• Mega Projects are human settlement projects that consist of more than 10 000 residential units. In the words of Gauteng Premier David Makhura:

“Mega Human settlements represent a decisive departure from uncoordinated, small scale, low impact, and sporadic as well as unsustainable housing developments. [The] goal must be to achieve diversity in human settlements by emphasizing mixed income, high density human settlements that place emphasis on social and economic inclusion, as well as promoting spatial justice.

  • This is what we consider spatial transformation, wherein we transform and develop new cities” (speech made at the Gordon Business Institute of Business Science. 2015).


  • The adoption of Mega Projects as a means of human settlements emerges both as a corrective measure, but also as a means to redefine post-apartheid cities. As a corrective measure, it is informed by the following policy and implementation deficiencies of the post 1994 government housing programme:
    • The initial response to the challenge of human settlement was disintegrated, and lacking in integration and coordination;
    • Focused on the erection of housing structures, ironically, within the land that was procured and set aside by the previous apartheid regime. In a way, it legitimised apartheid patterns of human settlement;
    • RDP houses were built away from the centres of economic activities. Beyond that, poorly connected to centres of employment. But then, they still reflected another version of migrant labour as people resided far away from places of economic activity and employment.
  • Post ’94 early versions of human settlement focused on redress, equity, and less on economic development, social cohesion, transformation and efficiency. Essentially, the early post ’94 approaches to human settlement, were mainly “historically corrective” than forward looking and progressive. Consequently, RDP settlements, tended to mirror apartheid patterns than transformative and progressive.
  • Due to ensuing capacity challenges to deliver housing units, the second decade of democracy has tended to focus on the acceleration of the delivery of housing units. Dealing with the backlogs has been the dominant preoccupation of the second decade of democracy government.
  • The capacity limitations of municipal and provincial governments have been another factor that has led to the conceptualization of human settlements mega projects. Housing projects in the past have witnessed major corruption, and sloppy supply chain management. This has led to the Human settlement department return significant amounts of money back to the National Treasury.
  • As indicated earlier, Mega projects emerge as a corrective measure for the challenges encountered in the first ten to fifteen years of the democratic South Africa. The initiative seeks to close the gaps identified above, whilst redefining future cities in line with the dictates of the National Development Plan, and the Gauteng City Region (GCR) strategy.



  • Implementing projects that ensure spatial, social, economic and ecological integration and innovations in terms of energy, water and alternative building materials;
  • Identifying and implementing national priority catalytic projects using different tenure options to deliver mega, high impact integrated and sustainable human settlements that clearly demonstrate spatial, social and economic integration;
  • Increasing the supply of housing opportunities using different tenure types to ensure the diversity necessary to address social, economic and cultural needs;
  • Ensuring that poor households have adequate housing in better living environments;
  • Ensuring that at least 30% of the total expenditure of mega projects benefits women and youth where direct women/youth ownership in the qualifying entities is a minimum of 30%;
  • Supporting the development of a functional and equitable residential property market; and
  • Improving institutional capacity and coordination for better spatial targeting.



The strategic outcome of Mega projects is captured by the Premier, as follows:


“[The] better management of our human settlement delivery efforts…will promote social and economic inclusion. In our view, a post-apartheid city must mirror our overall commitment to a society that is truly equal, where there is expanded access to socio-economic opportunities and where there is dignity and prosperity for all”.

  • In essence, there two strategic outcomes to Mega projects: to accelerate a comprehensive human delivery; and to establish a new set of post-apartheid urban development for Gauteng. The specifics are elaborated below.


There are five strategic pillars to Mega projects:


  • Phasing out of Legacy Projects: This pillar entails a two pronged processes: One seeks to fast track the winding down to completion of all legacy projects; and the second entails the Rapid Land Release to facilitate the handover of serviced stands to qualifying beneficiaries who would in turn build their own houses over time;
  • Scaling up the delivery of Mega Projects: A strategic move towards the embryonic Gauteng post-apartheid new towns;
  • Beneficiary Administration and issuing Title Deeds: The objective outcome here is to optimise the administration of housing to the beneficiaries. This entails the cleaning up of the housing waiting list and updating the issuing of Title Deeds;
  • The Upgrading of Informal Settlements and Hostels: This entails short term interventions in informal settlement, and hostels. Both instances, effective deal with issues of water and sanitation. Other critical issues to be addressed include: public lighting to curb acts of criminality; develop a child friendly environment, and factoring an enabling infrastructure and environment for individuals living with disability. The broader objective outcome is to eventually phase out informal settlements and hostels as the post –apartheid new cities emerge and take shape, and
  • Resuscitating Urban Renewal: The objective outcome here is to rejuvenate the inner city through the Bad Buildings Programme.

Development of Mixed Income Housing Typologies with social amenities.

The objective outcome here is to generate inclusive human settlements. In the main, this marks a departure from the RDP model which inadvertently legitimised apartheid by grouping the poor together in poor peripheral lands. Mixed Income housing entails a human settlement development that enables both the low and high income earners to live within or in close vicinity. This is broken down as follows:

  • The “RDP”/ “Breaking New Ground” market segment that accommodates those earning bellow R3 500.00 p/m;
  • The Gap market for those earning between R3 500 to R18 000 p/m; and
  • The Open market, which caters for those earning above R18 000 p/m

Other forms meant to delivery inclusionary human settlement Mega projects include:

  • Mixed Tenure– This includes: rental; freehold; social housing (communal ownership); and
  • Mixed Typologies– This is a departure from the tradition “one stand one house” and entails a design that accommodates both the gap, and open market in higher density human settlements.

In summary therefore Mega Projects will display the following aspects:

  • Mixed use development inclusive of housing, social amenities, open spaces, economic, commercial and industrial opportunities;
  • Mixed-income housing inclusive of BNG housing, gap market housing, and bonded housing.
  • Mixed tenure housing inclusive of ownership housing, rental stock, and social housing; and
  • Mixed typology housing inclusive of free standing and multi-story walk-ups, as well as development of smart cities, including but not limited to the implementation and use of gas reticulation systems, renewable energy, solid waste, and waste water recycling, along with broad band internet.


Name of Project: Montrose Mega City 
Municipality: West Rand Municipality
Location: Near Mohlakeng
Number of houses:  13792 (RDP: 4953; Military Veterans: 839; CRUs: 980; Social 4695
Number of Phases: 2 phase
Amenities: Schools, train station,  hospitals, Municipal office centre, shopping centres
Beneficiaries: Residents from Mohlakeng and surrounding areas
Project estimated cost: R10 billion.

Name of Project: Riverside View Mega City
Municipality: City of Johannesburg
Location: Between Steyn City and Diepsloot
Total number of houses: 9605 (2949 single residential Flisp units: 3332  RDP Flats; 3324 Rental Flats

Number of Phases: 8
Amenities: 2 Primary Schools,3 Secondary Schools, Crèches, Clinic, Community Centre, Parks, Pedestrian walk ways, Business sites, Shopping Centre

Beneficiaries: Residents of Diepsloot
Project estimated cost: R5.1 Billion Rands with total estimated job opportunities 11 700


Name of Project: Daggafontein Mega City 
Municipality: Municipality
Location: Greater Springs area
Total number of houses: 16 940 (RDP=4033; Military veterans =2472; MS/Low cost = 2714; CRUs = 6274; social housing =1282; Affordable = 165)
Number of Phases: 10

Amenities: PRASA new railway; Bus Routes; School; Parks; Hospital
•Shopping Centre; Commercial Stand; Industrial Stands; Police Station; Churches; Clinics; Multi- Purpose Sports Stadium

Beneficiaries: Residents of Ekurhuleni
Project estimated cost: R10 billion.


Name of Project: John Dube Mega City
Municipality: Ekurhuleni
Location: Duduza
Total number of houses: 10,531  (1,500 BNG Standalone Units 4,110 BNG Walkup Units 2,203 FLISP Standalone Units; 270 Military Veterans Units; 700 Rental Stock Units; 848 Affordable Bonded Units; 900 Site & Services Stands)

Number of Phases: 3
Amenities: CBD with New Civic Centre, Business and Higher-order Community Facilities, 7 Primary Schools, 3 Secondary Schools, 15 Local Community Facility sites, 8 Business Facility sites, 2 Stations / Multi-modal Hubs, 53 Local Parks, Community gardens / allotment, A New University, Industrial and Manufacturing Zone, A Regional Hospital, Theme Park, Hotels and Convention Centre

Beneficiaries: Residents of KwaThema, Duduza and Springs
Project estimated cost:  R35billion

The Mega Project Video