Taxi rank’s relocation to give way to a R1 billion development
The City of Johannesburg has approved the relocation of the Sandton Taxi Rank on Erf 575 to a temporary facility to give way to a R1-billion Kgoro mixed-used development.
The resolution was taken at the City’s April council meeting after an order granted by the Gauteng High Court on February 10 following a development agreement between the City and Cedar Park Properties.
In terms of the agreement, the City was obliged to relocate the taxi rank to enable Cedar Park Properties to redevelop the property as far back as 2010. However, the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) – the City’s property arm – made attempts to relocate the taxi rank in accordance with the public transport plan for Sandton but was frustrated by numerous delays.
According to a report presented at a mayoral committee meeting on March 5, JPC has completed 90% of the work required to enable the relocation but was prevented from finally commissioning the new taxi rank by an interdict granted by the Gauteng High Court against the use of the identified temporary holding area.
As a result JPC could not relocate the taxi rank as planned and Cedar Park Properties was thus placed in a position in which it had no option but to secure the vacant site in order to honour its development obligations. Cedar Park Properties previously packaged a development on Erf 575 but was prevented from implementing it due to the fact that the taxi rank could not be relocated.
The plan for providing taxi facilities in the short- and long-term is:
A permanent taxi rank of 89 taxi bays has been developed on level PTI of the Gautrain Station precinct;
The current taxi rank, earmarked for the Kgoro development, has been used as a temporary rank and holding facility while the permanent facilities were being developed.
A traffic study has indicated that during peak hour about 220 taxis use this facility; and
A permanent holding facility for 300 taxi bays has been designed in Sandown.
Before the matter was approved, Councillor MP Ntuli of the Inkatha Freedom Party, expressed his reservations about what he described as “insufficient consultation” with the Sandton Taxi Association.
He said it was important that there be further consultations with the association.
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development Councillor Ruby Mathang, in his reply, said proper consultations had been made with the association over a long period and that the City had been forced to make a lot of compromises.