Magaliessig Action Forum has its origins in an initiative by residents and other interested parties to oppose the inappropriate development of a huge Makro megastore on a parcel of land situated on the southwest corner of Leslie Ave and Witkoppen Road (opposite the Merrow Down Plaza shopping centre). Besides the traffic, including trucks and taxis this would put onto Magaliessig’s suburban roads, this development would be an architectural disaster and could severely devalue homes and properties in the vicinty.
It must be pointed out that MAF has no quarrel with Makro or Massmart as entities, just with the proposed location of such a magastore within our peaceful suburb.
- Massmart purchased a significant portion of land (11.03 hectares) off Witkoppen Rd in Magaliessig with the intention of developing a Makro megastore. As far as MAF is aware, this purchase took place in late 2008.
- A meeting that was open to the public was held at the Toyota building in Magaliessig by Massmart in February 2010, which is when the few residents who knew about the meeting first became aware of the proposed development.
- Within the 30 day objection period, the residents of Magaliessig and others who were interested or affected submitted their written, signed objections. Approximately 1 800 objections were raised.
- A hearing was held by the City of Johannesburg Planning Committee to decide the outcome of the Makro application. Registered objectors were notified by post and invited to attend.
- The hearing was held in September and October 2012 over a period of three days.
- After a long period of waiting for the hearing outcome, MAF was notified in February 2013 that the City of Johannesburg Planning Committee had decided to recommend the application by Makro be approved.
- Because this decision was in contrast to the City’s own townplanning policies for the region, the recommendation was put before the Mayoral Committee.
- In August 2013, MAF via its legal advisor, heard that the Mayoral Committee had rejected the recommendation to approve Makro’s application.
- In early 2014, we became aware that Makro intended to appeal the decision to the Townships Board (a provincial body). Objectors began receiving official notification letters in February.
We have been advised that the Townships Board has upheld the Makro appeal and recommends that the Makro application is approved. The matter is not finalised, however.
We do not yet know the reasons for this surprising and unexpected recommendation.
Following receipt of full details we will be in a position to inform you of our intentions.
Note: “Node” below refers to the Fourways business node. Properties within this area are zoned for commercial use. The current Regional Spacial Development Framework for Region E (into which Magaliessig and the greater Fourways suburbs fall) does not provide for additional commercial developments outside of this node.