A GROUNDBREAKING plan to uplift the aesthetic value of the popular Embizweni Square in New Brighton has been mooted by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality during a meeting with local businesses as part of unlocking economic opportunities in the area.
NMBM Executive Mayor Athol Trollip said the area was a popular business and entertainment hub which offered an array of businesses which play a major role in the growth of the local economy.
“Its popularity has seen green shoots emerging as new and trendy businesses are mushrooming in the area, a sign of investor confidence in the township economy,” Trollip said.
The meeting is one of many engagements the municipality will have with the affected businesses to strategise around how best the area can be improved through the value add in terms of infrastructure development and diverse service offering.
“One of the challenges that have been noted is the need for immediate intervention in monitoring alcohol abuse by minors and rampant crime, both of which will be addressed through the deployment of law enforcement teams,” Trollip said.
“This will form part of ridding the area of bad elements and rebranding it as a tourist hub for both local and international visitors. Last week the safety and security directorate visited the area to establish what security challenges are plaguing the area and how those can best be addressed.”
The mayor said a meeting with the Liquor Board was initiated to bring them on board and to understand what role they can play.
“As a start, the municipality will start fixing street lights in the area, including iconic areas, like the Red Location Museum, the Mendi Arts Centre, which has gone through a multimillion rand revamp, and many others as they are closely linked to Embizweni Square.
“Next will be the installation of security cameras in the square as a crime deterrent and this will be complemented with random patrols by law enforcement teams to ensure the safety of the area. This will ensure that businesses operate optimally without having to deal with criminal elements,” the mayor added.
He said another area needing urgent attention was the painting of parking lines to control the traffic as part of formalising the precinct as a recognised business hub.
“Our intention is to work in partnership with the local businesses to ensure that the value add to the area is safeguarded and showcase it as a catalytic project.”