The Corridors of Freedom are a City of Johannesburg project that is expected to change the way that some of the older parts of the city look by creating more housing as well as work opportunities and by connecting different parts of the city to each other using improved public transport.

Planact’s Engagement:
Planact and the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning (University of the Witwatersrand) are conducting a study to compare governance innovations in Urban Developments in Shanghai, London and Johannesburg.

The purpose of the in-depth interview is to provide a qualitative analysis of how the corridors affect various stakeholders in their day to day lives. These three partners also want to find out how much communities know about the Corridors of Freedom (CoF). Stakeholders will also get a chance to share their experiences, and their input will not only add a new dimension but will also identify many of the short comings of the project so far.

Mandla has lived in Orlando for the past 39 years and he has experienced several changes affecting community development in the township over the years.

Background of Orlando:
Orlando is one of the oldest and first townships of Soweto. He estimates the population to have grown sixfold from the time he has been in Orlando, 39 years ago. This township is a hive of activity and connects to other parts of Johannesburg through its accessible transport routes.

Orlando “Bragging Rights”:
• 2 Railway lines
• 4 x Rea Vaya Stations
• Bicycle Lane from Noordgesig to Pimville
• 4x Entertainment facilities

Engagement & Awareness of the Corridor of Freedom:
Mandla understands the Corridors of Freedom to be a project that aims to make the lives of people better by opening up an easier and affordable transport web. He says that there has been a lot of development along the Rea Vaya routes as more people want to stay closer to where transport is.
Although Mandla knows about the Corridors, the interpretation and details of what and who is involved are still a bit sketchy for him. He got to find out about the Corridors project at the last State of the City Address by the then Mayor, Parks Tau.

However, he has already seen changes in development as double storey houses are being built, businesses are sprouting along the corridors and access to public transport has become easier and convenient.