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Joburg Zoo’s new R45-m parkade unveiled Print E-mail
04 August 2017

ZooParkade

The City of Johannesburg’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development, Cllr Nonhlanhla Sifumba, on Wednesday August 2 officially unveiled the Johannesburg Zoo’s R45-million parkade – ending years of parking woes and traffic congestion at the 115-year-old popular wildlife conservation facility.

The construction of the two-storey parkade, which has a total of 702 parking bays, started in the 2015-2016 financial year. The construction phase created 90 job opportunities and benefited 13 small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).

“This is not merely a parkade but a testament to the fact that the City of Johannesburg does not pay lip service when it comes to delivering services. It’s a City at work,” said Cllr Sifumba.

“The previous parking arrangement inhibited visitor numbers and caused massive traffic congestion and frustration among members of the public. That is now a thing of the past.”

The MMC said for many years the zoo was enjoyed by only a small number of visitors due to the shortage of parking. “We’re happy that today is marking the end of that era,” she said.

Cllr Sifumba said the facility would offer better access and comfort and help increase the number of eco-tourists to the zoo.

“This zoo does not only play a critical role in the conservation of local and international animal species, but it also responds to emergency wildlife situations such as trafficking. It provides invaluable learning experiences and, by easing access, we aim to increase eco-tourism and see more and more people enjoy a day out in this living museum and ultimate classroom,” she said.

Bukelwa Njingolo, the Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo’s Chief Operations Officer, said the development of the parkade, in the Upper Park Drive, formed part of the Zoo Lake Precinct Development Plan and the City’s Capital Infrastructure Development Plan.

She said the development was informed and necessitated by community needs and increased visitor numbers.

“Being able to accommodate increased visitor numbers at the zoo needed addressing. To maximise open pockets of available land, we developed the parkade concept, which is designed to be aesthetically pleasing and responds to environmental and conservation sensitivities in which it is set,” said Njingolo.

“Our Master Plan seeks to create increased interconnecting initiatives between the zoo and Zoo Lake. So, exciting plans are being investigated for the future,” said Njingolo.

The construction was delayed by six months following the discovery of a historical site that included ash, bone and ceramics.

“We halted construction and called in heritage authorities and the University of South Africa to conduct an investigation to verify and assess whether the find was of significance. This was negative. But, despite this, the find is currently being stored and may in the future be exhibited at the zoo,” Njingolo said.
Ward 117 councillor Tim Truluck described the parkade as “impressive”. “It’s been a long two years of construction. The input by the community and other role players was invaluable,” he said.

Parking costs R15 a day.

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Last Updated on 04 August 2017