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15 July 2020 (closed)
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At the end of last week, Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo (better known as Jokowi) inaugurated the Kota Tua revitalization program in North Jakarta. Kota Tua (Old Batavia) is the oldest part of Jakarta, spanning 1.3 square kilometres, and used to be the center of Dutch colonial rule in the 17th and 18th century (in the 19th century the Dutch moved its administrative center to the south). Today, Kota Tua still breathes a colonial atmosphere through the old architecture and museums, attracting tourists on a daily basis.
However, both the central and regional (Jakarta) government of Indonesia have neglected Kota Tua in the past decades. This has resulted in many buildings being in a state of near collapse. This is a shame as the area has huge potential in terms of tourism. As such, the revitalization program, which involves the reconstruction, restoration and conservation of Old Batavia, aims to attract (foreign and domestic) tourists, thus providing employment opportunities to Indonesians. The program will be executed by Jakarta Endowment for Arts and Heritage (Jeforah), a consortium consisting of two government-owned companies (SOE), nine privately-held companies, and other experts or stakeholders. The two SOEs are postal company Pos Indonesia and port operator Pelindo II, while the nine private companies are Plaza Indonesia Realty, Ciputra Development, Best Engineering Contractor and Agencies Indonesia, Kurnia Jaya Sukses, Kawasan Industri Jababeka, Muara Wisesa Samudra, Taman Harapan Indah, Saratoga Intiperkasa and Mitra Lintas Surya.
Governor Jokowi said that 85 buildings that are currently in bad shape will be renovated by the consortium. Funds originate from the regional Jakarta budget (APBD) and from the private companies.
Around 56 percent of total buildings in Kota Tua are privately-owned, 40 percent is owned by SOEs and the remaining 4 percent is in the hands of the Jakarta administration. As many buildings have been neglected, the Jakarta administration is said to issue new regulations that include a penalty for those that neglect their property as well as tax incentives and discounts for those who want to renovate their property.