Cape Town - Emergency services and police will soon have easier access to the densely-populated Imizamo Yethu settlement in Hout Bay, following the reconstruction of nine roads as part of a R40m upgrade.
The area is one of three selected for roads to be redesigned, reconstructed and upgraded in the year-long project. It is expected to be completed next month.
City of Cape Town mayoral committee members for transport and urban development Brett Herron, and for Area North, Suzette Little, inspected the newly-constructed roads in Imizamo Yethu on Tuesday.
"In Imizamo Yethu some of the roads were in a very poor state – the asphalt surfacing had eroded due to grey water discharge on the streets and a lack of storm water infrastructure," Herron said in a statement.
"In the process of reconstructing the nine roads, we first had to redesign the layout of the roads to adapt to the steep topography, as well as to accommodate structures that were located within the road reserve due to the informal conditions of the area."
The new roads would improve mobility, create a sense of place, and allow faster access for emergency vehicles.
Several fires had devastated the settlement over the years. The most recent took place last month. About 3500 homes were destroyed, affecting 15 000 people.
Herron said the location of structures within the road reserves caused some unforeseen delays, but this was resolved following talks with residents.
Seventeen roads had been rebuilt in Ocean View and five gravel roads in Kommetjie were surfaced.
Existing water mains and stormwater infrastructure in the three areas were upgraded.
"We have constructed sidewalks where the road reserves were wide enough and we have installed streetlights," Little said.
"These may sound like small interventions, but sidewalks and streetlights make a huge difference to those who walk to their destinations. Our residents feel and are safer when they walk on a surface dedicated to pedestrians, especially when doing so under streetlights after dark."