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Thursday Dec 06, 2012

Tshwane claims progress in turning Pretoria CBD around

Tshwane Metro Council has recorded several successes under its "I can" project aimed at ridding the city of crime and grime and ensuring that by-laws are adhered to.

These include the recovery of 37 municipal rubbish bins; the issuing of 27 notices for contravening the by-law on health and solid waste; the closure of a tavern on the corner of Sophie de Bruyn (Schubart) and Boom streets and the arrest of 83 illegal immigrants.

Deputy city manager, service delivery co-ordination and transformation management, Ronnie Boshielo stated in a report that "I Can", was aimed at among others, the removal of illegal posters, the removal of illegal structures on council-owned road reserves, addressing trade, illegal transport activities.

The project is also aimed at fixing broken street lights and traffic signals, damaged street signals and potholes, and cleaning the urban environment by concentrating on roads and road reserves, open spaces, cutting of trees and enforcing town planning and national building regulations.

Boshielo said informal trade in the inner city faced many challenges that restrained its development and growth.

These include the lack of adequate amenities like sanitation , insufficient demarcated area for trading, the lack of overnight facilities for traders and congestion, especially in Church Mall, between Lilian Ngoyi (Van der Walt) and Thabo Sehume (Andries) streets.

Boshielo said interventions, to be introduced in phases, had been identified and these included the conversion of Barolak building in Johannes Ramokhoase Street (Proes) into an informal traders' market, the paving and erection of trading shelters in Lilian Ngoyi Street (Van der Walt) and the "decluttering" of Church Mall.

DA councillor Clive Napier said one of the biggest failures of the municipality was its inability to vigorously enforce its by-laws.

He said there were by-laws to address many of the issues referred to in the report.

Napier added that the metro police should be involved in the tracking down of advertisers who put up illegal posters that bore their phone numbers on their advertisements. "The same illegal advertisements have been appearing for a year or more. Why are the perpetrators not jailed?" he asked.

Napier said a few years ago, the mayoral committee took a decision to prohibit national and provincial government departments from relocating from the inner city to the periphery of the CBD.

He said grand plans were announced some years ago, backed by money from the province for the Lilian Ngoyi Square, on the corner of Lilian Ngoyi (Van der Walt) and Helen Joseph (Church) streets.

"We want to know what is happening in this regard," said Napier.

The member of the mayoral committee responsible for economic development and planning, Subesh Pillay, said there had been a marked increase in the number of commercial entities that were coming back into the inner city.

Pillay said the council was of the view that Lilian Ngoyi Square was not ideal for an informal market.

"We want to move the informal market to Marabastad," he said.

Pillay said a new design had been developed for Lilian Ngoyi Square.

The new-look square will, according to Pillay, be an open-flow system which will integrate with the pedestrianisation of Helen Joseph (Church) Street.

It will have a stage where artists can perform and a monument to honour the women who took part in the anti-pass law march in 1956. "We want to create something along the lines of Time Square (New York), which will be integrated into the State Theatre."

Pretoria News


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