The Roads and Transport Oversight Committee visited Simon Vermooten Road on 12 August to see progress made on the doubling of the road since construction began in October 2012. Lindela Mashigo, spokesperson for the Tshwane municipality, says construction of the project is progressing well but upgrades will now be completed by September or October 2015 due to unforeseen delays.
“The original construction period was 30 months, but due to various delays including rain, the accommodation of the Tshwane Rapid Transport system and the widening of the bridge at the N4 highway, a period of 36 months has now been approved. A project of this nature is always a challenge and it is difficult to construct such a busy road in a built-up area and also accommodate the existing traffic,” she says.
Mashigo says the alignment of Simon Vermooten Road as per the original design had to be changed due to positions of future Tshwane Rapid Transport (TRT) stations on the median and additional width for the median being required. She says at the interchange of Simon Vermooten Road and N4 Highway, the bridge also has to be widened from the original proposed six lanes to seven lanes to accommodate TRT lanes and extra portions of properties had to be obtained for the widening of the bridge.
According to Mashigo, large sections of the new north-south carriage were to be completed at the end of August when traffic was switched over to this carriage way. She says construction on the other existing road carriage way is about to begin and bridge construction at the N4 Highway has started with the casting of the new bridge decks, east and west of the existing bridge to be done in September or October.
“The section of the route from Pretoria Road to Waltloo Road, which used to be a four lane dual carriageway will now become a dual carriage way with three lanes per direction. This is due to certain areas not meeting design criteria for a collector-distributor road and the condition of the road shoulders being unsafe and not providing adequate public transport lay-bye areas for buses and taxis,” says Mashigo.
The municipality spokesperson says a section of the route from Griffiths Avenue to Pretoria Road is also still partially undeveloped on the eastern side of Simon Vermooten Road and a number of applications for township development already exist. She says the upgrading of Simon Vermooten Road will play a critical role in the approval of these applications.
Francois Bekker, councillor for ward 83, says he is positive about the progress of the development of the road made to date. He says the main aim of the project is for traffic flow to be improved as Simon Vermooten Road is an important traffic arterial route, especially for traffic to and from Mamelodi and the eastern suburbs towards the N4 Highway and Waltloo industrial area.
According to Bekker, over the years the road has become too congested and the problem had to be addressed. He says the main contributor to delays with the project include accommodating the BRT system, the widening of the bridge over the N4 Highway which included major technical challenges as well as heavy rains.
“The upgrades will enhance access to the city and job opportunities for people living in Mamelodi and Eersterust. This type of construction causes a major disruption but road users must please be patient because in the end they will enjoy the benefit of the improvements,” says Bekker.
Irvette van Zyl was all smiles as she crossed the finishing line at the Pretoria SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge in a course record time of 33.32 minutes on Saturday. It was her first Challenge win since 2012.
Her Nedbank teammate, Rutendo Nyahora, was second, in 33.50, and the winner of last week’s Durban Challenge, Lebogang Phalula (Transnet) was third in 34.05.
Phalula’s twin sister, Diana-Lebo was fourth in 34.17 and Rene Kalmer (Modern Athlete) was fifth, in 34.40.
The top runners started in a bunch, with Van Zyl and Kalmer taking the early lead, but after two kilometres, the leading group started spreading out. The lead changed hands between Van Zyl and the Phalula sisters, until six kilometres, when Van Zyl surged to the front.
“This means a lot to me,” said Van Zyl. “I was determined to make top three, and I feel blessed to have won. I was more relaxed than I was in Durban last week, and I didn’t start as fast as I did there. I wasn’t under any pressure, and that helped.”
She said the Pretoria race had always been her favourite challenge race.
“My first win was in Pretoria, as a junior. It is always a tough race, because it is in the afternoon, but I like tough races. There were a lot of hills, which I don’t like as much as I did when I was younger, but it was a tough course, and that suits me.”
Nyahora said she had struggled to keep up with the lead bunch at the start, but found herself getting stronger as the race went on.
“I wanted a top three finish, and I could see the Phalulas were struggling a bit, so I was happy when I passed both of them.”
Lebogang Phalula, who won in Durban last week, said she had started too fast.
“I battled on the hills,” she said.
Diana-Lebo Phalula, who won the Cape Town and Port Elizabeth races in record times, still holds the lead on the SPAR Grand Prix ladder, and seems likely to win the Nissan Micra awarded to the top runner after the Johannesburg race in October.
More than 26 000 runners entered the 10km Challenge and the 5km Fun Run, and Supersport Park was a sea of blue t-shirts as the runners streamed onto the cricket field.
Die ATKV-tak by Hoërskool Oosmoot se talentkompetisie was ‘n groot treffer.
Die leerders van die skool het op die rugbyveld om die verhoog gesit en die puik program in piekniekstyl met komberse, eet en drinke ten volle geniet.
Leerders kon hul kunswerke daar uitstal en dié met sang- en musiektalent kon dit op die verhoog bewys en uitvoer.
Reghardt Lamprecht is as wenner van die kunsafdeling aangewys. Hy het ‘n unieke portretstudie op teesakkies geskilder. Ellen van der Westhuisen is met haar sangitem as wenner van die musiekafdeling aangewys. Michael Nieuwoudt is naaswenner met sy dansvertolking. Jaco Venter en Marisca Brink het met hul sangitems albei ‘n derde plek behaal.
Groen is meer as net ’n kleur by Klofies.
Die huidige Klofieraad onder leiding van Lewis Meiring poog om ’n omgewingsvriendelike ingesteldheid by die skool in te stel sodat Hoërskool Waterkloof sy koolstofvoetspoor kan verklein.
Om hierdie ideale te bereik, het die Klofieraad ‘n herwinningsinisiatief in samewerking met Ad Outpost begin. Orals op die skoolterrein en in die skool se parkeerarea is daar asblikke aangebring sodat leerders hulle blikkies, plastiek en papier kan skei. Dié projek fokus op afvalbestuur.
The battle at Loftus Versfeld was exciting as the Vodacom Blue Bulls delivered a solid performance on attack and defence in a desperate attempt to avoid another heavy defeat against the Cape side. Such was the closeness of the first half Western Province entered the break with a 3-0 lead.
The game, however, opened up in the second half as both teams raised the tempo of their play and went in search of space, which saw each side score two tries.
Vodacom Blue Bulls flank Jacques du Plessis had the first say as he received the ball in space and sprinted to the tryline in the 48th minute, but two fantastic tries within four minutes by DHL Western Province wing Kobus van Wyk and Springbok Sevens star Seabelo Senatla pushed the team into a fair lead.
The hosts bounced back four minutes from the final whistle with an impressive try by wing Sampie Mastriet, and worked their way into the visitors half minutes later to keep alive hopes of a late victory. But a knock-on metres from the tryline meant they had to settle for the five-point defeat.
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Jacques Du Plessis, Sampie Mastriet. Conversion: Joshua Stander. Penalties: Tian Schoeman (2). DHL Western Province – Tries: Kobus van Wyk, Seabelo Senatla. Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (2). Penalties: Demetri Catrakilis, Kurt Coleman (2).
Photo’s by Gordon Arons
As part of their Urban Greening Project, Wild Route Environmental Consultants will be celebrating Arbor Week in Pretoria by focusing on schools in order to increase the vegetation cover, particularly trees, for local communities in informal settlements, where the need is the biggest.
Apart from planting trees at schools, they also attempt to educate and involve the youth in the project and use the opportunity to teach them that humanity depends on healthy ecosystems that support and improve our quality of life.
The Wildlands Conservation Trust recently acquired some funding from the Department of Environmental Affairs, through the Working for Water programme and decided to team up with Wild Route Environmental Consultants in Gauteng. Wildlands manages and supports various restoration and other conservation orientated projects throughout South Africa. As part of this, Wild Route will also be managing a restoration project in the Moreleta Spruit and its catchment area where alien vegetation is removed and indigenous trees are planted where needed.
During Arbor Week (1-6 September) the project team will be planting trees at schools in rural areas. The schools/areas receiving trees during arbor week is Kameelzynkraal, Sokholumu Village Bronkhorstspruit, Donkerhoek, Boschkop, and Cullinan). Many more schools will benefit from this initiative throughout the rest of the year, especially focussing on Mamelodi and its surroundings.
’n Skielike styging in kleiner misdaadvoorvalle die afgelope maand in die Ashlea Gardens-omgewing het inwoners laat saamstaan om self na hul veiligheid om te sien deur in te gryp en onder meer die omgewing langs die Wolwespruit skoon te maak.
Dit volg na ’n voorval op 15 Augustus toe ’n motoris laataand in Umgaziweg aangeval is terwyl hy stadiger gery het vir ’n spoedbult. Die vermoede is dat dit een van die sluipslapers kon wees wat in die omheinde gebied van die Wolwespruit bly.
Logan Govender, een van die inwoners wat self onder misdaad deurgeloop het, het daarop die inwoners van die omgewing byeengeroep. Tydens dié vergadering op 18 Augustus, is die Ashlea Gardens Watch Out groep gestig, wat nou gereeld per Whats App en epos met mekaar kommunikeer oor verdagte persone en situasies wat opgemerk is.
Die DA-raadslid vir wyk 82, Siobhan Muller, was teenwoordig en het na afloop van die vergadering ’n beroep op die burgemeester gedoen om die stad se beleid oor skuilings te begin implimenteer sodat die alomteenwoordige probleem van mense wat in oop areas slaap, opgelos kan word.
Raadslid Muller sê die Raad het verlede jaar ’n omvattende besluit oor skuilings goedgekeur wat onder meer behels dat elkeen van die 105 wyke in die stad ’n skuiling vir haweloses en uitgeworpenes behoort te hê.
Volgens ’n burgemeesterskomiteebesluit behoort die department van behuising en sosiale ontwikkeling verantwoordelikheid vir hierdie mense te aanvaar. Praat sy met hulle, word sy na die metropolisie verwys, maar ook tevergeefs. “Daar is ‘n konstante verskuiwing van verantwoordbaarheid wat ’n ernstige sekuriteitsprobleem tot gevolg het”, sê Muller.
Herhaalde versoeke vir gesamentlike aksie in die spruitgebiede van die stad val op dowe ore, sê sy. “Ek word vertel dat daar geen plek is waarnatoe die sluipslapers, wat dikwels onder brûe in spruite slaap, geneem kan word nie. Die munisipaliteit se enigste skuiling in Strubenstraat is oorvol en is tans boonop gesluit ter wille van opgraderingswerk.”
Die Watch Out-groep se vermoede is dat die styging in minder ernstige misdade verband hou met die sluipslapers by die spruit omdat dit bedags skielik en vinnig gebeur en die verdagtes vinnig verdwyn. Daar is ook duidelike bewyse dat kabeldiefstel deel vorm van die misdaadprobleem in die omgewing, omdat die oorblyfsels van die gestroopte kabels in die spruit gegooi word.
“Ons begin vrees vir die veiligheid van ons vrouens en kinders en word weens die situasie al meer gevange gehou binne ons eie huise”, sê Govender.
Skoonmaak en straatbraai 13 September
Die Watch Out-groep beoog om op Saterdag 13 September die spruit skoon te maak deur van besoedeling, rommel en sluipslapers ontslae te raak.
Dit word gedoen in samewerking met die stad se departemente van natuurbewaring, rommelverwydering, en dies meer. Swart sakke sal voorsien word, maar inwoners wat beoog om te help, word versoek om hul eie handskoene en drinkwater saam te neem.
Govender doen ’n beroep op inwoners van die Ashlea Gardens-omgewing, asook die besighede in Selatiweg, om betrokke te raak en die oggend te gaan help skoonmaak. Agterna word ’n straatbraai gehou sodat almal mekaar beter kan leer ken.
Die volgende vergadering van die Watch Out-groep word op 8 September gehou. Vir navrae skakel Logan Govender by 076 721 6666.
A five story house being built on the northern side of Bronberg Ridge continues to be investigated by the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) to determine how the owner was granted permission to build in a nature conservancy. Bronberg was declared a critically endangered ecosystem in 2009.
It was reported in the March edition of the Eastern Times that environmental groups were concerned the house may contravene departmental development guidelines for ridges.
Concerns include the detrimental visual and aesthetic impact of the house which forms part of Gift Acres Estate on surrounding areas. Jaco Engelbrecht, Friends of the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve (FFGNR), said the five storey house exceeded the two storey limit set out in the original Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for the property which was originally proposed as an office park development.
Andile Gumede, spokesperson for GDARD, says the department is still busy investigating the matter and it will be established by the investigation who gave permission for the property to be built. He says the original developers were liquidated which has complicated the situation as it is still not clear who took over developments rights.
According to Gumede, the building on its own does not trigger any listed activity in terms of the National Environmental Management Act. He says the height and units per hectare of the development could be the subject of dispute under building regulations and it is the mandate of the Tshwane municipality to deal with this issue.
“Due to the owner being the subject of investigation, the department cannot disclose his identity at this stage. The independence of the investigation has to be maintained and not be compromised in any way,” says Gumede.
Janho Engelbrecht, DA spokesperson on Environment for the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, says his investigation will be complete by the end of August. He says if it proves that anything illegal happened, charges will be laid and it will become a legal matter where the court will decide what action should be taken.
According to Engelbrecht, critically endangered and endangered eco systems are designated sensitive geographical areas in terms of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations. He says the environmental management plans and municipal integrated development plans must take into account the need for the protection of listed ecosystems.
Times Two Properties, managers of Gift Acres Estate, and the Tshwane municipality were unavailable for comment at the time of going to print.
Blue Ribbon and Eastern Times donated 250 loaves of bread to Moeggesukkel on 20 August.
The aim of this initiative is to assist people to excel so that they may have a victory over life’s circumstances.
Moeggesukkel is based is Raslouw, Centurion and operates on the premises of a halfway house for those who have lost everything due to unforeseen circumstances and those who are trying to beat the disease of addiction.
They provide shelter and a support structure and also focus on developing people in discipleship.
These services are provided free of charge to the residents and their families. Moeggesukkel will appreciate the following donations: clothing, sport equipment, furniture, beds, cutlery etc.
Visit Moeggesukkel’s Facebook page for more information.
If you have items that you would like to donate, contact the office on 073 329 5174 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transoranje Skool vir Dowes in Pretoria Wes het op 16 Augustus die skool se 60ste bestaansjaar met ‘n reünie en begeleide toer deur die skool gevier.
Oud-skoliere en -personeel het die besonderse geleentheid gekry om die nuwe museum, voltydse kliniek, terapiekamer en handvaardigheidsentrum soos die tegniese tekeninge-, stoffeer- en handwerklokale te besigtig.
Besoekers het ook kennis gemaak met die iDeaf-projek, ‘n interaktiewe rekenaarprogram wat spesifiek ontwerp is om in dowe kinders se leesbehoeftes te voldoen – ‘n eerste ter wêreld.
“iDeaf help om ons skoliere se taalvaardighede op te skerp en is middel verlede jaar in werking gestel,” sê Alta Koekemoer, die skool se woordvoerder. “Daar is reeds ses boeke in Afrikaans, Engels en gebaretaal beskikbaar, maar die koste om so ‘n boek te ontwikkel, beloop bykans R130 000 per boek.”
Om sulke baanbreker inisiatiewe te kan finansier en suksesvol uit te voer, steun die skool dus swaar op skenkings.
“Een van Transoranje Skool se grootste fondsinsamelingsgeleenthede is ons Kersmark wat jaarliks plaasvind. Fondse werf, is vir ons ‘n groot prioriteit omdat nagenoeg 60% van ons leerlinge uit behoeftige huise kom.”
Nog ‘n opwindende vooruitsig, is dat die Departement van Onderwys eersdaags met opgraderings by die skool gaan begin. Soos wat die skoollied van Transoranje Skool vir Dowes lui: “Ons wil uit ons hart sing, vir die skool wat vreugde bring. Dank aan God vir hierdie drie: geloof, hoop en liefde”.
• Daar is tans 204 leerlinge tussen die ouderdom van 3 en 21 jaar wat by Transoranje skoolgaan; klasse bestaan uit 5 tot 8 kinders om intensiewe aandag aan elke leerling te gee. Om meer uit te vind, besoek www.transoranje.webs.com.