Local tour operators got a first-hand view of some of the Johannesburg Development Agency’s (JDA’s) latest social and heritage infrastructure projects in Ennerdale and Soweto on Wednesday, 16 September.

The newly completed Ennerdale ClinicSite foreman Hennie Wiese briefs the group on the newly completed Ennerdale Clinic. (CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION)The JDA regularly takes tourist guides and heritage practitioners on visits to recently completed projects, in order to provide them with information for showcasing the City’s urban renewal and development projects to local and international tourists.

Alice Moloto, the JDA’s manager of internal communications and special projects, led the tour, which started at the newly completed Ennerdale Clinic, south of Johannesburg.

The group was taken around the clinic by site foreman Hennie Wiese of Dryden Projects. The facility will provide the community with easy access to comprehensive primary healthcare, including antenatal services and integrated treatment for chronic diseases.

It will accommodate 300 patients at a time, and includes 16 consulting rooms, group counselling rooms, play areas for children and gardens for the community to plant vegetables.

“The clinic has been designed to achieve energy and water-efficiency through the use of natural light, efficient light fittings and globes, and rain harvesting,” Wiese said.

Art work at the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication in KliptownOne of the new artworks at the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication in Kliptown. (CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION)Construction got under way in January and was completed this month, with the official opening due to follow shortly.

From Ennerdale the group proceeded to Kliptown, Soweto, where JDA development manager Jocelyn Davids showed them round the latest upgrades at the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication.

The City spent in the region of R20-million on upgrading the historic square ahead of the 60th anniversary celebration of the signing of the Freedom Charter in June. The project saw green landscaping introduced to soften the hard open space, along with new lighting and public seating, and artwork and plaques reflecting the history of the area.

One of the new artworks in particular, an ensemble sculpture of people queuing up to vote in South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994, drew appreciative responses from the guides.

Davids said the JDA would be erecting large notice boards at the entrance to the Square to help guide first-time visitors. And in response to a question about crime in the area, she said that CCTV cameras would soon be installed to improve security.

Walter Sisulu Square of DedicationExtensive green landscaping was introduced to soften the hard open space at the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication. (CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION)The JDA will be proceeding to the second phase of its upgrade of the Square, with a design concept completed and ready for review.

“The Square will have a totally new look next year,” Davids said. “We will demolish some of the structures along the square, and relocate the traders to new, better equipped areas.”

Next up for the group was a visit to Soweto’s up-and-coming business and cultural hub, Jabulani, where over R150-million has been spent to date on transit-oriented developments, including the recently completed road linking Bolani and Koma Roads.

Construction of the link road included a “complete street” redesign to ease pedestrian and public transport access in the area, with new cycle lanes, pavements, public seating and storm water drainage now in place.

“We want to give priority to pedestrians and cyclists by reducing traffic along this route,” JDA development manager Nthangeni Mulovhedzi, who is co-ordinating the agency’s projects in Jabulani, explained.

He said the City had taken the decision a few years back to make Jabulani the main node and first point of arrival in Soweto. The suburb is already served by a train station and the Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) network, and further upgrades in the pipeline include redeveloping the entrance of Jabulani Mall and building a new taxi rank linking directly to the Mall.

At Molele Street, not far from the Jabulani node, the group made a final stop to see the new storm water pipes that have been installed. Jabulani is one of the areas in Soweto that has been affected by flash floods in recent years.

“I am glad that I participated in this tour,” tour operator Jimmy Nkosi commented afterwards. “I will fuse the information that I got today with what I have already.”