The City of Cape Town’s Transport and Urban Development Authority is in the final month of a R40 million contract which entailed the redesign, reconstruction and upgrade of up to 31 roads in Imizamo Yethu, Ocean View and Kommetjie in the far south. Read more below:
The project commenced in June 2015 and should be completed by the end of May this year, if all goes as planned.
‘The purpose of a well-constructed road is to provide residents access to their destinations, to improve mobility, and to create a sense of place within communities. It also serves as an important access route for emergency vehicles – for example, allowing the police and fire brigade to respond faster in times of crisis.‘This project has always been high on our list of priorities because once a road has been built, our residents benefit immediately – their lives are changed for the better the moment the last kerb is in place. I am delighted that we are now in the final stage of this contract and that we can see the progress happening within the areas where our communities need it most.
‘We have rebuilt 17 roads in Ocean View. In Kommetjie, we upgraded five gravel roads which are now surfaced. In Imizamo Yethu some of the roads were in a very poor state – the asphalt surfacing had eroded due to greywater discharge on the streets and a lack of stormwater infrastructure. In the process of reconstructing the nine roads, we first had to redesign the layout of the roads to adapt to the steep typography, as well as to accommodate structures that were located within the road reserve due to the informal conditions of the area,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron.
The City had several meetings with the Imizamo Yethu project steering committee as the contract progressed.
‘The location of structures within the road reserves caused some unforeseen delays, but we have worked closely and in consultation with the community. In the end we found solutions and I am happy to say that we should be done with all nine roads in Imizamo Yethu by the end of May,’ said Councillor Herron.
The City has also upgraded existing water mains and stormwater infrastructure in Imizamo Yethu, Ocean View and Kommetjie.
‘We have constructed sidewalks where the road reserves were wide enough and we have installed streetlights. These may sound like small interventions, but sidewalks and streetlights make a huge difference to those who walk to their destinations. Our residents feel and are safer when they walk on a surface dedicated to pedestrians, especially when doing so under streetlights after dark,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Area North, Councillor Suzette Little.
The City included the provision of streetlights in the contract at the request of the community.
‘We did so after meeting with the local communities and after engagements with the leadership from the different areas. I am glad we did, because the City is eager to engage with residents and to listen and to take note when residents tell us what they need in order to live better lives. This is also the purpose of the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP) – to work even more closely and in partnership with our communities so that we can fast-track service delivery,’ said Councillor Little.
Furthermore, approximately 45 residents from Ocean View and Imizamo Yethu benefited from temporary work opportunities that were created as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) during the construction of these roads.
‘About one-third of these local employees were women who were employed as part of the EPWP. With this level of local employment comes a substantial reinvestment into the community through the temporary work opportunities created and contracts to small and medium businesses from the areas. Going forward and in terms of the City’s ODTP, we will continue ploughing resources back into our communities – be it through service delivery, work opportunities and contracts to small businesses, or more meaningful engagement,’ said Councillor Herron.