The Development of Protea Glen started in 1986 when the first options on land across the Klipspruit West of Soweto were signed.
It took four years to persuade the then Department of Community Development to grant the developers, Township Realtors, the right to develop across the Klipspruit in terms of Act 4 of 1984, the Black Communities Development Act. In terms of the findings of the Jacobs Commission of 1954 n0 further development of Soweto across the Klipspruit should have taken place.
In 1990 the first 1 315 stands in Protea Glen was serviced and since then a further 27 extensions were approved bringing the total development, including townhouses and flats to more than 34 500 residential units.
Four shopping centres, two garages, a private hospital, clinic, day care centre, crèches, churches, five primary schools, one high school have been added during the last 25 years. A new private high school of more than 1 000 secondary school children is under construction.
Offices for the local Councillor and Local Community Development Forum, a Library and Community Hall has since been added on land donated by the Developers. Sports facilities for soccer, rugby and cricket on 14 hectares, donated by the Developer has been completed or is under construction. Four parks (two by private initiative assisted by Council and the Developer) has been completed. A fully operational police station has also been added in the late 1990’s.
A small residential township, planned in 1990 by the Developers of only 6 000 stands has grown into a huge stable integrated middle class development of more than 30 000 middle class houses with all the integrated facilities. A security crime report completed late 2013 by Urban Econ has found that Protea Glen is safer than Sandton, Randburg, Johannesburg and various other townships.
All streets are tarred with storm water and every stand has sewer, water and electricity ! Two bridges into Soweto to Protea North and Naledi Station were constructed by the developer. Training programmes for previously disadvantaged contractors were held by the developers and their housing builders and those contractors are today building houses all over Gauteng. In the 1990’s 5 000 subsidised houses were built in Protea Glen and in 1997 the Developer’s company and its Managing Director, Dr. Alf Levin were chosen as Housing Developer of the Year by the MEC of Housing in Gauteng, Mr Dan Mofokeng and the National housing Minister Me Sankie Nkondo.
On 5 December 1996 the late President Nelson Mandela opened Protea Glen Extension 11. Ten thousand people attended this opening believed to be the only housing development opened by the late President in Gauteng. He also handed over a brand new house to a lady who waited 11 years for a house. The stand was donated by Township Realtors and the house by Morgan Houses. For more than twenty years the Developers and Housing Builders have supported the local Councillors and the Local Community Development Forum (LCDF). Whenever there is a problem in Protea Glen this problem would be solved through negotiations between the Developer, the local builders, the LCDF and the local Councillors. This situation must be unique in Gauteng and SA.
It was always the Developer’s vision or dream not only to develop affordable houses but to develop a fully integrated sustainable environment and to create enough work opportunities for the population to enable the residents to live and work in the same environment. Now this vision is slowly taking shape. The two shopping centres developed, various residential developments and the private hospital have created 3 000 work opportunities in the area. A training program with the LCDF, local Councillor’s office, building contractors and SETA will create training for 50 to 100 young men and women in the area.
A further huge shopping centre development of more than 100 hectares of Commercial development approved on the corner of the N12 national road and the K15 road to Mogale City and Randfontein, to be known as Masingita City is to be developed by Mr Mike Nkuna’s Masingita Company, creating a further 5 000 work opportunities in the area and bringing one of the biggest shopping centres in the Country to Protea Glen, Soweto, Lenasia and surrounding areas. Direct entrances from the N12 and K15 as well as direct links to Protea Glen, Soweto and Lenasia are planned. Across the road from this proposed shopping centre, plans are on the way to move the 1000 inhabitants of the Waterworks Informal Settlement situated on dangerous dolomitic land with no services, to more than a 1000 stands in Protea Glen Extension 23, land donated by the Developers to Westonaria Council and the Gauteng Housing department. Also approved is 350 hectares of Industrial Development between the N12 and Randfontein Road with direct entrances from the N12 and Randfontein Road, known as Protea Industrial Park West. The seven townships have been approved and sewer installed with water available. Only electricity from Escom is awaited two years from now. This development following on the development to the Masingita City Development will create a further 35 000 work opportunities for the area !!
The Developer and some of its Housing developers initiated the establishment of SAARDA, South African Affordable Residential developers Association and its CEO, Dr Levin is one of the Committee Members driving Affordable Housing Development in Gauteng.
Township Realtors has also been involved in the development of 500 stands and houses in Tsakane Extension 11 (Brakpan), 690 stands and houses in Ormonde View, 200 stands and houses in Eikenhof and developments in Roodepoort (Helderkruin Extension 31, 186 Townhouses, Ruimsig Gholf Estate, 96 stands, Two Rivers Country Estate, 94 stands) and Mogale City (Homes Haven Extensions 23 and 24 – more than 1 000 units).
- We built two bridges from Protea Glen to Protea North and Naledi / Emdeni at a cost of more than Two million Rand.
- We donated stand 1703 Protea Glen Extension 1 to the Community (Local Council) and built a library on the stand for R600 000 in 1995. The local authority later used the rest of the land to build a Community Hall on the stand. Other stands were donated as parks – Copy of Agreement attached.
- We donated land in Protea Glen and built a sport centre consisting of tennis /netball courts, basketball courts and a proper club house with showers, toilets etc for R250 000. Transferred to local authority.
- We built and grassed sports facilities (rugby, soccer and netball field) for the first Primary School in Protea Glen (Itemogele Primary School) in 1994 at a cost of more than R100 000.
- We bought a repossessed house from Absa in Protea Glen Extension 11 for R25 000, spent R150 000 on the house and bought furniture etc for the offices of the Local Community Development Forum (LCDF) for a further R100 000 in 1996. This facility is still being used by this organization who plays a huge roll to make Protea Glen one of the most stable, crime free and developed communities in Gauteng.
- We have arranged that for every house and townhouse/flat built in Protea Glen and Extensions the housing developers would pay R150 per stand/unit to the LCDF to enable them to pay for telephones, maintenance of the property in clause 5 and payment of salaries (Staff of five). For the last five years with the bad housing economy we contributed to the salaries in a total amount of more than R500 000.
- We donated a stand in Extension 1 with a house on to the Council for the use of the Local Councillor and his staff. This facility is still being used by Councillor Sithole and his staff. Value today ± R300 000.
- In 1996 when we started to develop Extensions 11, 12 and 13 (over 8 000 stands) we were promised by the WMLC (Roodepoort) that they will take this land over from Westonaria and put in the bulk services. They did not fund the bulk services and we had to do a deal with the Provincial Government to fund 50% of the bulk services and we had to finance 50%. Agreement with WMLC dated 13 June 1996 attached. We had to borrow R10 000 000 from FBC Fidelity bank and our attorneys had to pay R5000 per stand to the bank to cover this and the interest. We completed a Water Tower, Water Reservoir, all the bus routes with streetlights, the bulk sewer, storm water and traffic lights in the Provincial road to Krugersdorp (K15). We paid R6 250 000 cash and repaid the above loan back over 3 years plus interest.
- On this land nearly 4 000 subsidised houses were developed. The value of our part of the bulk services today is worth more than R46 700 000-00 (Forty Six Million Seven Hundred Thousand Rand. (Letter attached from original engineers).
- We donated Erf 14445 Protea Glen Extension 13 in extent 2,5098 hectares to Escom to build a substation for the development. Alongside we made land available to the Council for a fire station which will be build this year.
- Two years ago we did a public / private partnership with City of Johannesburg to install a new bulk sewer for the Zuurbekom land (Residential and Industrial). We paid through First National Bank R18 million and the City the same amount. This money we will get back only over a 5 year period from developers that will pay us instead of the Council for bulk contributions. We also had to pay R14.5 million for the construction of a new road between the townships and R6.5 million for installation of water. Attached find copies of the Mayoral Committee’s approvals of the offsets of the bulk contributions forming part of the services agreements for the specific townships. (“E” 1, 2 and 3).
- This enabled us to make 10 000 stands available with bulk services (excluding electricity which had to be installed and paid for by the housing developers Cosmopolitan and Kiron Homes) for the building of houses in terms of the Bank Housing Charter between the National Minister of Human Settlement and the Banks. This development led to a new shopping centre being completed during September 2012 and a private hospital that will be built during 2013. 7 000 Stands in the adjoining Lufhereng development of City of Johannesburg also received bulk sewer from this agreement and more than 500 hectares of Industrial land which will create thousands of work opportunities, has also been serviced with this sewer line.
- Over the last 20 years the following further donations were made to the Community, local Council or the State :