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Friday Jun 19, 2015

Park revamp initiates Turffontein upgrade

The declining suburb of Turffontein is set for a revamp. The City of Joburg will, over the next four years, spend more than R150 million on the redevelopment of the Rotunda Park precinct as part of the project.

Rotunda Park in Turffontein, Joburg.

Turffontein is one of Joburg's oldest suburbs and falls into the city's Corridors of Freedom.

The first Corridor of Freedom is the Empire-Perth corridor; the second is the Louis Botha Avenue corridor where the Rea Vaya is presently under construction.

The idea of the corridors is to densify declining suburbs along the bus routes and bring schools, services, work opportunities and other benefits closer to people, especially those living on the city's outskirts.

The Turffontein corridor will also be used by residents in the also-decaying neighbouring suburbs of Kenilworth and Rosettenville.

Plans have been approved for a R2 billion mixed-use housing development project in the South Hills area.

Member of the mayoral committee for development planning, Roslyn Greeff, says the Rotunda Park precinct is a priority project and will be undertaken in three phases.

Work on the R12.8m first phase is expected to be completed by November.

Phase 1 involves the upgrade of Park Crescent around Rotunda Park, High Street North, the Northern Gateway which is at the intersection of High Street and Turf Club Road, and the Eastern Gateway, which is at the intersection of Turf Club Road and Main Street.

"This is a public environmental upgrade. The contractor has been appointed and the team is now on site.

"This phase will include the upgrade of the Turf-Main streets intersection," said Greeff.

New paving will be laid, street lighting will be upgraded and cycle lanes will be added to some sections.

In addition, street furniture and artwork would be installed, she said, adding that the aim was to make the intersection safe for pedestrians.

Phase 2 is the R47.7m Linear Park project, which will start later this year after consultations and workshop sessions with the public.

The park, which is on a 2km stretch along De Villiers Road, is a greening project that forms part of the upgrade.

The road will be split and a park erected in between "to create a green public open space".

Within the next two months, the city will hold public participation forums to get ideas of what residents want to see in the area.

Phase 3 is scheduled to start in the 2017/18 financial year and will involve the extension of the De Villiers Parkway towards iconic landmarks.

Greeff says the redevelopment of the area will attract investors, especially in the housing sector.

"We want the private sector to come on board and develop affordable housing. We want them to build upwards, buildings that will accommodate more people. We want to see more people move into this area," she said.

The new developments follow the recent completion of the Rotunda Park upgrading, which is also located along the Turffontein corridor.

The facelift cost R200 000.

Anna Cox
City Watch
The Star


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