Development within the Midvaal Local Municipality is managed and promoted by way of a Municipal Spatial Development Framework, which is supported by a number of Development Policies and Town Planning Schemes. The purpose of these plans and policies is to clearly define the Development Vision for the municipality; indicate spatially where the municipality will support development and provide engineering services and infrastructure; and provide certainty for the private sector pertaining to the most appropriate areas to acquire land and to invest in business, commercial, and industrial development. The Spatial Development Framework is based on eight Development Principles.
Development Principle 1:
To protect and actively manage the natural resources in the Midvaal municipal area in order to ensure a sustainable equilibrium between agricultural, tourism, industrial and mining activities, as well as urbanisation pressures in the area
- The Midvaal Strategic Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) serves to provide guidance in terms of satisfying the requirements of the environmental management mandate of the municipality
Development Principle 2:
- To facilitate and enhance agricultural production in the municipal area by actively protecting all land earmarked for agricultural purposes
- Midvaal is well-endowed with high and medium/moderate potential agricultural land which is deemed to form part of the Gauteng Province “bread basket”. The protection and sustainable utilisation of this resource is managed via the Midvaal Agricultural Policy (2011)
Development Principle 3:
- To promote tourism development in the Midvaal area by way of the active utilisation of tourism resources available, such as the Vaal Dam, the Ridges Precincts and the nature reserves in the area.
There are four major tourism features within the municipal area which are promoted as tourism destinations and which present opportunities for private sector investment:
- The Vaal Marina Precinct, located in the far south-eastern parts of the Midvaal on the banks of the Vaal Dam;
- The world-renowned and proclaimed Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, which already hosts some annual sports events that attract people from far and wide;
- The Klip River, specifically the Henley-on-Klip area, which is characterised by a village atmosphere and which forms part of a conservancy;
- The Bass Lake precinct adjacent to the north of Henley-on-Klip is also very popular for fishing and hosts a number of adventure sports facilities;
- The extensive ridges located in the north-western parts of the municipal area can be utilised to expand on the range of tourism facilities and services offered through the development of mountain biking routes, hiking trails, game farming, a range of adventure sport facilities and guest accommodation facilities
The Midvaal Accommodation Policy provides guidelines to the typologies/activities allowed in different parts of the municipality
Development Principle 4:
- To pro-actively plan, design and facilitate the establishment of a Development Corridor along the R59 freeway, and to prioritise the bulk of short to medium-term urbanisation, as well as the upgrading/provision of engineering services in accordance with an Urban Development Boundary;
- There is significant potential to promote a variety of economic activities, as well as residential development along the R59 Corridor. Council approved the R59 Corridor Development Framework during July 2010 (Figure 3).
- The R59 Development Corridor offers approximately 300 business sites and 450 industrial sites. The northern part of the R59 corridor, closest to Johannesburg, is the short-term priority area and the Klipriver Business Park has already been established to accommodate the increased need for light industrial and commercial development in this area. It offers 200 serviced stands with ample opportunity for future expansion;
- Heineken established a large brewery plant in this node along the R59 corridor over the past three years, whilst Pick n Pay is in the process of establishing a 300 000 m² storage facility (warehouse) immediately adjacent to the south;
- To the north of the Heineken plant, an 80 000 m² retail development is under way;
- Other prominent investors in the area include BSI Steel and Everite.
Development Principle 5:
- To facilitate the development of a hierarchy of activity nodes and a number of multi-purpose community centres in the Midvaal area to ensure equitable access to social infrastructure, and to promote local economic development in the urban and rural parts of the municipality.
The Municipality supports the principle of clustering community facilities and economic activities at a number of predetermined urban and rural nodes in order to enhance service delivery and promote economic development;
Development Principle 6:
- To capitalise on the strategic location of the municipality by way of regional and provincial linkages, and to establish an internal movement network comprising a hierarchy of roads which include a comprehensive public transport network and services.
Midvaal has an extensive range of routes of provincial and national importance. Locally, the municipality seeks to ensure that all communities have safe and convenient access to home, leisure and work opportunities by way of public and private transport via bicycle, car, bus, minibus and train.
Development Principle 7:
- To promote the development of a diverse range of industrial and commercial activities in the Midvaal area, with specific focus on the R59 corridor and the designated nodal points.
The Midvaal Central Business District (CBD) is the primary business node within the municipal area and it currently holds an estimated 60 000 m² of retail floor space and 12 000 m² of office floor space. The CBD is surrounded by residential areas, highly accessible from the R59 freeway, and forms part of the R59 corridor. Several other smaller business nodes with collective capacity for about 16 000 m² of retail floor space are available at Walkerville, Sicelo, De Deur, Golf Park and Vaal Marina.
Development Principle 8:
- To provide for a wide range of housing typologies and tenure alternatives within the municipal area by way of clearly defined Strategic Development Areas within the urban development boundary, and to manage residential densification within and outside the urban development boundary by way of the Midvaal Density Policy.
- Several strategic development areas have been already been earmarked for residential development in the Midvaal area. These areas cater for low, middle and high income housing typologies with ample opportunity for private sector involvement. A recent trend has been for middle to high income developments to be established in and around the Eye of Africa area, which is easily accessible from the R59 development corridor and within 20 minutes’ drive from the City of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipalities