Today the City of Cape Town, along with its partners the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works and the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) Western Cape, is delighted to officially open the new R60 million R300/Bottelary interchange – one of the most important road projects for the residents of Cape Town.
It is only one year since we turned the first sod to construct this new interchange.
These new connections will go a long in alleviating pressure on two of the City’s most important arterials – Van Riebeeck and Bottelary Roads where frustration is growing daily as commuters in Kuils River and surrounding communities battle congestion.
This project is a prime example of the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP) in action.
Last year, the City took a bold step to establish the Transport and Urban Development Authority, known as TDA Cape Town, by combining the functions of transport, urban development, and elements of human settlements into one sphere of control with the aim of reversing the effects of apartheid spatial planning.
The TDA must ensure that the city becomes more connected and integrated, where residents have greater access to transport, economic opportunities, and affordable and inclusive residential opportunities.
Through this project, we have brought the ODTP to life by working with developers in the area where the City, the Western Cape Government and SANRAL have partnered to build this road with some of the funding coming from the development contribution fees for future developments in this area.
Two of the developers, Shoprite Checkers and VDMV, contributed R5 million each to the project through their development facilitation fees.
Their future developments, worth billions of rands in this area, will bring more than 1 000 permanent jobs.
Today is therefore about more than just a new road to connect motorists with more ease.
It demonstrates the aims and responsibilities of the City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority to combine transport with urban development as well as the benefits of the developments that will come into this area in the next few years which will provide much-needed jobs for our people.
With ODTP we have also set out to become more responsive to needs of residents and become more customer-centric and we have fulfilled this commitment by providing this road in an area which desperately needs it.
This project underscores the City’s commitment to infrastructure-led growth and providing residents with quality roads because we understand the important role that working roads play in economic activity by ensuring efficient movement of goods and people.
The Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, thanks the City’s partners: the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works and SANRAL Western Cape for working with us to deliver this massive project in such a short space of time.
This project has confirmed how partnerships are vital to achieving progress and responding to the needs of our residents in ways that benefit them and connect them to economic opportunities.
Minister of Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant, said: ‘It was only a year ago when we were here together breaking ground on this important partnership between the Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town, and SANRAL. Through this project, we demonstrated our collective commitment to addressing congestion in the city, as well as enhancing mobility and increasing access to economic opportunities. We are pleased to have been true to our commitment, with this interchange having been completed on schedule and within budget. This project is testament to what can be achieved through partnerships based on shared commitments’.
Kobus van der Walt, SANRAL Western Region Manager said: ‘SANRAL remains committed to its mandate to plan, design, construct, manage and maintain the national road network, as the “economic arteries” of South Africa. We also remain committed to ongoing engagement and collaboration with the provincial and local government in order to ensure that the infrastructure we roll out collectively enables residents to have improved access and mobility, with the aim of enhancing economic growth’.
The City has contributed 52% (R31 million) of the construction cost for the new interchanges, the Western Cape Government contributed 48% (R29 million), and SANRAL purchased the land required for the new interchange.
During the construction phase, the benefit has already been passed onto the community, with 100 Expanded Public Works Programme jobs created worth R2,3 million.
Apart from these major interchanges, the City has delivered a number of congestion alleviation projects in this area and more are planned in the near future.
The widening of Amandel Road worth R18 million and the construction of Saxdown Road to the value of value of R32,5 million was completed and opened last year.
Cape Town is the most congested city in the country as a result of increased investment and more people moving to Cape Town in search of opportunities.
In 2015, following the Congestion Summit, the City committed R750 million over five years to address congestion in Kommetjie, Kuils River, and Blaauwberg.
However, merely building roads will not solve the problem and in our mission to take government to the next level, we are looking at innovative ways to spur on the much-needed behavioural change.
Our comprehensive congestion plan consists of infrastructure developments and other interventions, such as exploring car-share initiatives, flexi-time for workers, and encouraging more people to use public transport through investments such as the provision of Wi-Fi on MyCiTi buses.
The Travel Demand Management Strategy was issued for public participation in October last year and the City received overwhelming support from residents who have also made valuable contributions in terms of how we can all pull together to reduce the number of private vehicles on our roads.
The strategy will go to full Council for approval next week and proposes practical solutions such as flexible working hours or working from home so that we can have fewer private vehicles on the arterial routes during the traditional peak-hour periods.
The Travel Demand Management Strategy also proposes compressed work weeks by fitting a five-day work week into four days instead.
Apart from alleviating congestion, spending less time on the roads will improve employees’ productivity and lifestyles significantly.
With all of these interventions, we are committed to building a city that works more efficiently and effectively and we appeal to the private sector and all residents to work with us in implementing the changes that are needed by exploring car-sharing with family, friends or colleagues or using public transport so that we can ease the traffic pressure.