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Diepsloot gets a facelift

Written by Albert Pule
Johannesburg Water and the Johannesburg Road Agency are jointly spending over R30 million to upgrade ageing infrastructure in Diepsloot.

Driving on a gravel road will soon be a thing of the past once construction and upgrades of the ageing infrastructure in the Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg is complete.

The upgrade includes resurfacing of gravel roads, a stormwater drainage system and construction of a new bridge linking a new development site to the existing extensions three, four and five.

Johannesburg Water is spending R5,6 million on upgrading of the sewer, while the Johannesburg Road Agency is spending R25 million as part of the city’s resurfacing of gravel roads programme.

The upgrading of the sewer started in June this year and will be completed on 26 November later this year.

Johannesburg Water Civil Engineering Technologist Tshepo Mashigo says the growing population in the township was putting pressure on the current infrastructure.

“We are replacing the ageing infrastructure because it was not coping with the amount of sewerage coming from the township,” he added.

The old pipes were 300 mm in diameter and the new pipes will be 1 500 mm in diameter allowing more water to pass through.

The upgrading of the sewer in the township has assisted 13 Diepsloot residents who have been employed on the construction site. Out of the 13 people working on the site, six men and two women are from the local community. One of the community members employed on the site as a Community Liaison Officer Maggie Nyakela, who has lived in Diepsloot for seven years, says the construction of the site will empower her financially.

“I’m happy about the developments in my area and the jobs that have been created. It gives us a chance to put food on the table,” said Nyakela.

Another resident who has welcomed the upgrades in Diepsloot, is 23-year-old Peter Sithole who has been a resident since 2006.

“I’m very happy about these developments because we were struggling with the blocked sewer. Diepsloot is changing, our place will be like other developed townships,” said an elated Sithole.

On the other side of the sprawling township, graders and construction workers are hard at work on the different streets of Diepsloot where the Johannesburg Road Agency is resurfacing 10 streets.

The resurfacing of the streets started in July 2014 and will be completed by July 2015. More than 10 kilometres of gravel road will be upgraded and conversion of storm water drains.

Spokesperson for the Johannesburg Road Agency, Bertha Peter-Scheepers says the upgrades will help residents of Diepsloot in cases of emergencies when ambulances and police have to travel to attend to such cases.

“These upgrades will increase accessibility and bring some economic activities to Diepsloot,” said Peter-Scheepers.

Anna Masoga who relocated from Alexandra to Diepsloot over 25 years ago, is grateful to the City of Johannesburg. “I’m happy that the city is thinking about us. We will be safe and drive our cars on safe and better roads.”

For more information, call the Batho Pele call centre: 0860 428 392