The Mahatma Gandhi Road precinct is receiving a major facelift. The revamp is part of a public private partnership, with both sectors investing to transform the area into a safe and attractive zone for investment. EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda led a tour of the area on 21 May to showcase the work being done. “The Mahatma Gandhi Precinct is a strategic location for catalytic development and the City is fast tracking this to stimulate economic growth, international investments, job creation and tourism.
Work is currently underway to ensure that the precinct meets all these goals and gives the City’s economy a boost. Since we have started investing in the upgrade of the area, we have seen
interest from investors,” he said. Some of the work undertaken includes the extension of the
promenade, the watermains reticulation project, the public realm upgrade, and the success of the problem buildings programme. Mayor Kaunda explained: “Tackling problem buildings is on our priority list.
A Problem Buildings Unit was established specifically to deal with the issue. There have been successes in the Mahatma Gandhi Precinct with 21 of the 33 profiled problem buildings under renovation.” Other achievements include the demolition of three buildings, sealing and securing one Municipal building, releasing two buildings to markets where transfers are currently underway and a commitment from five building owners to refurbish their buildings.
Moreover, there are currently legal proceedings underway regarding six buildings while the tracing of three building owners continues. As part of the rehabilitation of the buildings, some of which have been successfully converted into student accommodation, bars and bottle stores have been closed.
This has positively contributed to the upliftment of the immediate surrounding areas. The City is also improving the public realm which entails sidewalk widening, replacement of existing paving, realignment of stormwater drainage, road markings and associated infrastructure and the provision of vehicular access to adjacent properties.