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The City of Cape Town has allocated about R350 million in the 2016/17 financial year for infrastructure projects in the Voortrekker Road Corridor (VRC) as part of its ongoing efforts to revitalise this substantial area.

This investment is over and above the normal City-funded service delivery allocations to this area and aims to improve urban conditions and to unlock a range of investment opportunities in future.

‘The core belief that underpins our efforts in this important part of our metro is that strategic public spending will encourage further development and investment from the private sector.

‘Our targeted investment drive in infrastructure and public space upgrades aims not only to lay a solid and attractive foundation for further private sector investment, but also shows our commitment to enhancing the second largest central business district area in the metro and its surrounds.‘Only through the strong partnerships that we are seeing in this corridor will we truly reach the catalytic change that we are envisioning for this zone,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Johan van der Merwe.

The Integrated City Development Grant, which is being used to fund this large-scale investment, provides the eight metropolitan municipalities with incentives to improve spatial development considerations in their budgeting in support of integrated, inclusive development that is public transport-oriented. To qualify for this grant funding, cities are required to identify integration zones in which the funding is due to be spent. The Metro South-East and the VRC have been the two nominated regions within Cape Town.

The infrastructure and public space upgrade projects, some of which are already under way, include R51 million for the Oakdale Main Substation (Phase 2), R65 million for the Bellville Wastewater Treatment Works Facility, R5 million for the upgrade of the Bellville Public Transport Interchange, R2 million for CCTV installation in Goodwood, R4,5 million for the Maitland Cemetery upgrade, and R2 million for the Elsieskraal River upgrade (from Elizabeth Park to Jack Muller Park).

The first phase of infrastructure upgrades, as part of this grant, commenced in the 2014/15 financial year with projects such as the Water and Sanitation Department’s Northern Region Sludge Facility and the Electricity Services Department’s Plattekloof N1 Substation reinforcement.

‘Our efforts here would not be half as effective without the cooperation of residents, our community partners, and the Greater Tygerberg Partnership, which is key in facilitating relationships between small and medium businesses and the public sector, and the Voortrekker Road Central Improvement District (VRCID). The Mayoral Urban Regeneration Programme is also an active lever for our revitalisation efforts in this area.

‘This is not a theoretical exercise. Results are being seen and even smaller actions – such as the high-pressure hose-cleaning operation of foul-smelling areas along Voortrekker Road with the help of our private business partners and the VRCID – show that we can only achieve progress when we work together,’ said Councillor Van der Merwe.

The VRC is bounded by the N1 to the north, and the R300 and Salt River to the east and west respectively and is 8 200 hectares in size. It was selected because of its centrality in relation to the entire metro, the number of employment opportunities such an axis presents, the existing facilities available within its borders, and its inherent potential for densification and transport-oriented development.

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