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Apies River bridge to link Rosslyn, Silverton automotive special economic zones

Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo with Rainbow Junction joint CEO Rosella Dingle at the Apies River development. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo with Rainbow Junction joint CEO Rosella Dingle at the Apies River development. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 16, 2022

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Pretoria - The Gauteng government will build a bridge over the Apies River, that will create a road link between the Rosslyn and Silverton automotive special economic zones and unlock a R12 billion investment into the Rainbow Junction Mega Mixed-Use Development in the north of Pretoria.

Premier David Makhura and MEC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo made the announcement while visiting developers who are in need of the bridge, that will be a connection node between the east and north of Pretoria to unlock the full potential of what will become a new city in the north.

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Joint Chief Executive of the Rainbow Junction Rosella Dingle said they were working on the 140 hector development which will have 670 000 square metres of buildings. This will be an economic node like other mixed-use developments such as Waterfall, Century City and Umhlanga Ridge.

Mamabolo said currently, there was no link between the eastern side and western side of the river, prompting the government to build a connecting road in the form of a bridge.

A sign shows the development that will take place at the Apies River. Picture: James Mahlokwane

He said as part of the Smart Mobility Programme, the department recently held a sod turning ceremony for a R300 million expansion of the Allandale Road in Waterfall, to bring a R4 billion investment.

The same would be one in Pretoria to unlock billions in investments and economic opportunities.

"This month, we will be finalising the appointment of a professional service provider (engineering consulting firm) which will then do the designs of the bridge and those designs will prepare us for a tender for the actual contraction. We are doing the same thing in Rosslyn for the delivery of road R217, which investors are also waiting for, to unlock multi-billion rand investments.

"That is why we say transport infrastructure is the critical engine to grow the economy of Gauteng. We have spoken about smart mobility because this will enable efficient and effective mobility connecting the two sides. It is a connecting point of the different markets; the automotive and the city that is going to be built here.

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"This will create one market, one movement, and a single movement that makes it easy for investment to connect with the automotive cities, Rainbow Junction, the N1, Silverton, even towards the North West and Mpumalanga through the N4 and Moloto Road," said Mamabolo.

Dingle said the first development of the projects were two A Re Yeng stations built by the City in 2016, but they first had to sort out the matters of the Apies River; which had a fluctuating flood line that prevented development.

"Together with the City of Tshwane we have implemented the first phase of the Apies River stormwater and rehabilitation project, which means that the flood lines are not set in an engineered position. It is perfectly natural, you cannot even notice where the new flood line is and where the old flood line used to zig-zag because it is also rehabilitated 35 hectors of open space below the flood line, which will become part land.

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"So, instead of the river which it used to be, constricting development and dangerous and hazardous, it is now developing into an open space. We have done the first 2.4 hectors with the City of Tshwane and on their behalf. This then established the platform for the northern precinct, where we will start our development with residential townships, a smaller shopping centre and a full school."

She said the City of Tshwane plays an important role in the enablement, legislative permission and approvals. The City also invested money for the building of an electrical substation and an additional water reservoir up on the mountains in the north, including working with the developers to solve the old Apies River problem.

Premier David Makhura, who leads Gauteng government's Ntirhisano programme, said the government needed to go out to the developers and say to them that the government was now ready to give them an engineering firm to start the designs of the bridge so that construction can go on.

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