R4m cemetery upgrade

2016-07-19 06:00

Maitland Cemetery is part of an injection of new life on the Voortrekker Road Corridor as part of major upgrades in the area.

The City of Cape Town has allocated about R350m in the 2016/17 financial year for infrastructure projects in the Voortrekker Road Corridor (VRC) as part of its ongoing efforts to revitalise this substantial area.

This investment is over and above the normal City-funded service delivery allocations to this area and aims to improve urban conditions and to unlock a range of investment opportunities in future.

The facility in Maitland, sometimes regarded as a problem area by residents for criminal activities that occur there, is due to get an upgrade of about R4.5m, says Mayco member for energy, environmental and spatial planning Johan van der Merwe

“The core belief that underpins our efforts in this important part of our metro is that strategic public spending will encourage further development and investment from the private sector,” explains van der Merwe.

“Our targeted investment drive in infrastructure and public space upgrades aims not only to lay a solid and attractive foundation for further private sector investment, but also shows our commitment to enhancing the second largest central business district area in the metro and its surrounds.

“Only through the strong partnerships that we are seeing in this corridor will we truly reach the catalytic change that we are envisioning for this zone.”

The Integrated City Development Grant – which is being used to fund this large-scale investment – provides the eight metropolitan municipalities with incentives to improve spatial development considerations in their budgeting in support of integrated, inclusive development that is public transport-oriented.

To qualify for this funding, cities are required to identify integration zones in which the funding is to be spent.

The Metro South-East and the VRC are the nominated regions in Cape Town.

The projects, some of which are already under way, include R51m for the Oakdale Main Substation (Phase 2), R65m for the Bellville Wastewater Treatment Works Facility and R5m for the upgrade of the Bellville Public Transport Interchange. The funding will also be used for a R2m CCTV installation in Goodwood, and R2m Elsieskraal River upgrade (from Elizabeth Park to Jack Muller Park).

With reference to the cemetery, Mayco member for community services and special projects Belinda Walker pointed out some of the work that will be done.

“The upgrading and resurfacing of main arterial roads is a priority and addressed on an annual basis,” she says.

“There will also be restoration of the crematorium chapel and adjoining buildings which will be done over a period of three financial years.

“New crematoriums were installed in February to meet the new emission standards and further improvements to the refractory plant are planned to bring everything up to standard by 2020.”

There are also plans to extend the staff offices between gates 1 and 3, Walker says.

“This will centralise the booking office at this cemetery which is 113 hectares of valuable heritage and historical significance.”

The City has employed 24-hour security to ensure that no person can live in any of the premises within the cemetery, as this would be considered illegal, Walker adds.

“Demolition permits have been also been issued by Heritage Western Cape for the derelict buildings within the cemetery. Proposals to consider lease agreements with the private sector to establish a tea-room and/or florist at the cemetery have also been put forward.”

The VRC is bounded by the N1 to the north, and the R300 and Salt River to the east and west respectively and is 8200 hectares in size. It was selected because of its centrality in relation to the entire metro, the number of employment opportunities such an axis presents, the existing facilities available within its borders, and its inherent potential for densification and transport-oriented development.

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