The City of Ekurhuleni houses the OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng, the largest and busiest airport in Africa. In response to this and changing global requirements, the opportunity was identified to develop an Aerotropolis in the City to leverage the existing industrial base, linked to its human resources and logistics networks; ultimately to support rapid growth and redevelopment of its communities.
At the core of the vision of the Aerotropolis Ekurhuleni is the desire to build prosperity for the City and the Gauteng City Region based on job creation. As the Aerotropolis grows and prospers, so too should the citizens of Ekurhuleni benefit from the creation of new jobs, the expansion of social infrastructure, and an improvement in the standard of living for all.
The key focus will be on using inter-modal connectivity as the basis for generating economic development, particularly for time-sensitive sunrise businesses such as perishables, bio-life sciences, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, innovation, information and communication technology (ICT), research and development, among others. This would require an innovative use of land, logistics, human resources, investment capital, innovation and entrepreneurship to create connections with new markets and sources of revenue.
The Ekurhuleni Aerotropolis Master Plan will cover a 30 year period of time. Some projects and initiatives will come many years in the future as the economic development warrants, while others can begin at once and must be in place to enable later stages of the Ekurhuleni Aerotropolis Master Plan to proceed.
To meet this challenge, the Ekurhuleni Aerotropolis Master Planning strategy proposes five overarching principles. As each principle is intimately linked they form the foundation for the Aerotropolis Ekurhuleni and form the criteria for the success of this important initiative.
These principals are:
- Community: build strong neighbourhoods that allow people to realise their full potential;
- Collaborate: streamlined and effective governance that meets or surpasses global standards ;
- Concentrate: dense transit-oriented development that leverages and complements existing communities;
- Connect: move goods, services and people efficiently and effectively. This will specifically focus on the following connections:
- Connecting the country with its neighbouring countries and the rest of Africa,
- Connecting the country with the world, and
- Connecting Gauteng with the rest of the country.
- Compete: identify and amplify the value chains which South Africa can dominate globally.