Municipality: City of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality

Address

Cnr Cross & Roses Streets Private Bag X1069
Germiston, Gauteng 1400
South Africa
Phone: 011-820-4000
Fax: 011-820-4319

Description

Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM) is situated in South Africa's manufacturing heartland. Originally a rich gold mining region, it has a well developed transport network which has contributed, over the years, to noyable industrial growth, making it the industrial hub of Gauteng. Ekurhuleni is easily accessible to major centres in Gauteng, and has a well developed air. road and rail infrastructure.

Development is characterised by low- to medium-density residential areas supported by a variety of commercial centres and industrial areas. The urban structure follows an east-west axis, with the western areas, adjacent to Johannesburg, the most highly developed. There are large parcels of vacant land in the mining belt around the urban core, with low development densities; and historically disadvantaged communities are situated on the urban periphery. 

Historically, urban development has been closely associated with gold mining: Germiston, Boksburg, Benoni, Brakpan Springs and Nigel were located on the mining belt, while Edenvale, Alberton and Kempton Parkdeveloped adjacent to the goldfields. Asa  aresult, Ekurhulenihas today a multi-nodal structure with no single, dominant node of activity. 

Within the mining-belt, there are three main pockets of activity: the Germiston-Boksburg, Benoni-Brakpan-Springs and Springs-Nigel areas. As mines are closing, redevelopment of some areas is being considered, as is the rehabilitation of mine dumps and slimes dams across Ekurhuleni.

 

Critical infrastructure

The CBD's of the towns have a well developed infrastructure and are highly accessiblevia rail and road. However, they are currently experiencing urban decay. Much of the retailing activity is moving to shopping malls in the area: Eastgate, East Rand Mall, Lakeside Mall and Alberton Mall, and they are faced with the challenges of crime, grime and ageing infrastructure. 

EMM is strategically located, both within Gauteng and within Southern Africa. All the major railway lines converge at Germiston and from Germiston station commuter rail lines extend in all major destinations on South Africa. The east-west road infrastructure has been well developed, and much of the road networks leads in to the Greater Johannesburgarea. There is, however, a lack of north-south linkage. Over half of all work trips are made by private car. The bus service is under-utilised, while the supply of minibus taxi services generally exceeds the demand.

OR Tambo International Airport, Africa's busiest airport, is the entry point for most foreign visitors. It handles over 16 million passengers a year, hosts over 50  airlines and employs 18 000 people. In 2003 the new upgraded domestic terminal was opened. In addition to OR Tambo, Rand Airport is in Germiston, and Brakpan and Springs each have an airfield.     

Strengths

Industrial areas, closely associated with mining activities, developed within the Ekurhuleni area. The 'Industrial Triangle', bordered by the R21, R24 and N12 freeways, continues to be the major industrial zone. 

The Olifantsfontein and Clayville areas, north of Tmebisa, focus predominantly on heavy industrial activity, and also some noxious and light industrial activities are located in the Wadevill, Alrode and Roodekop industrial areas. The older areas in Boksburg East, Anderbolt, Benoni South and Apex focus predominantly on heavy and noxiuos industrial activities. There are several smaller industrial areas to the east.

There are about 8 000 big businesses, 5 000 industrial support enterprises, and almost 40 000 small, medium and micro enterprises, making it responsible for approximately 22% of the gross geographic product of Gauteng. 

Weaknesses

The levels of poverty and unemployment in Ekurhuleni are unacceptably high and need to be addressed. Those people living in poverty generally live on the urban periphery, far away from job opportunities and social amenities. This is indicative of the rural-to-urban migration of people in search of jobs. Indeed, migration into the area is a key challenge and has resulted in many informal settlements and informal trading activity.

Employment is largely concentrated in elementary jobs (20%); and 19% of employees work in the manufacturing sector. Although the literacy rate is fairly high (84%), the high unemployment rate indicates the need for technical training and skilling of the work force.