Launch of the Hatfield Campus Village

Posted on March 01, 2017


The Board of Directors of the Hatfield City Improvement District (CID) launched the Hatfield Campus Village on Tuesday, 28 February 2017. The Village gives an identity to the area of jurisdiction of the Hatfield CID that is bounded by Lynnwood Road in the south, Frances Baard and Burnett streets in the North, Grosvenor Street in the east, and Festival Street and University Road in the west. The Hatfield CID is a legal entity, established as a result of the Gauteng City Improvement Districts Act 12 of 1997, that is intended to support the Tshwane Metropolitan Council in terms of the municipal services provided to the district. Funding to provide the additional services is derived from a levy that is paid by stakeholders in the designated area.

The focus of the Hatfield CID in the Hatfield Campus Village, similar to that of other CIDs in the province and country, has been on 'crime and grime'; in which the services of the South African Police Service and the Metro Police in terms of safety and security, and of the municipality's cleaning services, are supplemented by the CID's own safety and security ambassadors and cleaning teams. Statistics have confirmed that this has led to a safer, cleaner Hatfield.

'The launch of the Hatfield Campus Village is, however, much more than just giving the area a name,' said the chairman of the Hatfield CID, Professor Niek Grove. The purpose is to mark the beginning of a concerted campaign to transform the Village into a vibrant, inclusive, mixed-use area that, apart from being safe and clean, also provides an environment in which all stakeholders can thrive. Students, residents and visitors must feel welcome, while businesses flourish as a result of a large number of people being attracted to a variety of events, entertainment, dining and other family-friendly activities in the area. The large student population in the area and the preponderance of student accommodation will be transformed into a mixed community that also comprises families, university staff members and young professionals, the latter of whom may even work in Johannesburg, given the accessibility provided by the Gautrain. Mixed residential occupation will also improve the sustainability of businesses in the area by providing them with a year-round clientele, even during university recess periods when students are not around. Developers are realising the need to provide appropriate housing units for stakeholders other than students.

The University of Pretoria (UP) is a major stakeholder in the area – an anchor, as it were – because of its spatial immobility. Unlike a regular business, it cannot simply uproot and move elsewhere. 'It is, therefore, in its interest to contribute to the economic stability and growth of the local economy in order to ensure its own long-term sustainability,' said UP's Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Cheryl de la Rey at the launch. She continued: 'It is for this reason that we intend to increase our investment in the area by, among other interventions, procuring goods and services and hiring staff locally, helping to incubate new businesses, supporting job creation projects, and training local people to make them more marketable in a competitive job market, all with a view to growing "community wealth". We are already involved in a number of social upliftment projects through our Community Engagement initiatives, all aimed at promoting an inclusive village community. We must also cater for the needs of the large student community.' She emphasised, however, that 'to make everything work, we must have concurrence among all stakeholders in the area.'

Mr Lucas Luckhoff, the CEO of the Hatfield CID, reiterated the need for cooperation. He indicated that two studies were undertaken in the last fifteen months, one by a team of consultants from the USA who have wide-ranging experience with similar projects across the world, which indicated that most of the drivers of success were already in place in Hatfield. The other study made recommendations on spatial and institutional development and the management framework for the Village. The appointment of the new CID Board and a full-time CEO fulfil the first of its recommendations. The report indicated very clearly that the project would be resource-intensive. Initiatives are currently underway to raise funds locally and abroad, with the US Department of State and the Kresge Foundation having already contributed to the project. 'Our research shows that an expansion of the boundaries will make the Village more economically viable,' said Mr Luckhoff. He emphasised, however, that due process would have to be followed to expand the boundaries, a critical component of which is public consultation. 'Such negotiations have commenced and we have already had an indication from one community that that they prefer not to become part of the Village, a decision we respect,' he said. 'However, other communities and many other stakeholders have bought into the concept with much enthusiasm.'

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development, Mr Randall Williams, speaking on behalf of the City of Tshwane, indicated Council's strong support for the CID concept.

MMC Sheila Lyn Senkubuge, Alderman Kate Prinsloo, Councillor for Ward 56 and Mr Lucas Luckoff, CEO of the Hatfield Village at the launch event.



- Author Department of University Relations

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