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City injects millions into Turffontein Corridor


The City of Johannesburg will over the next four years spend more than R150-million on the redevelopment of the Rotunda Park Precinct as part of the extreme makeover of Turffontein, southeast of Johannesburg.
The redevelopment of the area, one of the oldest suburbs in Johannesburg, forms part of the City’s Corridors of Freedom’s transit-orientated developments that will see Johannesburg transcend apartheid-era town planning by bringing schools, services, work opportunities and other benefits closer to the people, especially those who live on the outskirts of the city.

The City is implementing the new spatial planning in line with its Growth and Development Strategy 2040 (GDS 2040).

The shape of the new-look Johannesburg will comprise well-planned transport arteries linked to interchanges, with focus on mixed-use development. Parks and green spaces will form an integral part of these developments.

The Turffontein Corridor will cater for nearby suburbs of Turffontein, Kenilworth and Rosettenville. Already plans have been approved for the R2 billion mixed-use housing development project in the South Hills area.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Development Planning Councillor Roslyn Greeff says the Rotunda Park Precinct is a priority project that will be undertaken in three phases.

“Work on the R12.8-million first phase has started. It is expected to be completed by November,” says MMC Greeff.

Phase 1 involves the upgrade of Park Crescent around Rotunda Park, the upgrade of High Street North, the Northern Gateway (at the intersection of High Street and Turf Club Road) and the upgrade of the Eastern Gateway (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," says the MMC.

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 will be installed for an improved public environment. According to her, the aim is to make the intersection safe for pedestrians.

Phase 2 of the initiative – the estimated R 47.7-million Linear Park project– will start later this year after extensive consultations and workshop sessions with the public. The park, on a 2km stretch along De Villiers Road, is a greening project that forms part of the public environmental 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 obtain detailed information on what residents want to see happen around this area. This will then inform the detailed designs.

The Johannesburg Development Agency has approved the conceptual designs of the park.

Phase 3 is scheduled to start in the 2017-2018 financial year. It will involve the extension of the De Villiers Parkway towards iconic landmarks. Turffontein, one of the oldest residential areas in Johannesburg, has been in steady decline over the years. MMC 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,” the MMC said.

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

The facelift of the 10-hectare park cost R200 000. New flower beds, lawn and indigenous trees were planted last month by Executive Mayor Clr Parks Tau, City Parks & Zoo Managing Director Bulumko Nelana and staff. They also installed new outdoor gym equipment and painted the playground equipment.

Green outdoor gyms will be built in all the parks in the corridor.