Problematic taxi rank upgrade

Taxis line up at the entrance to the Big Ben taxi rank, which is currently being upgraded, on the corner of Homestead Avenue and Bram Fischer Drive in Bryanston. Photo: Sarah Koning

 

Despite the benefits of upgrading the Big Ben taxi rank on the corner of Homestead and Bram Fischer Road, community members are angered by the manner in which the City of Joburg has handled construction on the site.

Sandton Chronicle wrote about the extended benefits of the upgraded rank for taxi drivers and commuters, but community members have said there has been a lack of communication with neighbouring property owners about the upgrade and the inconveniences it would cause.

The plans for buildings under construction at the Big Ben taxi rank are said to be unapproved by the City. Photo: Sarah Koning

James Fraser, owner of Sandton View Centre, said the City of Joburg has not even had the courtesy of communicating anything regarding the construction.

“While one welcomes the clean-up of the rank and the immediate surrounds, such must be done with proper consultation, planning and appropriate safety measures, all of which have been ignored by the City of Joburg,” said Fraser.

“There has been no formal approach by the City to engage with neighbouring property owners to advise them of what the council is attempting to do, or seek their consent.”

Lack of communication is just one of the concerns he raised while viewing the construction site over the last three months. He also claimed that the work carried out on the site is being conducted without approved building plans. Fraser added that retail stores are being erected without appropriate zoning.

Taxis park in the slip lane of Homestead Avenue due to the upgrade of the Big Ben taxi rank. Photo: Sarah Koning

He said one of the greatest irritations to shoppers and tenants of the Sandton View Centre is the abuse of the parking at the centre by taxis, as well as taxis which park on North Road and along the slip lane of Homestead Avenue.

Owner of Silver Scissors Studio said, “The taxis park everywhere and they are noisy and rude to clients. They invade our space because they aren’t quiet.”

City of Joburg departments of development planning and transport were contacted for comment on the matter.

Taxis take up much of the parking lot at the Sandton View Centre behind the Big Ben taxi rank. Photo: Sarah Koning

Lebo Theledi of the building development management department confirmed that an inspection of the Big Ben taxi rank was conducted on 2 October by building inspector for the area, Ananias Netshiavah. Theledi said a notice was handed to the Johannesburg Property Company for starting building without approved plans, and that the matter is being investigated by various departments.

To bring forward any complaints for the City of Joburg call 086 056 2874.

  AUTHOR
Sarah Koning

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