Tacky taxi ranks will get R90m facelift

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Two taxi ranks in the East London city centre will get a multimillion-rand facelift.

The ranks, in Beaconsfield Road, are expected to be rebuilt at a cost of between R80 million and R90 million.

At present the ranks do not have shelter for the thousands of commuters who use them daily.

The initiative is a joint venture of the East London Taxi Association and Isibonelo Development Property.

Isibonelo director Shadrack Mthetho said yesterday that negotiations with the council over the project were progressing.

The South African National Civics Organisation (Sanco) welcomed the initiative, saying it would benefit East London communities.

Sanco spokesman Vukile Matebe said the taxi ranks were a health hazard.

Lindela Mba, general secretary of the Mdantsane-East London Taxi Association, said the initiative was his brainchild and that of his son-in-law, William Mahlangu, a shareholder in Isibonelo.

"We would like to have this facelift finished in 2008," he said.

Buffalo City spokesman Mamnkeli Ngam supported the initiative.

"This is essentially a private initiative that is being generally supported by the municipality," he said.

A formal application by developers has been submitted to the municipality and comments on the proposals have been made by all the relevant municipal departments, Ngam said.