Bulldozers have cleared the rubble, graders have flattened the surface and now diggers are on site, digging the trenches for the foundation that will see a modern taxi rank rise to dominate the landscape around Drieziek in the South of Joburg.
Workmen in blue overalls and bright yellow construction vehicles have become a common sight and the roaring noise of construction vehicles has become a daily experience for residents of the sprawling township on the outskirts of Orange Farm in Region G.
The construction of the R32 million Drieziek taxi rank is well and truly underway. By October 2019, the residents of Ward 4 and Ward 5 in Drieziek will board taxis in style from the new, modern facility which boasts a public square, toilets and parking, which will enable motorists to park their cars and hitch a taxi ride.
“We are on track. We’ll complete construction this spring,” says Douglas Cohen, Acting CEO at the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), which is managing the project on behalf of the City.
The new taxi rank will come as a relief for the Orange Farm United Taxi Association (OFUTA), informal traders and above all, commuters.
Themba Kubheka, Chairman of the association, says he’s looking forward to the improved service the association will be able to offer from the new facility. “We can’t wait to work from a covered, well lit and maintained rank. This will reduce the risk of mugging for our drivers and customers.”
The facility will be a hub for taxis travelling to Vereeniging, Meyerton, Vanderbijlpark, Johannesburg, Alberton, Germiston and Baragwanath.
The transport facility is within easy reach of many public amenities including the clinic, the Stretford train station, municipal offices, the police station and the library. Taxi operators will move from the current open field rank along the Golden Highway and the N1.
“It’s not safe for us and our commuters to be operating so close to the freeway,” says Kubheka.
For taxi operators, the facility will offer 27 holding bays, 42 loading bays and 10 wash bays. Informal traders will now conduct their business from the comfort of 22 stalls, including some with cooking facilities. The stalls will be secured with roller shutter doors, said Cohen.
The Drieziek taxi rank may yet modernise residents’ and visitors’ travelling experience.