“I’m so excited…it feels like a dream. This gift will ensure that I have a positive outlook for my children’s future.”
— Nosipho Poni, Homeowner, Lenasia South
Hospital Hills in Lenasia South in Region G, is one of seven administrative regions that make up the City of Johannesburg, It is located about 40 kilometers south of the Inner City. Geographically displaced from the rest of greater Johannesburg, it is largely a marginalized dormitory residential area. As a whole this farflung region has perhaps suffered more from the legacy of the past than any other. With no economic base of its own, it is dependent on Johannesburg and, to a lesser extent, on Vanderbijl Park and Vereeniging. Because of the region’s distance from the central business districts of Johannesburg and Sandton, public transport is expensive. The goal for the future, in the words of the City council’s vision statement, is to turn it into “an integral part of Greater Johannesburg, a viable and sustainable environment”
Rapid Population Growth
There has been rapid population growth in the region. The population growth occurred mostly in the marginalised areas of the region including Lenasia South and is still growing signficantly. Population density is constantly on the rise due to pressures from landless people from all parts of the City, who move to the informal settlements in the region. The population of the region is relatively young, with more than 56% of the population being under the age of 25 years.
Income levels are very low: 50% of the population has no income and about 62% of the remainder earn less than R1 500 a month, indicating that the majority live below the breadline. Unemployment is estimated at 70%, far higher than the national average, with most people in the region being employed in elementary occupations or as craft and related trade workers.
Poor service delivery and living conditions
Poor conditions of living, high unemployment levels and low literacy levels make the region vulnerable to crime and HIV and AIDS. Most recreational facilities such as sports and community facilities are underdeveloped, some are poorly maintained and do not address the community needs.