Narrowing of roads at Salt River intersection queried

Salt River residents meet with City of Cape Town representatives at the traffic circle where construction is currently under way. Picture: Henk Kruger / Independent Newspapers

Salt River residents meet with City of Cape Town representatives at the traffic circle where construction is currently under way. Picture: Henk Kruger / Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 21, 2024


Cape Town - A group of residents gathered at the Salt River traffic circle for an on-site meeting with City of Cape Town officials on Thursday, expressing their opposition to the narrowing of the roads at the busy intersection, leading to increased levels of congestion.

The residents and affected business owners met with the City’s project manager, Bradley du Toit, along with traffic officials, where active construction is under way.

The overwhelming grievances related to the narrowing of the roads as a result of curb extensions, resulting in two lanes becoming one, as well as the widening of the island located at the centre.

Other concerns pertained to the absence of traffic officials and the “purposeless” bollards on the bridge.

Resident Imam Rashied Omar said conducting a proper consultation process would have mitigated the frustration of the residents.

“This acted as a trigger for all of the frustrations – the years and lack of consultation on the part of the City, even in this project the community was not consulted,” Omar said.

He said traffic linked to the Amazon construction site, Old Biscuit Mill and heavy trucks, which all flowed through the intersection.

Residents present questioned the logic of narrowing the roads.

Resident of 18 years and GOOD Party activist, Shariefa Job, said accidents were frequent at the intersection and questioned if residents were employed for the development.

“The ward councillor is nonexistent for ward 57.

“He gets invited to meetings all the time, he hasn’t come to any of our meetings so we are not being kept in the loop but we must sit with the problems – accidents, congestion, trucks coming up the side roads where our cars are standing, but the maintenance is not being done here.

“They’re doing an upgrade here without notifying anybody,” said Job.

Attempts were made to reach the ward councillor, however, he did not respond yesterday.

Good Hope Meat Hyper owner Reaaz Ahmed, whose business is located at the circle, said the business has been there for almost 52 years and that they were not given an opportunity to give their input.

“Because of these roadworks and the narrowing of the road, it’s becoming a lot more difficult to access our parking facility across the road and also getting out, and they’re (customers) actually driving away and we’re losing business.”

He said construction took place right at the entrance to his business last week.

Salt River Woodstock Walmer Steering Committee chairperson, Sedick Soeker, said the City allowed large businesses to operate, despite there being no adequate parking.

In a statement released in May, the City said the roadworks had significantly impacted road users and pedestrians.

The project formed part of the City’s Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) infrastructure around the Salt River Circle.

Mayco member for Urban Mobility Rob Quintas said: “As this forms part of regular road maintenance, the standard communication channels were used and the construction start date of 25 March 2024 was also communicated.”

He said the project completion date is scheduled for June 30.

“The road width around the circle was made wider by 2m through the implementation of the apron to better accommodate the turning movement of heavy vehicles using the circle. The implementation of the wider sidewalks (and intended road marking) is to regulate the traffic movement in and around the circle and to better facilitate all road users including pedestrian movement in a highly trafficked area.”

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