Railway station area to get revamp

2015-08-13 06:00
                                                                                                                     PHOTO: FILE
Pietermaritzburg Railway Station.

PHOTO: FILE Pietermaritzburg Railway Station.

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A MAJOR facelift is expected for the area around the Pietermaritzburg Railway Station, which will contribute to the revitalisation of the station that is under way.

The proposal to regenerate the Pietermaritzburg station area was passed at a recent executive committee meeting at city hall.

The committee agreed to identify opportunities that will broaden the economic base of the area.

“In recent years the Pietermaritzburg Railway Station area has experienced a rapid decline in terms of physical appearance and economic viability,” read the report to council.

The municipality hopes the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) will come into partnership to redevelop the Pine Street block near the station.

An evacuation strategy will be developed to remove people staying illegally on all municipal properties in the Pine Street block.

During a site visit, it was discovered that the Pine Street block, a property owned by the Msunduzi Municipality, was being used illegally.

Msunduzi mayor Chris Ndlela said since the railway station holds high importance with regard to Mahatma Gandhi, “as the municipality we should move mountains to ensure the appearance is perfect”.

In 1893 Mahatma Gandhi was thrown off the train at the Pietermaritzburg Railway Station, which began his movement of non-violence and peace among all who lived in South Africa.

The report to council explained that the CBD attracts tenants in the lower-income bracket and the change has resulted in the “decay of the area with many of the new tenants being unable to afford maintenance or investment in their property”.

It said PMB has a number of urban areas that are impoverished and are suffering from “extensive decay”.

“[There is a] need to create a city living environment that will re-establish the precinct as a residential area with a variety of accommodation alternatives … create job opportunities to make best use of the infrastructure and facilities­ available … re-establish the urban environment so that it becomes a pleasant experience and friendly living neighbourhood,” read the report

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