All existing cycle lanes for Sandton will go ahead.
This is the word from the City of Johannesburg after the Sandton Central Management District sought clarity on the issue of cycle lanes following the city’s new mayor, Herman Mashaba, saying he would reallocate a R70 million budget set aside for bicycle lanes around Joburg, for projects in Alexandra township.
Lisa Seftel, Executive Director of Transport for the City of Johannesburg, has confirmed that cycle lanes from Alex No 3 Square to Sandton Central are still going ahead, including several routes within Sandton Central itself, such as parts of Maude and West Streets.
She also confirmed that construction of the pedestrian and cycling bridge from Alexandra to Sandton is continuing, except for the section over the M1 highway, which is pending Department of Labour approval as the investigation into last year’s scaffolding collapse is ongoing.
The Joburg Development Agency also advised that improved mobility and pedestrian safety would continue along a route between Sandton and Rosebank, although this route has yet to be finalised. This decision is expected by mid-2017.
In the meantime, cycling in Sandton Central is becoming more and more commonplace.
An electric bike share pilot project set up with 20 bikes at two Sandton Central sites by Growthpoint Properties and GreenCycles has reached a landmark 1,000 bike trips in a five-month period.
Based on the success of the project, both Growthpoint and Greencycles have committed to keeping it running for at least a year, to facilitate the growth of this catalyst project.
“With this innovative initiative, a greater cycling culture is being created in Sandton. Cycling is a healthy, more affordable and more environmentally friendly way of getting around,” says Elaine Jack, City Improvement District Manager for Sandton Central Management District.
She points out that besides the environmental benefits of cycling instead of driving a car, the e-bike charging stations in Sandton Central are solar powered. Plus, the robust e-bikes are well suited to the hilly topography of Sandton.
“Bike share schemes have become a standard feature of leading cities worldwide. This corporate e-bike share scheme for Sandton Central ensures that South Africa’s financial hub continues to be well positioned to attract business, investment, shoppers, tourists, workforces and residents, with its availability of easy, sustainable, and affordable personal transport,” notes Jack.
The next step is rolling out the Sandton e-bike initiative to other corporate sponsors, which will ensure their staff component enjoy free access to the scheme at all its locations in the neighbourhood and help expand the location station network. In addition, there are multiple branding opportunities.
What’s more, the initiative also creates jobs. All stations have dedicated Station Masters which are placed in the position through a partnership with Harambee, a youth employment accelerator which also provides skills development.
“The new cycle lanes in Sandton respond to a growing number of cyclists on our roads while connecting Sandton to Alexandra and improving the connections within the business node itself,” says Jack.
Released on behalf of:
Sandton Central Management District
City Improvement District Manager, Sandton Central Management District
Tel: Tel: +27 11 911 8018
Power utility Eskom is making progress with the roll-out of smart electricity meters in Sandton and Midrand, with 5 932 meters installed in the first three months of this year.
Eskom has made a strategic decision to convert all of its conventionally billed customers to prepaid meters, a project it believes will support the utility’s financial stability efforts. Customers will also benefit from improved reliability, reduction of public safety incidents, better management of energy consumption and the elimination of billing errors. Eskom plans to have smart meters installed at the premises of all 32 885 of its domestic customers in Sandton and Midrand by the end of the 2016/17 financial year.
The conversion of the smart meters to prepaid will resume in July, once Eskom has upgraded its online vending system. Meanwhile, Eskom has installed more than 40 000 split prepaid meters in Soweto, 13 000 of which have been converted to prepaid mode. The utility has already improved its revenue collection in Soweto by R33.63-million, as a result of the installation of the split prepaid meters.
SANDTON – Read up on why Sandton has become the premium spot for the Green Building Convention this year.
With the spotlight on Sandton being the epicentre for green buildings, this year’s Green Building Convention will move from Cape Town to Johannesburg.
The Sandton Convention Centre has been chosen to host the annual convention for the first time from 26 to 29 July, and City Improvement district manager of the Sandton Central Management District, Elaine Jack, said Sandton is a fitting choice for the event.
Jack said the venue is the perfect choice as Sandton has the largest number of standing and under construction green buildings in Africa – many of which are ground-breaking sustainable developments.
She said, “Ever since it was launched eight years ago, [the event] has been hosted in Cape Town, and this year, for the first time, the convention will be hosted in Sandton. It is South Africa’s flagship green building and sustainability event, and will put the spotlight on Sandton as a major centre of green building activity in Africa.”
The Sandton node hosts the largest collection of green-rated buildings in Africa, with more than 20 projects certified by the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) and includes the landmark Nedbank head office on the corner of Rivonia Road and Maude Street in the Sandton CBD.
The Nedbank office hosts some impressive green innovations including a rainwater harvesting system and blackwater treatment system, an energy-efficient lighting system as well as highly efficient water fixtures and fittings. The rainwater harvesting and blackwater treatment systems provide recycled water for all non-potable water uses such as irrigation, toilet flushing and for cooling towers; while water-efficient plumbing reduces outflows to the sewerage system by 50 percent.
The Sandton CBD will welcome a plethora of new green buildings, with Jack adding, “The new Discovery and Sasol head office buildings are two of the largest green building developments in Africa. They are going to be cutting-edge marvels of green building and sustainability when they are complete.
“Sustainable public transport and eco-mobility form a crucial part of Sandton’s future as a major hub. New and even existing buildings in Sandton that are targeting a green building certification can benefit from the Gautrain and other eco-mobility projects, such as the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System in the future in terms of the sustainable public transport element of the GBCSA’s Green Star Certification Scheme.”
The average person living in a big city can spend up to four months of his/her life sitting, waiting and wishing in traffic. This is becoming ever truer in downtown Johannesburg and its surrounding metropolitan business hubs, particularly Sandton. The influx of people to the big city over the past few years has seen the dark, looming shadow of traffic grow exponentially until, at times, becoming nearly unmanageable, especially when load shedding knocks out power to Sandton’s robots and traffic systems, bringing traffic to a literal standstill.
Growing traffic congestion has serious economic consequences for fast-growing cities, but the most concerning effects of gridlock is on the individual. Imagine you could get back all the time you spent sitting in traffic – an extra hour in the evening with your son or daughter or half an hour more in bed every morning. The pressing question is ‘how many moments are you missing while you’re stuck behind the wheel of a car?’.
According to the latest traffic index report, released annually by TomTom, a global leader in satellite navigation technology, more than 40% of South African employees are late for work due to traffic congestion. Johannesburg is currently ranked the 77th most congested city in the world, and climbing steadily.
“There are many factors that contribute to traffic congestion in South Africa, poor public transport is one of them,” said Etienne Louw, General Manager of TomTom Africa.
This was solemnly acknowledged by Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau at the Ecomobility Festival in October this year. For the month of October, roads in the commercial hub of Sandton were closed off to private vehicles, for the purpose of promoting the use of public transport and getting the public to experience a version of Sandton without all of the congestion, noise and smog.
The soaring number of cars moving in and out of Sandton every day contributes enormously to the city’s CO2 emissions, and the gridlock experienced during rush hour is costing the country a huge amount of money each year, as noted by Tau during the festival: “As it stands, the economic impact that results from congestion in the whole of South Africa is over one billion rand (each year), and Johannesburg accounts for the highest loss, with more than 1.5 million vehicles registered across the metropolitan.”
Those numbers aren’t looking to drop any time soon; commuters in Sandton are rising by 3.4% annually. Currently, the picture of traffic in the precinct is a very gloomy one. On a daily basis, between 7:30am and 8:30am, almost 150 000 people move in and out of Sandton. The scary part is that 70% of the vehicles coming in and out are private.
Gridlock is a global problem affecting every major metropole in the world. The obvious long-term solution is the development of a fully integrated public transport system, but as this will take time, the motor industry is looking to technological development to help alleviate the rising surge of global traffic.
This topic was covered extensively at the TED conference in March 2011, by Bill Ford, in his talk: “A Future Beyond Global Traffic Gridlock“. In his talk, Ford reveals some shocking figures about the rate at which the numbers of cars are increasing in cities around the world, and the cost of gridlock to the economy and the individual: “Today, there are about 800 million cars on the road worldwide. But with more people and greater prosperity around the world, that number is going to grow to between two and four billion cars by mid-century. And this is going to create the kind of global gridlock that the world has never seen before.”
When considering how to navigate around the problem facing us, Ford notes more of the same will not do, and we are going to have to – very quickly – begin developing technology to help us manage traffic flow in big cities.
“We are going to build smart cars, but we also need to build smart roads, smart parking, smart public transportation systems and more. We don’t want to waste our time sitting in traffic, sitting at tollbooths or looking for parking spots. We need an integrated system that uses real-time data to optimise personal mobility on a massive scale, without hassle or compromises for travellers.”
For South Africans, particularly those living in the buzzing metropolis’ of Johannesburg and Cape Town, a smart move toward alleviating traffic congestion – minimising time wasted behind the wheel – is to make use of dedicated sat-nav technology like TomTom. The TomTom GO5000 and GO5100 have independent, unlimited access to TomTom maps, which has more map data for southern Africa than any other mapping resource in the world. A device like this receives over 700 000 data points each second, allowing deadly accuracy, up to 2cm, updating traffic information in real-time. This appears to be the most intelligent short-term solution to minimising your commute time, dodging speed cameras, and getting where you need to be, faster. The only difference between the two is the GO5100 comes with World Maps as well.
With traffic congestion reaching all-time highs, TomTom aims to provide the general public, industry and policymakers with unique and unbiased information about congestion levels in urban areas, making your trip a little more bearable.
Johannesburg — Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has encouraged South Africans to use public transport rather than their own private cars during the EcoMobility World Festival 2015 underway in Sandton.
The festival, which will take place throughout October, is aimed at encouraging residents to park their cars and make use of public transport, walk or cycle in Sandton city to mitigate traffic congestion that affect business and economy, and also address environmental costs caused by carbon.
The event coincides with the National Transport Month.
“Walking is cool. Cycling is cool. Let us make it possible to stay healthy. If you walk or cycle you can reduce your weight, and reduce the chances of getting diseases,” said the Minister on Sunday when she officially opened the EcoMobility World Festival.
She said South Africa has a national climate change response strategy.
“We are committed to sustainable development. We are committed to ensure that we build cities of tomorrow, by making sure that we can move with the new technology. We also want to make sure that this technology will create jobs for our people,” said Minister Peters.
She called on the provincial government and City of Joburg to ensure that the companies that manufacture the bicycles residents will be using to get around to employ Gauteng residents. This was an opportunity to create jobs and reduce inequality.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura envisaged that the festival will be successful and said he would love to see it being developed into a lifestyle after October ends.
“We used to protect those who walk and run on the streets of our cities and towns, we need to change the way we build our cities and towns to promote and make it fashionable for people to walk.
“I personally used to walk from Alexandra to Sandton in the early 1980s,” he said.
He echoed the Minister’s call for people to use public transport. “It is cool to use public transport. Public transport promotes social cohesion and it protects our environment,” he said.
Johannesburg City Mayor Parks Tau said the EcoMobility World Festival is an introduction to the future. “We see the Ecomobility World Festival as a precursor to the future of Sandton and Johannesburg,” he said.
He said congestion in Sandton city contributed to the economic inefficiency that the city needed to overcome.
“We need to enable the economy to flourish by having less people who spend a lot of time in their cars instead of being productive, and have less people stuck in their cars because of congestion.
“For those of us who got stuck in our cars, you are not stuck in traffic, you are traffic,” said Mayor Tau.
He said the festival is also part of the collective responsibility of South Africans to mitigate the impact of greenhouse emissions on climate change.
Mayor Tau said the best way to do this was to invest in public transport, cycling lanes and pedestrian facilities and reducing levels of congestions in the streets.
Korean Mayor for the City of Suwon, Yeom Tae-Young, was amongst the international guests who attended the official opening.
His city was the first to host the festival in 2014, and said eco mobility is good in that it promotes social change and integration in communities.
The Ecomobility World Festival 2015 kicked off today in the Sandton CBD with citizens of Johannesburg spending their Sunday marching from the Sandton Gautrain station to Alexandra.
Despite the heat, many Johannesburg residents attended the official launch of the Ecomobility Festival, which aims to create awareness around reducing South Africa’s carbon footprint and encourage road users to choose alternative modes of transport.
The Festival was officially opened by the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters; the Premier of Gauteng, David Makhura; the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Parks Tau; and the Mayor of Suwon, Yeom Tae-Young, from South Korea – where the very first Ecomobility Festival was held.
Other VIPs included 2012 SA’s Got Talent winner and spoken word artist Botlhale Boikanyo, MMC for Transport, Cllr Christine Walters, ICLEI Representative Monica Otto-Zimmermann, the Alex Field Band and Voca de Alex.
During his speech, Premier Makhura pledged to use the Gautrain as transport for the entire month of October. The Festival will end on Saturday, October 31. Makhura added that in the 80s, cycling and walking between Sandton and Alex wasn’t a choice, but that it is a choice now.
Minister Peters also urged Johannesburgers to use the Gautrain, saying that it is so advanced that anyone can walk from their house to a Gautrain bus and then catch the train.
The crowd was particularly taken away with 14 year old Boikanyo, who recited a poem she specially wrote for the Ecomobility Festival.
Those who chose not to walk the 11 kilometres to Alexandra had the opportunity to explore the Ecomobility World Exhibition. Running for the duration of the Festival and set up at the Sandton Gautrain station, the exhibition will host over 30 national and international exhibitors and interactive display of mobility and ecomobility.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to learn about the evolution of transport over the ages and specifically how South Africa’s transport has changed.
Thandi O’hagan, who is part of the team who developed the concept of the exhibition, said they brought in volunteers who are interested in entertainment and education and who they can give skills training to help out with the exhibition.
The volunteers will specifically be involved in an interactive walking experience which aims to teach visitors about South Africa’s transport history. The walking experience included playing hopscotch, visitors playing around with toy trains, asking the volunteers about transport and how it evolved. There is no entrance fee to the exhibition.
Monday, October 5 to Friday, October 9, will focus on different workshops and dialogues which will cover the various issues and opportunities surrounding Ecomobility and implementing it.
Under the theme “Together we move South Africa forward”, the Department of Transport will launch its annual October Transport Month (OTM) campaign on 1 October.OTM focuses on infrastructure projects that have major socio-economic spin-offs, for all modes of transport such as road, aviation, maritime, rail and public transport.
This year, emphasis will be placed on four pillars:
- Jobs created through infrastructure and other service delivery programmes;
- Major infrastructure developments and improvements and links to local economic developments;
- Special programmes aimed at youth and women; and,
- Rallying all sectors of society to improve road safety with an opportunity to market programmes to be implemented by the Road Safety Advisory Council.
Ongoing transport projects
Key projects will include the official opening of road infrastructure projects, such as the R71 Moria Project (interchange safety improvement), Umgeni Interchange and Denneysville Sasolburg Road in Free State.Minister Jeff Radebe, the minister in the Presidency responsible for planning, monitoring and evaluation, said OTM was also an opportunity to increase road safety awareness. In addition, traffic officers will rotate work shifts for a 24-hour day to help decrease the number of road accidents.”(The) government has also developed a qualification for traffic officers from National Qualifications Framework (NQF) 4 to NQF 6 in order to further professionalise the traffic fraternity,” he said.
Gauteng’s business hub, Sandton, will take part in the Ecomobility World Festival during OTM. The aim is for a car-free CBD for the duration of the festival.”We want to close off certain streets in Sandton, our second largest CBD, to car traffic and instead use these lanes for public transport, walking, cycling and other forms of ecomobility during the entire Transport Month,” said Johannesburg Executive Mayor Parks Tau.”We want to show residents and visitors that an ecomobile future is possible and that public transport, walking and cycling can be accessible, safe, attractive and cool!”The city is providing alternative modes of transport to Sandton.
Johannesburg – The construction of Modderfontein New City, north-east of Johannesburg, a rival future city to Sandton, has gained further momentum with the launch of the first phase of a residential development in the precinct.
The massive 1 600 hectare site was acquired by Hong Kong Stock Exchange listed property developer Shanghai Zendai from AECI 2013 for the planned R80 billion-plus mixed use development.
Anthony Diepenbroek, the chief executive of Zendai Development South Africa, said this week that more than R400 million had been invested in roads, electrical, water and sewerage infrastructure on the development site in the past 12 months, a 200-bed hospital was nearing completion adjacent to Linbro Park and they had commenced designing the planned Gautrain station.
Diepenbroek was speaking at the launch of the about R25m first phase of The Centenary, a block of 54 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments located on a site at the corner of Antwerp Road and Centenary Way, close to the proposed Modderfontein Gautrain station.
He said The Centenary was being developed adjacent to Modderfontein Golf Course and Flamingo Dam, which would eventually comprise six apartment blocks that would provide a total of about 300 apartments.
Diepenbroek said construction on the first phase of The Centenary would commence early next year with the apartments available for occupation in 2017. The timing of the construction of future phases on The Centenary would be market demand driven.
Diepenbroek said 70 percent of the development site was earmarked for residential, and there would eventually be about 70 000 apartments in higher density four- to five-storey blocks when it was completed.
But Diepenbroek said there would be almost 500ha of “green space” in the development, which would be developed over the next about 20 years.
The Centenary features modern amenities, such as acoustic solutions to soundproof windows, biometric access to each building, high speed internet and fibre optic points in every apartment, as well as back-up generators to common areas and lifts providing safety and comfort in the event of power outages.
Apartments at The Centenary range from R1.15m for one-bedroom, R2.2m for two-bedroom and R2.8m for three-bedroom apartments, including VAT, transfer duty and parking.
Diepenbroek said Zendai Development SA had to build the proposed Gautrain station at their own cost. He said the platform and underpasses were built at a cost of R55m when the property was still part of AECI and the agreement with the Gautrain Management Agency was that the developer would build the station.
Based on the cost of the Midrand Gautrain station model, it would cost about R250m to build the station, he said.
“We have commenced the design of the station and anticipate that if everything goes well construction will probably start in early 2017, with the station opening at the end of 2018,” he said.
Diepenbroek said they had already upgraded the main substation that fed the Modderfontein area at their own expense to ensure the future supply of electricity to the area, and would be establishing the entire “ring main” to take electricity on to the site.
However, Diepenbroek said they were not under any false illusions about the ability of Eskom and the new city to provide sufficient electricity to site and the objective was to be at least between 30 percent and 50 percent self sufficient for the new city’s power needs.
Diepenbroek said this would be achieved through the “smart city concept” they were focusing on, which opened the door for the use of solar and other energy alternatives.
He said there would not be any impediment in the short term to the speed at which the new city could be developed, but the fully completed development would eventually require more than 800 megawatt of power, which was one of the modules of the new power stations.
Diepenbroek said other elements of the project they were focusing on included the 180ha of developable land immediately behind Linbro Business Estate.
“It is for a mix of warehousing, residential and offices. We don’t believe there is going to be demand for offices in the short term in this area. With all the office vacancies in Sandton, decentralised offices are certainly not something we are focusing on.
“We will focus on warehousing and residential. There is an opportunity for 3 000 residential units immediately behind Linbro Business Estate overlooking the lake,” he said. Diepenbroek rejected suggestions that the slowdown in the Chinese economy would have an impact on the roll-out of the development.
“Chinese people by their very nature are long-term thinkers and the events in the Chinese economy are short-term events that clearly have an impact on the global economy.
“But they have very little impact on long-term decisions, which is what this development in Modderfontein is,” he said.
The push to have motorists use public transport and walk around Sandton ahead of the closure and alteration of surrounding roads is unrealistic and unsafe, a Sandton commuter has said.
October will see Sandton roads being closed or altered as part of the EcoMobility Festival, which aims to push more motorists to use public transport.
This represents a fundamental change to those who commute to Sandton by car everyday for work, and less so for those who use public transport. The road closures will last the whole month, with some of the changes made, such as certain park-and-rides, to continue after October.
For the first time in South Africa, the EcoMobility World Festival will be held in Sandton. The first such festival was held in Suwon City, South Korea in 2013.
For the month of October, key parts of Sandton will be closed to private vehicles. Those who work in Sandton will need to use alternative forms of transport, such as buses, bicycles and the Gautrain, or travel on foot.
News24 canvassed a few opinions from people who worked in Sandton or commuted there, prompting mixed reactions.
Both Precious and Saskia work in shops in Sandton City, which is in the middle of road changes.
“I think it’s a very good idea. We [are] trying to stop the harmful emissions that are hurting the earth so I’m all for it,” Precious told News24.
“People must enjoy walking. They must use their legs more and… exercise because it’s healthier and they get to enjoy the atmosphere. Walking around as opposed to driving, you get to see everything, so I’m all for it.”
This was echoed somewhat by Saskia, who also wondered how those commuting into the area might feel come October 1.
“It’s going to take… time to get used to it and people might get frustrated. Walking is not bad. I use public transport.”
Renee, who sometimes comes to Sandton for work, felt it was a good initiative, but had concerns whether the whole exercise was practical.
“I just don’t know if it’s realistic for South Africa because… in our country, things are so unsafe, and I just don’t know if it’s going to be safe enough for me to walk so I’m not trusting it 100%. I think it’s a great initiative in theory. In practice, I don’t know if it will work,” she said.
Robert, who frequents Sandton for shopping and does not work far from the area, echoed Renee’s concerns, calling the exercise irresponsible.
“It’s a bit irresponsible without having a back-up plan. I know there is always a back-up plan but I don’t believe the plan will be executed correctly.”
On Twitter, the same applied, with some praising the move while others called it madness.
A new prestige office development in Sandton, Johannesburg is using a combined smoke and natural ventilation system, involving automatic window vents in the building’s elliptical glazed central tower, which is actuated and controlled by an integrated solution from SE Controls Africa.
Located in the Sandton business area, which is regarded as one of South Africa’s prime commercial locations, the R208 million (£10.7 million) Capital Hill development combines seven floors of office space with residential apartments, as well as covered parking for almost 400 vehicles.
Designed by MWLF Architects, the building not only provides high quality business facilities and residential accommodation, but is also highly energy efficient and is constructed to achieve a ‘Four Green Star’ rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa.
As part of this process, the building’s 12 storey elliptical central tower features a fully glazed external facade within an aluminium lattice structure, which incorporates an automatic window and vent opening system to provide natural ventilation and overnight cooling, as well as smoke ventilation in the event of a fire.
To achieve the necessary level of versatility and control required for the automated vent system, SE Controls supplied 49 SECO N 24 25 twin chain actuators with a 350mm stroke length together with 7 SHEVTEC® control panels and manual control points (MCP), which were networked using the company’s OSLink network cards. An external weather station was also installed to provide an information feed on ambient conditions into the system.
In normal operation, the windows open and close automatically, to provide cooling and a supply of fresh air, but in the event of a fire this is over-ridden and vents are opened to allow smoke to be vented, enabling escape routes to be kept smoke free.
Russell Cramb, General Manager with SE Controls Africa, explained: “Capital Hill is an iconic building and has already attracted a lot of attention for its eye-catching design, green credentials and the quality of facilities it provides. We have an immense amount of experience in combined natural and smoke ventilation solutions, which we used when working with the architect to create a solution that wouldn’t compromise the smooth architectural lines of the external glazed facade.”