The consultative meeting aimed to bring together development practitioners, academic, and community based organisations, communities, and municipalities to discuss pressing developmental challenges with the view of mapping out a way forward…to the concerned institutions and organisations.

After the meeting, we expected to have:

  • An enhanced understanding of the corridors of freedom project
  • Gathered views and concerns of the residents
  • Understood the role of Planact, City of Johannesburg, and Wits University

Presentation 1:

Background, progress & reflection of public participation on CoF (Eric Raboshakga – City of Johannesburg)
Some of the key points raised by CoJ include:

  • The CoF project has been possible through building international partnerships with organisations such as UNEP, GEF, C40 Cities; engaging with local citizens; and facilitating private sector development.
  • Challenges with acquiring land as most of it is privately owned.
  • Infrastructure capacity, the CoJ targets to achieve 50% pre-development capacity by 2019

Download the CoJ presentation

Presentation 2:

Public Participation – Rotunda Park (Nikki Pingo – Johannesburg Development Agency)

Key points raised:

  • The community participation process involved surveys, focus group sessions, public session day and comments on final design drawings.
  • Children were able to draw designs of what they would like to see on the streets during one of the Street Block Workshops.

Download the JDA presentation

Presentation 3:

Community stakeholder experiences – Corridors of Freedom: Pastor Allan Fynn (Noordgesig/Orlando East)

Key points raised by Pastor Allan include:

  • Young people have benefitted from the CoF project
  • The route and the stations are operational and have contributed to reduced congestion and improvement in public transport.
  • Lack of continuous engagement with the community on the implementation of the project.
  • Engagement should be city-wide around the Corridors

Download the Noordgesig community presentation

Presentation 4:

Academic Perspectives on Corridors of Freedom: Romain Dittgen (Wits School of Architecture and Planning)

Key points raised include:

  • The use of a new way of comparative analysis of the Corridors through a transnational method.
  • The research project is still at its infancy and is experimental in nature which allows for innovation.
  • There was a workshop in London in April 2016 to highlight the impact of emerging forms for urban governance worldwide and the Corridors of Freedom in Johannesburg was a chosen project

Download the Wits Presentation

Presentation 5:

Civic Stakeholders experiences on the CoF: Atwell Komane – SANCO

Key points raised include:

  • SANCO welcomes developments brought by the Corridors of Freedom project
  • However, the infrastructure of Joburg is not conducive for the CoF i.e. the roads have been narrowed, e.g Louis Botha Ave.
  • CoF have disrupted informal trading activities, i.e Ndingiliza in Soweto has had a negative impact.
  • No meaningful public participation, instead the process is all about ticking the box.
  • Regarding consultation, the plan was already done, there was no way that it could be changed.
  • The City of Johannesburg needs to engage with stakeholders prior to implementation, i.e Civic, NGO, CBOs.
  • There needs to be improvements in terms of communication for public meetings arrangements.

Download the SANCO presentation

Presentation 6:

Planact’s experiences in participatory governance: Nkululeko Ndlovu (Planact)

Four important points on public participation:

  • Location – careful consideration should be made on the type, location and nature of venues that host consultative fora. If not carefully considered, some stakeholders may be excluded
  • Power-play – public consultation with lower income communities should be considerate of the effect of the power of the message bearer in the processes. Sending high-ranking officials to poor communities commonly results in one way communication, which is not effective consultation
  • Positionality of the communicator – in consultations with communities, the institutional position of the communicator has the potential to negatively influence the discourse of participation. An official from the city may be assigned to talk about a certain project, but when they get to the community the conversation may be redirected to other pressing issues as residents take the chance to address them
  • Political versus institutional office bearers – it is essential to balance and align messages that are communicated by the political office bearers and the institutional office bearers. Planact’s experience is that politicians are known for making promises that are not even in the development plans of local government structures and thus when city officials rectify the misinformation they become labelled as the wrong people.

Download Planact’s presentation here