Pretoria - The construction of a new state-of-the-art Centurion Taxi Rank is on schedule and will open to the public towards the end of this month.
The construction of the R12million 10000m² facility to accommodate 55 taxis started in August and was due to be completed at the end of this month, according to the Tshwane Metro Council.
Tshwane Metro spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said everything was on par and they were excited to provide the much-needed service to the people of Centurion.
“Construction should be finished by the end of the month leading into February. We haven’t had any complications and delays. It was only the heavy rains that halted construction, but that is normal in the construction world,” Mashigo said.
The taxi rank, located on the corner of South Street and Hendrik Verwoerd Drive, was divided into two categories, holding and loading.
As one taxi is loaded it will make space for the next taxi, which is in the holding area.
Taxis are currently using an open field near Centurion Mall and will move to the new rank once the latter is completed.
“Commuters will only be able to use the new rank once the handover is done officially by the contractor,” Mashigo said.
Footing the bill for the rank, construction of it is by Redefine Properties, as part of their Corporate Social Investment initiative.
The rank will be operated by the Centurion Taxi Association and jointly managed by the City and Centurion Mall.
The rank will feature offices for local taxi associations, 22 informal kiosks for traders as well as public toilets.
More than 15000 commuters were expected to use the facility daily.
Taxi drivers said they were optimistic that the rank would be done on time.
They complained that their current rank doesn’t have ablution facilities and was dusty and sometimes get muddy when it rains.
Previously, ward councillor Peter Sutton said he was happy with the progress made thus far, considering delays and obstacles they faced with the project.
“Everything is running smoothly, with no glitches. I am excited for both residents and taxi drivers.
“We will invite the public and media closer to the opening,” he said.
Sutton said he remained in full support of the taxi rank and looked forward to seeing the dignity of commuters restored through a world class taxi facility.
Region 4 Informal Traders chairperson Philemon Mofamate said he hoped the rank would improve conditions for traders as well.
These traders are currently using cardboard boxes and crates.
The new facility will provide them with stalls from which to sell goods.
The new facility will not only improve access to taxis for those who live and work in the city but also contribute aesthetically to the area.