Industrial Development Zone to be created around OR Tambo airport

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pretoria - Africa’s busiest airport, OR Tambo International Airport is a fitting location for the continent’s first aerotropolis, says Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi.

“Work on the development of the aerotropolis, centred at OR Tambo International Airport, seeks to leverage public and private sector investment at the airport and surrounding areas. In supporting industrial development in this precinct, approval has been granted for the creation of an Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) in the area surrounding the airport,” he said.

Jack van der Merwe, who successfully oversaw the development of the Gautrain project, has been appointed by Premier Nomvula Mokonyane to lead the initiative of developing the aerotropolis.

The proposal for the airport to become a terminal city with air, rail and road networks fuelling economic development. It is envisaged to include a commercial component, hotel, conferences, exhibitions and a residential component.

One of the key initiatives of the national government is the e-Thekwini-Free State-Gauteng freight and logistics corridor, known as the Strategic Infrastructure Project 2 (SIP2), which seeks to improve the movement of goods from the Durban port to Gauteng, and to business enterprises nationally as well as in southern Africa.

MEC Vadi said the City Deep/Kazerne Terminals and the planned Tambo-Springs Freight and Logistics Hub were to be the focal points for the movement of goods for the export market.

He said Phase 1 of the City Deep/Kazerne Terminal expansion and roads upgrade was underway at the continent’s largest and busiest in-land container terminal.

“It involves the redesign and upgrading of the roads network in and around the City Deep Terminal and provides for better flow of freight traffic and linkages with the national highways,” he said, adding that the cost of the road works would amount to R122 million.

Transnet has completed the first phase in the actual improvements of the terminal. It will be investing R900 million in upgrading the terminal.

Vadi said detailed road design work, including feasibility studies and the development of a master plan, are underway for the Tambo-Springs Inland Port.

The MEC said Gauteng was to get 2 484 new modern trains as part of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) rolling stock for fleet recapitalisation and refurbishment programme.

He said the province will be making major investments in road infrastructure in the coming financial year and these include reconstruction and upgrading of the R55 (Voortreker Road) to a dual carriageway road between Olievenhoutbosch and Pretoria West; rehabilitation of the remaining section between Main Road and Maunde Street in Atteridgeville; reconstruction and upgrading of William Nicol Drive (K46) between Fourways and Diepsloot as well as reconstruction and improvement of the remaining section of the Old Pretoria to Cullinan Road between the Chris Hani Flats and Cullinan, among others.

The department has been allocated a budget of R4.77 billion for the 2013/14 financial year. Of this amount R1.4 billion has been earmarked for roads maintenance and upgrading, R1.7 billion for public transport operations and R802 million for the running cost of the Gautrain Management Agency.

“We also pleased that R277 million has been allocated for scholar transport, which will be managed by the Department of Education and a further R80 million for the development of skills and capacity building in the department,” he said. -