EThekwini Municipality has undertaken the Interim Services Programme which solely focuses on developing and integrating informal settlements with the rest of the city and a spatially coherent fashion with regards to access.
Nankhoo Consulting Engineers have also joined this venture in terms of upgrading gravel roads to blacktop and also informal pathways to formalised footpaths in these informal settlements. We are currently in the process of constructing Roads & footpaths complete with stairs and handrails in Wards 53, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, and 62. Due to the atrocious conditions of the existing access within the community, a total of 14 Roads and 22 Footpaths have been assessed and approved for construction.
These upgrades will tremendously improve the current state of living in these communities by providing efficient and effective access to transport facilities such as; busses, taxis and more importantly emergency services having a better response time due to the adequate transport system. Not only do these upgrades improve the Health Care services in these communities, from a social perspective, whenever there are gatherings (weddings, sports events, funerals, etc.) it allows for ease of access to the desired destination, as opposed to parking a distance away due to the unconducive gravel road conditions.
The community has welcomed this project with open arms and believe that it will transform their lives. According to a resident of the community she said, “I will no longer have to carry two pairs of shoes when I travel to work because I will no longer have to avoid the mud that is ever present in the pathways and roads.” Another resident had stated that, “I will no longer have to wake up early, to walk a long distance to the taxi rank because the taxis will have access inside my community and will now pass by my house.” With these few testaments from the community it goes to show the magnitude of change these upgrades will bring to the community. Nankhoo Consulting Engineers believe not solely on profits but also in the betterment of the lives of our fellow citizens which is why its motto is “Continually Striving to Provide Superior Engineering Solutions to Society.”
By Smangaliso Dlamini & Trivesh Sitalparsad.