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Thursday Jun 03, 2010

DA urges external help with Rainbow Junction property development

The DA has called on the Tshwane Metro Council to enlist external help for the development of Rainbow Junction in Wonderboom, north of Pretoria.

DA councillor Dr Clive Napier said the Rainbow Junction was a massive development, "covering something in the order of 70 to 80 hectares and involving millions of rands in private capital".

According to the council city planning and economic development department, the municipality cannot provide the required engineering services for the project, as well as the broader zone of choice.

"Alternative sources of funding need to be investigated, as well as service delivery mechanisms to realise the objectives of the city development strategy," the department stated.

The Rainbow Junction project - which was unveiled more than five years ago - comprises eight residential areas, which were expected to be phased in over 10 to 15 years.

The initial objective of the Rainbow Junction was to develop a mixed development node, including a proposed stadium for the World Cup. The development was amended after Fifa indicated that it no longer required the stadium.

Napier said the project could provide many benefits.

"What perturbs me is that it had been in the planning stage going back more than five years, and various obstacles have been identified which have not been overcome," he said.

Napier said his understanding of developmental local government was that its function was "to facilitate developments - large and small - but not necessarily to undertake the development itself".

"One must admit that some developments are so large it is not possible for local government to provide that infrastructure. I have been informed the supply of electricity capacity, in particular, is one of the constraints on the development."

Napier said if the municipality lacked the capacity - financial and material - to supply the necessary infrastructure - innovative solutions must be found.

"If the municipality cannot do it, then work out a deal with outside funders and service providers. It should not block the development," said Napier, adding that the mayoral committee should consider other options.

Ben Wannenburg, in whose Ward 50 the project falls, said it was time the council got outside assistance to get the project off the ground.

He said there were some people who were prepared to offer financial assistance, but the council seemed uninterested in their offer.

"We have already offered financial assistance. There are some overseas companies which are prepared to assist in getting the project off the ground."

Wannenburg said he was worried about the delay. "We cannot wait another five years... the council must pull up its socks and get the project off the ground."

The improvement of the road network in the area depended on the Rainbow Junction, he said..

The council stated last year that it would need R60 million to improve the road network in Wonderboom. Proposed improvements include the Paul Kruger Street/ Lavender Road intersection, the implementation of Route k14, which is expected to link Rosslyn, Hebron and Pretoria North, and the PWV9 and K99, which would link Atteridgeville, Mabopane and Pretoria North.

"We need to get the project off the ground so that we can deal with problems associated with congestion on the roads in the Wonderboom area," said Wannenburg.

Pretoria News

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