Industrial and commercial buildings

In October 2018 we published a map showing that residential buildings of all types and sizes had increased by 60% from 2001 to 2016 (Hamann 2018). This month we provide a follow-up map to show the change in the number of commercial and industrial buildings over the same period. Land use data provided by GeoTerra Image places a point on each commercial or industrial building and classifies each building according to nine subcategories. The purpose of this is not to be able to represent the size of the building, one point may represent a vast shopping mall or a spaza shop. However, we are able to use these points to see how industrial buildings of all sizes are distributed in relation to commercial buildings and informal trading structures. We are also able to show where growth has occurred over the 2001-2016 period.

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Figure 1: Commercial and Industrial buildings in 2016 (For a high resolution PDF click here)

Figure 1 illustrates the industrial and commercial buildings in Gauteng, each blue point represents a commercial building and each green point represents an industrial building. The red points represent informal trading structures, a sub-set of commercial buildings but represented separately here. It is evident from the distribution of these points that commercial, industrial and informal trading activities have distinct geographies. There is a band of industrial buildings running from east to west along the mining belt, passing south of the Johannesburg CBD. Just north of that there is a band of commercial buildings running along Ontdekkers Road (F) through the city centre. Commercial buildings, which includes shops and offices, are more likely to be interspersed with residential areas, as in the case of Randburg (E). Informal trading structures are more prevalent in townships such as Tembisa (D) and Mamelodi (C). Areas with industrial buildings, such as Rosslyn (A), tend to be separate from commercial buildings and residential areas.

Since 2001, Gauteng has seen significant growth in infrastructure for commercial and industrial use as well as informal trading. The total number of these structures increased by 30% from 97,842 in 2001 to 126,923 structures in 2016 (figure 2 and table 1). This includes business parks, shopping malls, informal trading as well as warehouses, fuel depots and buildings for light and heavy industrial activities, as shown in Table 1.

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Figure 2: Change in number of commercial and industrial buildings

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Table 1: Number of commercial and industrial buildings in 2001 and 2016

Commercial buildings

The commercial buildings are categorised as shopping malls, shopping centres, commerce, petrol station/service station and office parks. There has been an increase of 13,454 commercial buildings. The largest percentage increase is in the category of shopping mall, although this is of a relatively small number (see Khanyile and Ballard 2018 for a specific map of malls).

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Figure 3: Map of commercial buildings in 2001 and 2016

Figure 3 shows a layer of grey points for every commercial building in 2001 over a layer of blue points for every commercial building in 2016. The blue points that remain visible are areas where new commercial buildings have been built, for example, south of Mamelodi (C).

Figure 4 shows the change in the density of commercial building per square kilometre between 2001 and 2016. This map shows that many areas that had some commercial buildings in 2001 (visible on Figure 3) have acquired more commercial buildings since, for example north of Randburg (E). However, there are also areas (shaded blue) in which there has been a slight decrease in commercial buildings. This can be accounted for in the demolition of buildings, or their conversion to purposes other than commerce, such as to residential use in old central business district areas.

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Figure 4: Change in commercial buildings per square kilometre

Informal trading structures

Informal trading structures is a subcategory of commercial buildings in the GeoTerra Image building based land use data. Since 2001, the number of informal trading structures has increased by 4,113, which is a 362% increase. Figure 5 shows that these structures are predominantly found in township areas such as in Mamelodi (C) and Tembisa (D). Figure 6 represents areas of change, showing growth in many township areas and decline in a few places.

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Figure 5: Map of informal trading structures in 2001 and 2016

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Figure 6: Change in informal trading structures per square kilometre

Industrial buildings

The number of industrial buildings has increased by 11,514 buildings since 2001, with light industries and warehousing/distribution being the largest contributor to the increase (Table 1). There have also been decreases in industrial buildings, in areas such as Randburg (E) and Carletonville (I).

The distribution and density of industrial buildings for 2001 and 2016 is shown in Figure 7. Industrial buildings tend to cluster in specific areas throughout the province, compared to the dispersed pattern of commercial buildings. This is due to specific town planning and regulation requirements which lead to zoned areas for industrial usage. Since 2001, the density of industrial buildings has increased, particularly in areas like Springs (H). It is also noticeable that entirely new industrial clusters have developed between 2001 and 2016, indicated by those areas with green points. Industrial buildings (such as warehouses) and the associated transport infrastructure take up large parcels of land.

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Figure 7: Map of industrial buildings in 2001 and 2016

Figure 8 is an illustration of the change in the density of industrial buildings from 2001 until 2016. It shows that there are a number of areas in which there has been a substantial increase in the density of industrial buildings.

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Figure 8: Change in industrial buildings per square kilometre

Suggested reference for this map

Naidoo, Y. (2019). 'Industrial and commercial buildings', GCRO Map of the Month, July 2019. Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Edits and input by Richard Ballard, Graeme Götz, Christian Hamann, Gillian Maree, Alex Parker, Sandiswa Sondzaba


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