Tshwane municipality to build a government boulevard in Pretoria

Posted On Friday, 04 April 2014 14:10 Published by
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Tshwane municipality is going ahead with plans to build a government boulevard in Pretoria.

Kgosientso Ramokgopa

In his State of the City address, executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa announced that the municipality and the national Department of Public Works would press ahead with the plan to accommodate government offices on a boulevard that will run along WF Nkomo Street.

The boulevard is part of the Re Kgabisa Tshwane (We are enhancing Tshwane) project, which, it is estimated, will cost some R11-billion over 25 years.

Ramokgopa said: "These buildings will be located in a capital precinct area, which is envisaged to be an expression of 'the national spirit', where events, celebrations, marches and festivals will be staged."

The municipality will also begin construction on Tshwane House, which will be home to Pretoria's executive and legislative branches.

"The site has been cleared and construction will commence in July, following the public comment process. This iconic building will be ready for occupation by the final quarter of 2016," Ramokgopa said.

In 2003, the then Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa proposed building a provincial government boulevard in central Johannesburg, ostensibly to contribute to inner-city regeneration.

But the project, under the helm of the Gauteng department of infrastructure, working in partnership with the City of Johannesburg Precinct, came unstuck last year due to "reprioritising" by the provincial government.

The project cost R2.5-billion, but a number of buildings were unfinished or abandoned. Ramokgopa promised the budget would be revised to improve service delivery to the poor.

"We have also resolved that by the end of December, the existing 38760 backlogs in basic sanitation must be eradicated.

"This will certainly be achieved once we allocate the requisite levels of funding during the budget process and all required infrastructure has been installed," he said.

He said that over the next five years Eskom would invest around R839-million in Tshwane to strengthen and refurbish projects that will provide additional capacity for electricity.

Tshwane will also be conducting a water-scarcity impact study. Ramokgopa said he wanted to open a debate with residents of Tshwane about a possible name change for Soshanguve township as part of celebrating 20 years of democracy.

"We find it inappropriate, but if the residents are okay with the name then we will accept the will of the residents," he said.

The ANC has long desired to change the name of the city of Pretoria to the name of the municipality, Tshwane. This proposed name change has met great resistance.

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