The Ekurhuleni City Planning Department hosted an open day session at the St Dunstan’s Anglican Cathedral to discuss plans for the Benoni CBD, reports the Benoni City Times.
The session, held recently, involved representatives from Iyer Planning Urban Design Architecture, who shared plans with the public about an Urban Design Precinct Plan that would change the Benoni CBD and its surrounding areas.
“The Benoni CBD has great potential to be transformed into a successful urban area,” said Tahir Toffah, from Iyer Planning Urban Design Architecture.
According to Toffah, the precinct is part of a 25-year plan that the municipality would like to implement.
Areas such as the Benoni Plaza, the Customer Care Centre and municipal offices and the taxi rank on Voortrekker Street will take priority in phase one of the re-development, which is set to begin in 2019.
Phase one of the development will be done in the first five years of the 25-year plan.
Beautifying the CBD
“The main focus of re-developing this area is to create a more identifiable CBD, one that runs day and night,” said Toffah.
“We would like to increase the residential development and encourage local businesses to invest in the area.”
Toffah mentions the inclusion of landscaping in the form of street furniture in the area around the municipal buildings to create a more relaxed environment.
Walkways leading up to Lakeside Mall from the municipal side are planned; and more buildings will be built within the current parking space to enable new businesses to occupy office space near the municipal buildings.
The municipal buildings themselves will also be revamped to create a more interactive atmosphere where people can meet and conduct business.
The taxi rank will have offices where complaints and enquiries related to the rank can be reported.
Ward 73 councillor Sinethemba Matiwane attended the open day session last Saturday and was taken on a detailed tour of the plans that form part of the precinct plan.
“I am very happy to hear about the development,” said Matiwane.
According to Toffah, plans for the precinct will be finalised and building will begin in 2019.
Plans can be viewed at the municipal building and at the Benoni Library.
Plans can also be viewed on www.ekurhuleni.gov.za.
Search for “Benoni precinct plan”.
The plans stated the Benoni, Springs and Brakpan CBDs are “in a state of decay and are in dire need of maintenance and upgrade”.
The urban design guidelines for the Benoni node are:
• Improving integration with and use of the Benoni lakes adjacent to the CBD (development of a waterfront)
• Widening of pedestrian sidewalks and beautification of the main shopping streets
• Further residential development
• Upgrades to pedestrian links to rail stations
• Re-configuring the current transport system with a focus on improving internal circulation
• Re-establishing the CBD economy
• Establishing effective urban management focusing on addressing crime and grime
• Flexible land use management/zoning to ensure the full and effective utilisation of the available infrastructure.
The public is encouraged to provide the department with feedback on to the plans before March 27.
Feedback can be given at the Benoni Library and at the municipal offices.
– Caxton News Service