City of Tsh­wane ver­sion 2.0

CityPress - - News - XOLANI MBAN­JWA xolani.mban­jwa@city­press.co.za

The City of Tsh­wane is in talks with the de­part­ment of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions and co­op­er­a­tion to build the African Union’s (AU) Pan-African Par­lia­ment in South Africa’s cap­i­tal city – at a cost of R6 bil­lion.

This par­lia­ment, all of the AU’s agen­cies like the New Part­ner­ship for Africa’s Devel­op­ment and the African Peer Re­view Mech­a­nism, along with all the UN’s African agen­cies, would be part of the same precinct as the Tsh­wane In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, ac­cord­ing to Lindiwe Kwele, the city’s act­ing man­ager.

The in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions de­part­ment con­firmed the talks but did not of­fer any fur­ther de­tails.

And to make Tsh­wane even more civil ser­vant-friendly, it’s set to host South Africa’s first “govern­ment boule­vard” along WF Nkomo Street (for­merly part of Church Street), where all govern­ment’s ma­jor de­part­ments will set up shop.

Pub­lic Works Min­is­ter Thu­las Nx­esi, who is spear­head­ing the project, be­lieves cre­at­ing govern­ment boule­vards in ev­ery city is the an­swer to govern­ment’s leas­ing headache. Kwele said the bold plan formed part of the first 10 years of the city’s Vi­sion 2055 project.

Two other ma­jor multi­bil­lion-rand de­vel­op­ments al­ready un­der way in­clude the con­struc­tion of Tsh­wane House, the coun­cil’s new head­quar­ters and a mixe­duse devel­op­ment in the west of the city.

Kwele ac­knowl­edged that hav­ing a city full of cranes and con­struc­tion ve­hi­cles was frus­trat­ing for its res­i­dents.

“You can see the con­ges­tion in the city cur­rently and peo­ple are ir­ri­tated be­cause of so much work. The re­mak­ing of the cap­i­tal will come at a cost,” she said.

“No pain, no gain – but ob­vi­ously we need to be quicker. Busi­nesses are com­plain­ing of be­ing in­con­ve­nienced and los­ing busi­ness, but the long-term ben­e­fits will out­weigh what they are feel­ing now.

“Re­search clearly in­di­cates that 70% of the global pop­u­la­tion will be re­sid­ing within cities in the near fu­ture, so we have to re-engi­neer the city,” she added.

NEW LOOK An artist’s im­pres­sion of Tsh­wane House, the City of Tsh­wane’s new head­quar­ters. This is just one of the govern­ment build­ings that officials hope will change the face of SA’s cap­i­tal city

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