South Africa’s largest city allocates over US$90m for infrastructure upgrade

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Johannesburg’s N1 western bypass

South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg, has allocated US$112mn to its roads agency. The fund will be used to build new roads in the city. In the latest budget, the city allocated more than US$93m for infrastructure upgrades in addition to the agency’s US$76m operating budget.

Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau said most of the fund will go towards recapitalisation of ageing infrastructure.

Johannesburg commuters have for years suffered the many potholes that open up during the rainy season with the city’s roads agency having struggled for long to cope with the high number of repairs to ageing road infrastructure.

After years of lobbying and in an attempt to reduce the 3.6million cars on Gauteng’s roads every day, the city has finally begun the implementation of cycling lanes across the city, including areas such as Orange Farm, Alexandra, Diepsloot and Sandton.

The latest budget has made provision for four dedicated cycling lanes, the first of which is due for completion at the end of June.

This initial route, stretching 5.5km in Orlando in Soweto, will take in a number of schools and public spaces, including the Orlando Stadium, and will also see the addition of sidewalks in the area.

Work has also started on the universities of Johannesburg- Witwatersrand cycle route, which stretches from the UJ campus in Kingsway in Auckland Park to Ellis Park Stadium in the Johannesburg CBD. The route will pass Wits University, Park Station and UJ’s Doornfontein Campus. July will see the start of the 20km Ivory Park cycling route and the project is set for completion in June 2015. A further 20km route still in the design phase will stretch from Orange Farm towards the city. The city is also laying a 900km of fiber optic cables from orange farm to Diepsloot with 1000 WI-FI hot spots for travelers on those routes.

Recently, Johannesburg Roads Agency also launched Find & Fix, a mobile application that is expected to lead to a quicker response to reports of potholes and faulty traffic lights.

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