Mayor Commits to highway upgrade – ‘Without E-tolls’
Key sections of the Johannesburg highway system will soon be upgraded to world-class standards – but none of these roads will be tolled.
This was the assurance given by the Executive Mayor, Parks Tau, in his 2015 State of the City Address today. "It will be e-toll quality roads, without e-tolls," he said.
A capacity assessment will be undertaken on the M1 and M2 network, criss-crossing the City, as well as the Soweto Highway. This will indicate the extent of the upgrades required as well as potential innovative solutions that can be introduced to address congestion challenges.
Repairs on the Double Decker section of the M1 and the Oxford and Federation bridges will start in the first quarter of the next financial year. Mayor Tau called on road users to be patient while construction takes place and to "explore public transport alternatives."
He said the City's landscape has been transformed as part of the inner city renewal project. Precincts such as Braamfontein, Maboneng, Marshalltown and Newtown feature prominently in international travel guides. In some cases the city has actively developed these precincts and, in others, "zoned and planned with an open mind, allowing the private sector to apply its creativity."
This urban revitalisation is attracting business back into the inner city. The well-known food chain, Nando's has moved its international headquarters back to Lorenzville, "bringing R75-million worth of investment back with them."
Mayor Tau also announced that the City has reached a resolution on how to accommodate informal trading in the inner city as 'a properly regulated activity' which can exist with other demands on the bustling space of the CBD.
Construction work has also started on the City's new Council Chamber that will include the provision of modern facilities for Councillors, officials and members of the public attending the meetings. This forms part of a broader development of the Metro Precinct in Braamfontein to create an inviting and accessible space for employees, residents and visitors,
The city's centre will be turned into a 24-hour mixed use campus that will provide office space for all departments and entities but also include residential apartments, retail shops and a 'people's square.'