25 June 2019
Work commences on Apies River Storm Water Rehabilitation Project
and infrastructure earthworks for Rainbow Junction node
Work on the first phase of the Apies River Storm Water Rehabilitation Project begins this week and commences the earthworks for services infrastructure of the Rainbow Junction node.
This project will stabilise the ever-expanding flood lines of the Apies River between the Wonderboom Poort, north of the Lavender Road bridge, and the K8/Onderstepoort Bridge, together with the upgrade and rehabilitation of the Apies River in this area.
After many years in design and approval phase, the project has been given all the necessary approvals for the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) from Gauteng Department Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD), as well as a full Water Use Licence from the Department of Water Affairs. Approvals include all authorisations and service agreements with the City of Tshwane.
The first approximately nine-month phase of the stormwater and rehabilitation project will include the stabilising the badly eroded and polluted Apies River western banks, resulting in a new stable 1:100 flood line.
Regarding the rehabilitation, alien plant species and illegal infill and dumping, including the clearly-visible reeds which have infested the river banks over time, will be removed. They will be replaced with indigenous plant species that will help stabilise the river bank and ultimately rehabilitate the riverine ecosystem to an optimal state, both environmentally and aesthetically.
This first phase of the Apies River Storm Water Rehabilitation Project is part of the infrastructural installation of all services required for the first phase of the Rainbow Junction node, which will play a key role in the future conservation of the Apies River on the western embankment of this stretch of the river. Rainbow Junction’s first phase is in the northern precinct of the large new mixed-use node and includes residential developments, a convenience shopping centre and a school.
Besides positive environmental impacts, creating jobs and opportunities for small contractors from the community are paramount to the project’s developers and construction contractors. The north of the City of Tshwane is known to have 57% of its population, but only 21%
Unique policies have been designed by Rainbow Junction for fair, transparent and well-communicated processes to ensure that the deserving labour-seekers in the affected wards in the north are given the first choice for jobs. The policies, which put in place clear structures for such processes, have been developed and workshopped with City Councillor Dr Hannes Coetzee in the ward in which the development is situated, being ward 96, and the ward councillors in the directly surrounding wards 2, 5, 50, and 98 have been consulted and have given these structures and policies their full support.
While top structure construction will only begin in 2020, these policies, which are supported by the city, will be applied from day one and throughout the entire life cycle of the development roll-out of Rainbow Junction, which is expected to take many years as is typical of mixed-use developments such as Hazeldean in the east of the city and Waterfall in the Midrand area.
Rainbow Junction, as a private sector development, has embarked on community liaison through dedicated consultants, working with the wards, to ensure that communities are on board with the policies and processes, which must be followed to be considered for potential jobs over time.
The policies will be managed by the office of a dedicated Project Resource Interface Manager (PRIM) employed by the consultants to the Rainbow Junction node.
A dedicated website will be opened for sub-contractors to log in their company details in response to pending opportunities posted by the PRIM, as and when such are required over time. In addition, a labour database is being built by the PRIM, in consultation with ward councillors, firstly from Ward 96, and then surrounding wards, for general labour, and in time, for various levels of skilled labour required. Labour will work through the PRIM and be supported by the ward councillors, who are being supported and informed by identified community leaders of labour seekers.
Also, the City of Tshwane has publicly noted and committed to supporting the private sector against the very damaging activities of illegal and criminal activities of so-called business forums operating country-wide, which have had a significant negative effect on the construction industry and the economy. The structures and policies being adopted in the Rainbow Junction node will go a long way to protecting deserving job seekers and sub-contractors in the neighbouring identified wards from such illegal threats.