Pretoria - The Gauteng government is set to fast-track the building of a new road that will link Orchards, Rosslyn and Soshanguve to finally unlock a R3 billion investment into the Rosslyn Hub.
The hub will become the automotive capital of Africa, and is already home to BMW, Nissan, Iveco and Tata. It also houses an array of automotive suppliers.
It was launched in 2018 to become a mixed-use development, scheduled to yield a R50-billion investment from the private sector.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura and MEC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo yesterday impressed investors and employment-seeking residents when they announced that the road – which was holding back development – was imminent and already in the design phase.
Mamabolo said the Department of Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure has committed approximately R600 million for the construction of the 10km road, that will not only assist developers to start their work, but also shorten travel distances for motorists who currently had to drive a long way .
He said that since the road project was in design phase, the investors and members of the public could expect a professional service provider (engineering firm) to be appointed by next month to design the road.
The company would also also help the government design a tender document for construction companies bidding to build the road.
This was normally a process that took the government many years to complete, but the department changed that with the implementation of a panel made up of engineering firms that do all the work’s study to establish what would be needed for the construction to start, within a time frame.
The panel also looked at the quality enforced by the new Gauteng Transport Compliance Office announced last week.
“Malatjie Attorneys and Company was appointed as the law firm to make sure that they crack the whip on all the contractors and public service providers we appoint if they are not performing according to the contracts.
“We are tired of seeing companies fail to deliver when they work for the government but when they work for the private sector they meet deadlines and deliver stellar work.”
This was good news for Rossly Hub chief executive Brandon Falkson and his team and representatives of the Automotive Industry Development Centre, including Deon Smit, who said the delivery of the road was crucial for the hub dream to become a reality and for many jobs to be created.
Falkson said: “There is significant importance for the government and the private sector to get this Tshwane Automotive City going. This project aims to focus South Africa, and in particular Tshwane, as the automotive manufacturing capital for Africa.
“It will also grow vehicle manufacturers' production for the next 15 to 20 years and create long term sustainable growth for Rosslyn and Tshwane.”
Makhura told the people gathered at yesterday’s event that he had been talking about this automotive city for a long time, but he too wanted to see progress now.
“Our people want jobs. Covid-19 brought us a lot of problems and cost so many people jobs. Our job as the government is to provide the infrastructure and the developers assured me today that if this road was opened, it would immediately unlock R3 billion.”
Makhura pleaded with the people to desist from disrupting and hijacking projects and killing each other for projects.
He said this was prevalent in Pretoria and it had to be stopped or such projects would not be realised.
“We have advocated that the capital city of South Africa must also be the automotive capital of the Republic and the main manufacturing hub of vehicles on the continent,” he said.
Naledi Masha and Tumelo Leboa from Rosslyn Gardens said they could not wait for the road to be opened because jobs would be created and it would also be easy for people to travel between Orchards, Rosslyn, Soshanguve and other townships and suburbs.