EThekwini Municipality is working hard to ensure that the Durban Central Business District (CBD) area suits the needs of all those who work, study, live and play in it and has invested R245-million in the Point Watermains project.
This has provided a much-needed upgrade and greater security of water supply for the inner city and future planned growth. It is estimated that the CBD will grow from 70 000 to 450 000 people, and from 100 000 jobs to 250 000 work opportunities by the year 2040. Coupled with this bold programme of infrastructure supply, the City is improving the public realm.
This will result in parts of Anton Lembede Street and Mahatma Gandhi Road being upgraded inclusive of new streetlights, traffic signals, paving, pedestrian friendly crossings, parking and public transport offset areas. The upgrade also includes new litter bins and bus shelters complemented with some green infrastructure. The project certainly supports the vision for the inner city to be Africa’s leading, most vibrant, liveable, walkable city centre providing economic, residential, sporting and leisure opportunities for all by 2040. This is in line with the Inner-City Local Area Plan and regeneration strategy, approved by Council.
The Municipality is implementing these upgrades, and others to follow, to ensure that the inner city is adaptive, relevant and a resilient city that plans for current and future growth. Envisioned are mixed use and mixed income residential developments, niche precincts with quality and attractive offerings from pedestrian friendly streets, new public transport facilities and systems, diverse tourism to education, public art, parks, work spaces for small, medium and micro enterprises and infrastructure and support for the informal economy and more.
The inner city and the Point precinct in particular, are showing consistent progress as it undergoes regeneration and transformation. These upgrades form part of the Inner City Regeneration Strategy that aims to improve business confidence and stimulate investment in the retail, education, residential and commercial sectors. The Durban inner city is seen as one of the most important economic areas within eThekwini and remains an important revenue generator for the Municipality.
The public realm upgrade on Anton Lembede Street is located between Dorothy Nyembe Street and Yusuf Dadoo Street on the southern (left) side only. The appointed main contractor overseeing this aspect of the project is WK Construction. The public realm upgrade will be appointed to sub-contractors, as part of the Contractor Participation Goal for the project and Council’s commitment to Radical Economic Transformation.
The scope of work entails:
- New paving (either on the existing sidewalk or the new extended sidewalk (this is dependent on approval from eThekwini Traffic Authority to extend the sidewalk),
- New informal trader’s kiosks,
- New bus stops,
- New seating areas,
- Public ablutions and storerooms,
- Metro Police satellite office,
- Parks Department facilities,
- New landscaping and street furniture and,
- Relocation of traffic lights, road markings and signage.
The appointed main contractor for Mahatma Gandhi Road is Icon Construction. The scope of works for the public realm upgrade at Mahatma Gandhi Road involves:
- Sidewalk widening,
- Replacement of existing paving,
- Realignment of stormwater drainage,
- Relocation/repainting of streetlight poles,
- Road markings and associated infrastructure and,
- Provision and maintenance of vehicular access to adjacent properties and parkade areas.
The City would like to apologise to the public for any inconvenience caused during the period of the construction. The new and improved public realm will have a positive impact in beautifying this urban zone of Anton Lembede Street and Mahatma Gandhi Road. This project is expected to be completed towards the end of 2021.