Isipingo not neglected, says city

eThekwini Municipality has hit back at claims that Isipingo has been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair.

The Sun reported last week that local residents are fed up because they believe the municipality has allowed the CBD and surrounding areas to deteriorate.

Not so, said municipal spokesman, Thabo Mofokeng. “Isipingo has received numerous town centre upgrades over the last 10 years. The upgrade of Phila Ndwandwe Road (Old Main Road) and the construction of a new taxi rank are some of the projects that were undertaken.”

According to Mofokeng, the Isipingo Town Centre Regeneration Programme has been in progress for the past 10 years and focuses on upgrading the public infrastructure, which he said has been in a state of despair for quite some time, upgrading the public transport and social services, urban decay management and business retention, and investment promotion. “The upgrade of all town centre roads from Pardy to Inwabi Road to improve traffic circulation and pedestrian walkways is underway and is envisaged for completion within the next five years.”

Mofokeng said the programme also makes provisions for more taxi rank facilities to clean up the clutter of taxis using open spaces as ranking spaces. “A new taxi rank is planned for construction in 2014 and plans are underway to use the only site owned by the municipality in the town centre to build a multi-purpose government services centre.

The Isipingo Regeneration Programme is also underway, however there are unfortunately some property owners that are not complying with zoned and legal land uses and therefore the necessary legal processes are being followed, to remedy the situation. There is a task team in place to prevent urban decay by co-ordinating the services of line departments to deal with waste management, roads and storm water maintenance, land use management and bad buildings management.”

The upgrade will also improve the safety and security of the area through installation of CCTV cameras, weekly operations by Metro Police, PDA and zoning improvement of turnaround time.

“The upgrade of the CBD has not been without its fair share of challenges, as the majority of the area’s land is owned by private owners, which means most road upgrades are delayed by the process of land acquisitions and compliance with town planning and building regulations becomes an issue.” Other challenges include the influx of illegal informal traders and the illegal installation of services by land owners.

“The municipality is committed to the improvement and upkeep of all areas and requires residents and business to partner with us to ensure that lawlessness, vandalism and theft of public property is halted,” said Mofokeng.

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