Mayor kickstarts Marlboro Automotive Hub during Alex Bua Le Sechaba
Mayor kickstarts Marlboro Automotive Hub during Alex Bua Le Sechaba

Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Parks Tau on Wednesday June 15 turned the sod in Marlboro, just outside Alexandra in Region E, to officially kick-start the development of the R48-million Marlboro Automotive Hub.

This was one of the projects Mayor Tau and his executive team unveiled on the second day of the tour of the region under the Bua le Sechaba (Talk to the Nation) campaign, an initiative that seeks to create a platform for the City’s leadership and residents to engage on service delivery issues.

The other projects unveiled on Wednesday include:

  • Construction of the R15-million Thoko Mngoma Clinic in Alexandra;
  • Electrification of more homes in the Setjwetla informal settlement; and
  • Handing out of 100 emergency safety kits to volunteers trained to respond to fires, particularly in informal settlements in the cold winter season.

Earlier in the week in Alexandra, the City announced a number of new initiatives. These included:

  • The development of the R64-million Bohlabelo Village that will be home to 232 families;
  • Rollout of free Wi-Fi in the township, starting in July 2016;
  • Revamping of two single-sex hostels into family units; and
  • Construction of a R25-million state-of-the-art clinic.

All the projects are being developed under the auspices of the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), a City-owned infrastructure development entity.

Speaking at the Marlboro sod-turning ceremony, Project Manager Akhona Mnukwa said the automotive hub would consist of 17 workshops, wash bays, offices and other facilities.

“Already 48 jobs have been created. Three SMMEs are onsite. By the time we complete the project in 14 months, a total of 12 SMMEs will have been appointed to provide a variety of services,” Mnukwa said.

Four co-operatives and township businesses have already been awarded Jozi@Work packages to undertake projects such as paving, tiling, carpentry and joinery, and landscaping at the automotive hub. The R15-million Thoko Mngoma Clinic, unveiled by Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development Cllr Nonceba Molwele, is expected to be completed by September this year, according to JDA Development Manager Shaun Kgatuke. The clinic includes 16 consulting and emergency rooms. The project has created 15 jobs for locals.

At Setjlwetla, on the banks of the Jukskei River, Cllr Tau symbolically switched on power in two shacks. Power was switched on in more than 1 600 homes in Setjwetla in April and another 1 000 will be connected to the grid at the completion of the second phase of the project, which has cost more than R60-million.

Tau said Setjwetla was among the first to benefit from the City’s decision to electrify informal settlements. He said the remaining homes would be connected over the next few months. The Gift of Hope and the Gift of the Givers charity organisations, working through the City’s Spousal Office, handed out food hampers and blankets to needy community members.