queries from residents. The buildings work. Rent and services are paid for. Today, more than 8 000 people living in the inner city call a JHC building their home.
I believe that in our buildings and in the social contract we have formulated – of clear rights and responsibilities for both landlord and tenants – JHC has laid a foundation for cohesive community building and a new, progressive social order. Trust and empowerment are at the core of this contract. This is the JHC way. And just as it works in our buildings, and is being extended through the eKhaya Neighbourhoods Programme into the inner city neighbourhoods where JHC has a strong presence, I believe it offers a model that could be taken further – even into the upgrading of informal settlements, where most South Africans are living – to create ordered and valued environments and to build cohesive communities that recognise their rights as well as their responsibilities.
The turnaround at JHC’s Stanhope Mansions presents a case in point. For more than two years this building was a battleground around rights, roles and responsibilities. A comparison of conditions before and after JHC’s ownership vindicates the effort and expense management and the public authorities invested in turning the building around. Not only has this important art deco building been preserved, and restored to a condition fit for habitation, but the social environment and community cohesion are remarkable, even for a JHC building.
I can only stand in awe of the efforts of management, SAPS and JMPD and the local councillors who helped bring about this sea change, and I watch with interest as JHC takes its second eKhaya neighbourhood initiative into this very difficult part of the city.
We are also working with the City of Johannesburg on a number of Better Buildings projects. Cresthill is the third Better Buildings project that JHC has embarked on and a fourth is in the pipeline. In reclaiming these buildings from anarchic landlords and a decline caused by utter neglect and abuse, we are contributing to steadily restoring a sense of order and offering tenants a clean, functional, stable and secure alternative.
With the successful completion of Brickfields, a new-build project and a major investment for JHC and its partners in this venture, we have, through action, made a further contribution to inner city renewal, thus catalysing continuing development in Newtown. In the process we set a new best practice benchmark for ourselves and for the wider social housing field.
As a pioneer, JHC continues to face many challenges. However, in finding solutions, we have unflinchingly assumed a responsibility which obliges us not only to continue building on the foundation we have laid, but also to stand true to the contract we hold with all our tenants, to share the lessons we have learnt, and to continue to learn from others. In this we deepen our resolve to carry forward our commitment to creating stable communities who, with many others, in government, business and civil society, want to make Johannesburg a world class African city.
I want to thank my fellow directors, management and staff and all our other stakeholders for assisting us in this task.
To download the annual report in parts, please click on the links below. The annual report can also be downloaded as a single document by clicking on the last link.
Makhulong A Matala
JHC At a Glance
Abridged Annual Financial Statements
for JHC and its subsidiaries
Consolidated Balance Sheet
Consolidated Income Statement
Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity
Consolidated Cash Flow Statement
Click on the link below to view and download the complete JHC 2006 Annual Report:
JHC 2006 Annual Report