Mayor Tau visits JDA developments in Alex

Ruby Mathang, Parks Tau and Thanduxolo Mendrew at the Alexandra Automotive HubEconomic Development MMC Ruby Mathang, Executive Mayor Parks Tau and JDA Chief Executive Officer Thanduxolo Mendrew at the Alexandra Automotive Hub. (Photo: Elias Nkabinde)

Joburg Executive Mayor Parks Tau was impressed with what he saw during a walkabout of two Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) projects, the Alex Automotive Hub and the Thoko Mngoma Clinic, in Alexandra on Wednesday, 15 June. Elias Nkabinde reports.

Akhona Mnukwa briefs the Mayor's delegation at the HubJDA development manager Akhona Mnukwa briefs Health and Social Development MMC Nonceba Molwele, JDA CEO Thanduxolo Mendrew, Executive Mayor Parks Tau and Economic Development MMC Ruby Mathang on the rationale behind the Automotive Hub. (Photo: Elias Nkabinde)Mayor Tau and his executive team were on the second day of a tour of Alexandra under the Bua le Sechaba (Talk to the Nation) campaign, an initiative that seeks to create a platform for residents to engage with the City's leadership on service delivery issues.

Alex Automotive Hub to create jobs, draw investment

At the Alex Automotive Hub, JDA development manager Akhona Mnukwa briefed the Mayor and his delegation on the Hub's potential to create sustainable jobs while boosting the automotive sector, a key contributor to the City's and the province's economies.

The R34-million industrial cluster project, the brainchild of the City's Department of Economic Development and the National Treasury, is scheduled for completion in December 2016.

Mnukwa told the Mayor that, once complete, the Automotive Hub would comprise 17 workshops as well as wash bays, offices and other facilities.

The R34-million Hub is geared at drawing investment into AlexThe R34-million Hub is geared at drawing investment into Alex while fostering the growth of job-creating local businesses. (Photo: Elias Nkabinde)"Already, 48 jobs have been created since the project started in July 2015," Mnukwa said. "Three SMMEs are onsite, and by the time we complete the project, a total of 12 SMMEs will have been appointed to provide a variety of services.

"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," she added.

The Hub will pull together motor dealerships, fitment centres, spares shops, glass fitment centres, panel beating shops, automotive electrical workshops, licensing and license plate establishments, upholsterers, a petrol station and a fuel depot.

It is geared at drawing private sector investment into Alexandra, while fostering the growth of local businesses capable of increasing employment and the development of infrastructure in the township.

R15-million upgrade of Thoko Mngoma Clinic

The next stop for Mayor Tau was the corner of 3rd and 6th Avenue, where Thoko Mngoma Clinic is undergoing a R15-million upgrade due for completion by the end of September.

The Mayor's delegation at Thoko Mngoma ClinicThe Mayor's delegation at the site of the Thoko Mngoma Clinic upgrade. (Photo: Elias Nkabinde)The facility, named after the founding member of the Federation of South African Women (Fedsaw), is one of four primary healthcare clinics that the JDA is currently building or rebuilding in Alex, the others being the River Park, 18th Avenue and 4th Avenue Clinics.

The upgraded Thoko Mngoma Clinic, along with the other three, will help cater to Alex's growing healthcare needs. The facility will have 16 consulting rooms compared to six at the old clinic.

JDA development manager Shaun Kgatuke, who led the Mayor and his team around the site, said the upgraded facility would also feature an emergency wing, which didn't exist previously.

"The waiting room area will also be upgraded to facilitate a capacity of 250 seated patients, and a larger administration block will feature in the clinic," he said.

According to Kgatuke, the project got under way six months ago and is currently at 29% completion. He added that it had so far created 15 jobs for locals.

He said that all four clinics the JDA was working on would fully comply with the norms and standards of the National Health Insurance (NHI), the government's ambitious blueprint for delivering quality healthcare to all South Africans.

All four clinics would also be migrating from a paper-based to an electronic system of record keeping. "The advantage to this is that no medical documents will be lost," Kgatuke said, adding: "This is in line with the City's commitment to building a smart city."