Tshwane mayor apologises for road woes

2015-01-21 19:06
(File: Beeld)

(File: Beeld)

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Pretoria - Refurbishment of Pretoria's inner city had been delayed due to contractual problems, Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said on Wednesday.

"What we call Operation Reclaim was delayed because of the contractual problems and we have apologised to the residents and people who visit the inner city," he told reporters in Pretoria.

The project, started in September 2013, was intended to beautify and make the city more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly.

Several roads had been narrowed, and others closed. Some shop loading bays were taken over by the construction.

Pretoria residents expressed anger at the slow pace of work and the traffic jams.

Motorist Raymond Thabane said the municipality did not consider the economic effect of the roadworks on residents.

"This is what happens when a capital city is run by inconsiderate humans. You can't go on a wholesale revamp of a city centre at once. The project should have been implemented in phases."

Mandisa Zwane said driving along Pretorius Street in the city centre had become a nightmare.

"I think our mayor needs to get off his high horse and drive for one day in this city. We are losing hours every day, since 2013 and all he can say is apologies," said Zwane.

"Tshwane has shown deliberate inconsideration for its residents. The traffic gridlocks in this city are exacerbated by non-functioning traffic lights and free-running touts," he complained.

The road closures had diminished parking spaces available and attracted car guards.

In October, the Tshwane Chamber of Commerce said the construction had caused many businesses to shrink operations, resulting in job losses.

"Businesses are closing and those that have had the capacity to sustain themselves financially will need excellent sales over the festive period," chamber chairperson Salim Yousuf said at the time.

"The project management in delivering Operation Reclaim has unfortunately been poor and the City of Tshwane ought to take responsibility for the losses sustained by businesses," he said.

On Wednesday, Tshwane city manager Jason Ngobeni said the "necessary chaos" would soon be a thing of the past.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  service delivery  |  transport

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