• Stephen Narsoo

Johannesburg the largest economy on the African continent

The Oxford Economics global cities 2030 study was released last year. It is the largest study of its kind forecasting the future population and economic growth of the worlds largest cities. It examines how urban landscapes will change by 2030. It lists the 750 largest cities in the world with urban agglomerations with at least 750,000 inhabitants. It is no surprise that Johannesburg is one of these cities. What is surprising is that Johannesburg's population growth rate is small when compared to other cities in Africa. Lagos, Kinshasa, Dar es Salaam, Luanda and Abuja will see the largest increases in population. Between 2013 and 2030 the population size of Lagos will increase by 13 million and Kinshasa by 7.2 million people. However by 2030 the size of Johannesburg's economy measured by GDP in US billions will increase by a hundred billion US dollars. The city of Johannesburg will be the largest economy on the continent.

If these projections are true then in the future Johannesburg will have a far larger economy and its tax base will increase. The city of Johannesburg's is densifying along major corridors within the city. Increasingly citizens are demanding more from the municipality, this means that citizens will be far more aware and educated about how Johannesburg functioning in relation to other global cities in the world and therefore would demand the same level of urban service infrastructure and amenities of any top tier global city.

As an economic juggernaut on the continent the Metropolitan City of Johannesburg will have to ensure it builds the necessary skills and capacity, partnerships and know-how to be able to plan and implement large infrastructure projects and design urban services that meet the demands of its citizens.


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