Diepsloot renewal boosted by Rea Vaya route plans

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Diesploot's continuing upgrades are bringing new social and business opportunities to its residents; now the City is planning a new Rea Vaya route connecting the settlement with the city centre.

The City of Johannesburg’s Development Programme for Diepsloot intends to establish the area as a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable human settlement.

Diepsloot, north of the central business district in Region A, has been growing rapidly since its establishment in 1994 by settlers from Zevenfontein and the flood area from Alexandra.

This plan will provide the township community with access to basic services, better transport and more income-generating opportunities.

The City has indicated its plan to provide adequate housing by building 4 800 subsidised units for low-income households, and with the help of the Johannesburg Property Company through the Northern Farm Project, a further 6 000 to 10 000 for low-income families.

Since 2009, the following initiatives have been implemented:

  • In 2009/10, a public environment upgrade of Ingonyama Road;
  • In 2010/11, constructing two pedestrian bridges and upgrading the taxi rank and constructing commuter links between the bridges and Ingonyama Road with monies from the Expanded Public Works Programme fund;
  • In 2011/12, completing the public environment upgrade along Ingonyama Road; and
  • In 2012/13, planning and design work for the Ingonyama Link Road Extension.

During 2013/14 the priority interventions to be implemented in the medium term include:

  • Delivering road and pedestrian infrastructure to improve mobility within Diepsloot, including completing the Ingonyama Street upgrade and constructing two pedestrian bridges across the rivers;
  • Investment in public spaces in the government precinct in Diepsloot West, a street traversing Diepsloot Extension 1 and Tanganani and a proposed regional node at the intersection of the R511 and the proposed K54;
  • Improved delivery of affordable housing;
  • Formalising existing small business nodes in extensions 1 and 3;
  • A proposed regional node at the intersection of the R511 and the proposed K54; and
  • Facilitating an African Market along the R511.

Diepsloot 1According to the JDA, "Diepsloot has become the focus of proposals by a number of private developers. The most significant developments are the Steyn City lifestyle development, a major industrial park development by Century, and a new shopping centre and mixed-use development by an anonymous investor on the quarry site opposite the Diepsloot Shopping Centre.

"The implementation of the Ingonyama link road extension will instil further confidence amongst property investors by demonstrating the public commitment to making this neighbourhood work in economic terms."

At an 18 February Imbizo, Mzolisi Mbikwana – chairperson of the Diepsloot Business Forum – mentioned the many new developments in the area, saying, "Diepsloot now has a regional police station. As you enter Extension 2, the fire station is right next to the police station and the taxi rank. Diepsloot also has a centre for elderly people and two clinics. Since the dawn of democracy 20 years ago, we have been provided with new public schools and two private schools. One of these schools, Diepsloot Combined School, last year achieved 98% in matric results.” 

He mentioned the City's involvement, spending R30-million to build a multi-purpose centre, with a library. Diepsloot now also has two public parks, one with a "green" gym to encourage the residents to live a healthy lifestyle.

Transporting the community

Diepsloot 2During the Imbizo, Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Mpho Parks Tau, said Rea Vaya would be launching a bus route, part of the Rea Vaya Phase 1C, from Louis Botha Avenue to Ivory Park.

The route forms part of the City's Corridors of Freedom initiative to provide safe and affordable transport around the city.

Mayor Parks said, “We can’t continue re-entrenching apartheid; we should build a city of the future. All communities should be able to access transport to the city or even stay in the city or the area of work."

Roads in the area, including Ingonyama Road, have also been upgraded to tar. Two bridges currently under constructions will lead to the Diepsloot East project, where more houses will be built.