Singaphi Street unlocks vibrant township economy

2017-05-31 06:05

THE R40 million Singaphi Street environmental upgrade programme in New Brighton is unlocking a vibrant township economy for the precinct, the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) announced on May 24.

The Singaphi Street development is a strategic programme that creates continuity between Route 67 in the inner city and the Red Location Museum in New Brighton.

The objective of this project is to develop a unique precinct and potential economic node, which can support the creative economy rooted in the art, culture and heritage of the area.

“New Brighton’s Singaphi Street is seen as a catalyst project in terms of township development aligned to the public participation processes initiated in the inner city,” said Luvuyo Bangazi, MBDA spokesman.

“The upgrade, which commenced in 2014, introduced new infrastructure delivery and public art programmes following MBDA’s philosophy that downstream investment, job creation and local economic development follows after public sector urban upgrading investment,” Bangazi said.

Bangazi said the results of MBDA’s latest economic barometer, which includes both formal economic impact assessment evaluations and two distinct surveys polling confidence levels of businesses and residents, revealed that a higher number of property owners and residents are making improvements to business premises and residences in New Brighton.

It also revealed that from a local economic development perspective, businesses and SMMEs near the Singaphi Street development increased turnover with 15% in the last year and that approximately 25% of surveyed businesses indicated that they were planning to make improvements to their properties in the near future versus 20% in the previous year.

Both businesses and residents indicated that the overall upgrades were viewed in a highly positive light with 86.8% of all respondents indicating a positive or extremely positive response.

Rosa Mdevulane, who has been living in Singaphi Street for more than 50 years, said she enjoys the upgrade in the street.

“Before we had to cut the grass growing on the sidewalk in front of our houses, but since they have paved the sidewalk we don’t cut grass any more. You can see there is a change in the community since the upgrade of Singaphi Street; the children now play in the parks instead of in the street,” Mdevulane said.

The total value invested by New Brighton business and residential property owners into properties over a two-year period was R8 million.

Bangazi said the second phase of Singaphi Street, the gateway to the Red Location Museum, was completed by MBDA during its past financial year.

Work comprised the completion of the Road from Sandla Street to 7th Street, completion of kerbs, sidewalks and landscaping, including a netball court as per designs developed by the community and realised through the Workplace Consortium. Extensive soil drains and layer work was also required to manage storm water run-off in the area.


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