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Money has been set aside in the Johannesburg Roads Agency budget for the tarring of Diepsloot’s roads, and by the end of the year it will have 12 percent fewer dirt roads.
WITH more than one clinic, a police station, community centres and gradual upgrading of the roads, Diepsloot is slowly but surely developing.

Most roads are dustyMost roads are dustyAccording to the general executive manager for business planning and development at the Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA), Thulani Makhubela, over 12 percent of the roads in Diepsloot will be tarred by the end of this year.
The agency has put aside a wodge of cash in its budget this year to fix roads in the township. He explains: “R10-million was put aside in the 2010/11 budget to tar over two kilometres of roads in Diepsloot … On completion of the current scope 12,2 percent of Diepsloot roads will be tarred.”

The township, which is in the northern part of Joburg, has over 70 kilometres of roads, with 66,2 kilometres not yet tarred. It was established in 1995 by what was then called the Rand Provincial Administration as a temporary shelter for people who were evicted from Honeydew, Zevenfontein and Alexandra.

In the beginning, just 200 families from Zevenfontein settled in what is today known as Diepsloot extension one. By 1996, Diepsloot was still a reception area and people started occupying what was a private farm in Diepsloot West.

Today, the township has 13 extensions, made up of shacks, RPD and subsidised housing. The building of RDP dwellings began in 1999; since then, many other developments have taken place. At the moment the township has two community clinics – the OR Tambo Clinic which was built in 1998 in Diepsloot West, and the Diepsloot South Clinic which was opened in 2008.

Initially, the OR Tambo Clinic consisted of eight consultation rooms, which meant that nurses had to share space with the HIV/Aids counsellors. However, the clinic was extended in 2010 and now has 18 consultation rooms.

Some roads are in desperate need of repairSome roads are in desperate need of repairIt offers: antenatal care; child health care; chronic care; treatment for blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy and tuberculosis; voluntary counselling and testing; and treatment for curative diseases.
It also has male and female public toilets, staff toilets, a waiting room double the size of the old one, a patients’ overflow area outside, a bigger reception area, a bigger medicine room, which is well ventilated, a bigger store room and a bigger emergency room.

Informal settlement
The township is densely populated, with formal and informal settlements. There are just over 10 000 households in the formal section, while the informal part is home to over 150 000 families.

Most of the families living in Diepsloot have little or no income at all. While the City, through its municipal-owned entities, tries to bring essential services such as electricity, rubbish collection and water supply to the community, illegal connections continue to be an uncomfortable challenge.

A huge percentage of the township’s economy is made up of informal trading. Popular items of trade include shacks, second hand clothes, washbasins, food and cosmetics.

The Diepsloot Mall at the entrance to the township is the only formal retail space. It opened in December 2007 and its anchor tenants include Shoprite, Absa, Nedbank and Standard Bank. As is common at township malls, there is a taxi rank on site, even though most people walk to and from the centre.

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