Officials of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, United Nations Environment Programme, C40, CSIR, Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) and other City entities

Officials of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, United Nations Environment Programme, C40, CSIR, Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) and other City entities

The Global Environmental Fund (GEF) is investing R120 million in the City of Johannesburg’s Corridors of Freedom programme which is set to give the  development of the Empire Perth Corridor of Freedom in Westbury  a huge boost.

The Westbury corridor– which on completion will bring local residents closer to economic activities, work opportunities, schools and places of leisure –is along one of three Corridors of Freedom under development in Johannesburg at present. The other two are Turffontein and Louis Botha Avenue.

During a recent tour to the area, officials said work that had already been undertaken in the corridor included the construction of dedicated bus and cycling lanes and ultra-modern bus stops. They said plans for more projects had already been approved.

Putting projects on the table

The construction of a R24-million foot bridge near the Westbury Rea Vaya station is well under way. Siyabonga Genu, JDA’s Senior Development Manager, told guests that the project was 30% complete.

“This is part of the non-motorised transport project. Construction started in October last year and will be completed by July this year. The bridge was a priority for the safety of schoolchildren, who cross this road daily on their way to and from schools on the other side. The project includes the building of a community park and an outdoor gym,” said Genu.

A similar bridge, near the University of Johannesburg, is in the planning stages. Work is scheduled to start in July this year. JDA has budgeted R60-million for the project, which will also include taxi bays and a pedestrian walkway.

The construction of a R26-million clinic is expected to be completed by June this year. Contractor Terry Kruger said 65 people were employed on the project. Calvin Cass, a local community liaison officer, said residents had responded positively to the developments.

“The bridge, especially, will make this crossing safe for the children and bus commuters. We’re securing the future of our kids through development,” he said.

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