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A farewell to Rosebank: Q&A with Lerato Khiba, former Precinct Manager for the Rosebank Management District

A farewell to Rosebank: Q&A with Lerato Khiba, former Precinct Manager for the Rosebank Management District

Lerato Khiba was appointed Precinct Manager for Excellerate Managed Services in Rosebank in 2019. From that time until March 2022 Lerato has been responsible for ensuring the neighbourhood fulfils its potential both for its stakeholders and the Rosebank community. 

Lerato played an instrumental role in the Rosebank Management District and under her tenure Rosebank has continued to develop into an inclusive and accessible urban precinct. Lerato left Rosebank in March 2022 to pursue an opportunity as a Programme Manager with the Johannesburg Inner City Partnership. We chatted to her about her work in Rosebank. 

What is the highlight from your time as Precinct Manager in Rosebank?

Advocating for sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships between the private and public sectors – mainly stakeholders in Rosebank, municipal and provincial entities.

What are the three key areas of improvement that you were involved in for the Rosebank Management District?

  • Safe and clean
  • Infrastructure maintenance and upgrades
  • Public park developments within the node

What projects that you started would you like to see continued?

  • The taxi rank upgrade – Rosebank desperately needs a holding bay to ease accessibility and traffic flow in the area.
  • The mobility project led by CityCon Africa. This project emanated from the Rosebank Transport Indaba held in October 2021 to address the transport challenges of the neighbourhood and collectively work on solutions.
  • Public parking and facilities improvements in the precinct – in Cradock Avenue in particular.
  • The car guards project with the Rosebank Homeless Association and SAPS.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding with the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency to drive investment and economic activity in Rosebank. This was also a result of the Rosebank Transport Indaba held in 2021.

What makes Rosebank stand out as a neighbourhood?

Inclusivity. Rosebank is an ideal template of what inclusive and functional urban cities should be like. It was amazing to observe how the community at large shares the same passion for the growth and advancement of the neighbourhood.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of your work as Precinct Manager in Rosebank? 

Working to reimagine the narrative and future of Rosebank as a growing district. I enjoyed engaging with stakeholders and municipal owned entities as well as ensuring that concerns were addressed efficiently.

What were your greatest successes?

Pioneering projects that I believe were vital to the advancement of the neighbourhood and have never been carried out elsewhere. These allowed Rosebank to stand out as an all-round and functional precinct. Among the most successful and enjoyable of the many projects I was involved in were:

  • The Rosebank Management District rebranding It presented an opportunity to reimagine Rosebank and revive the best aspects of the precinct. “Rosebank – your place, a better place”. 
  • The Rosebank Transport Indaba we hosted with In Your Pocket City Guides in October 2021. The Indaba aimed to critically assess Rosebank’s current transport needs and create an actionable template for its future transport integration by bringing together key stakeholders from the transport and municipal development sectors. It was a first for Rosebank. 
  • The Rosebank Media Activation this was a walk we designed in partnership with In Your Pocket City Guides to highlight Rosebank’s achievements as a City Improvement District and emphasise the need for effective public-private partnerships to address the challenges of a growing district. We managed to attract widespread interest from the city and it was the start of a series of communications much in need in the district. 
  • FNB Art Joburg Open City a first of its kind art celebration programme which incorporated the theme of accessibility and walkability in the node. We facilitated access for this to happen in Rosebank.
  • The Public Safety Ambassador programme aimed at improving safety and security, and the overall visitor experience in Rosebank. 

What were the greatest challenges you faced?

  • The lack of support from relevant municipal entities relating to service delivery, maintenance and infrastructure upgrades.
  • Lack of public parking and the means to manage traffic congestion which infringes on fundamental principles of a walkable district (accessibility and pedestrianisation in the node).

Key takeouts from your work about how to work in Joburg’s districts?

YOU HAVE TO FIGHT TO GET THINGS DONE! Never take no for an answer. Know what you want and how you want it done!

What is the future of Rosebank?

I envision Rosebank to be a reference template for other City Improvement Districts as it’s a representation of a true 24-hour live, work and play precinct.

Words of advice to your successor?

Value the stakeholders – they are key to getting things done. Solutions lie with engaged communities. “No man is an island”.

A final message to the Rosebank community?

I would like to extend a vote of thanks to all partners we work closely with – The F.I.R.M Rosebank chapter, VumaCam, AI Surveillance, TSU Reaction teams, Faraday Taxi Association, Rosebank Residents Association, Residents Transport Action Group, In Your Pocket City Guides and the City of Joburg for their respective roles in RMD’s achievements in the year 2021. Let us continue to collaborate for the advancement of the Rosebank community.

To the Board of Directors, thank you for the voluntary dedication of your time to serve on the board, without remuneration — your efforts are greatly appreciated. 

Lastly, to the Excellerate Services staff, our public safety officers and cleaning teams, thank you for your stellar service and labour in making Rosebank great.

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