Projects

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The multi-million Rand "Special Facilities Project" improvements by the JDA included:
  • Facilities for commuters, taxi operators and drivers;
  • A market for traditional medicines and consulting and treatment rooms for traditional healers;
  • A general informal trading market;
  • A precinct or neighbourhood centre including offices for precinct management, meeting and training rooms for health workers and for environment and conservation, and a visitors' and security centre;
  • Public open space with a small retail component;
  • Environmental upgrade of existing pavements and provision of new pedestrian spaces, safety measures and amenities; and
  • An impressive array of public art adorns the buildings including innovative mosaic work and imposing hand-made steel gates and doors.

Taxi ranks

The taxi rank can accommodate more than 250 vehicles and serve a significant number of commuters each day. In line with the City Council's and JDA's requirement to take holding and ranking taxis off the streets and traders off the pavements, one of the main considerations in the design of the special facility was to create appropriate formal accommodation for taxi operators.

The allocated taxi holding area also has a formal space for the preparation of food. The taxi rank is designed on a larger scale. Graceful steel-framed structures with curved galvanised IBR roofs shelter the ranking lanes between pavement platforms. The building straddles a broad walkway that links the new market, through the taxi rank, to the area beneath the motorway where trading was once conducted.

The muti market

An impressive feature of the market is the double-storey building that houses muti traders on the ground floor and consulting rooms above.

These rooms each have a low 1,6m-high door, which lends to the traditional feel of the building as patrons have to bend to enter, a sign of submissiveness to the traditional healer. The walls of the consulting rooms are used not only as partitions, but also as storage spaces, with cubicles that can be used by healers to store their medicines. The rooms have bathrooms for use not only as ablution facilities but also during healing procedures. The zinc bowl is used for regurgitation and the bath for ceremonial cleansing.

An open area is being used for the Friday market. Each Friday, supplies are brought in from areas such as Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal to be sold to dealers in bulk.