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Louis Botha… first leg in the changing face of Joburg




What the Louis Botha corridor will look like in a few years, above, and see many more pictures and documents in and below the story

The Louis Botha Avenue hustle and bustle is not just building a Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) from Alexandra township to Johannesburg’s CBD; it is the first stage of a major redevelopment in the coming two decades that will herald a complete transformation of the city.

By the time all is said and done, there will be six BRT stations between Orange Grove and the Wynberg industrial area, with six times the present population density. It will also see the automatic rezoning by the City Council of all land several blocks deep alongside Louis Botha with developments ranging between two and eight storeys, with business rights near the stations.


Taxis will not be allowed to travel on the road, but will have much more profitable “last mile” passenger loads from the stations to their destinations. Originally there were only going to be three east/west crossings in this area but community complaints have led to the Council agreeing to five crossing points 

Louis Botha - Report CoverThe City aims to have at least four development corridors – two running north/south and two east/west. The latter ones will cross the north/south version down George Avenue, past the Chevrah Kadisha, over the N3 and all the way to Kempton Park (if Ekurhuleni buys in). 

Click to find the complete 145-PAGE PDF DOCUMENT (cover illustrated right) that the City has approved and the seven previous STORIES AND LETTERS on JR-Online on the subject

To facilitate a programme of such massive proportions, Johannesburg has to build the requisite infrastructure first – and that is what is happening now. For example, what used to be commonly known as “death bend” (the stretch of Louis Botha Avenue between Houghton Drive and Yoeville), has seen the hillside demolished and the road straightened out.

So, readers, while it may seem to be taking forever, think of it as the pilot project for the Johannesburg of 2050 and be patient. Once one has read what will be taking place, one will be surprised that it has been managed with so little disruption to the lives those who are touched so regularly by Louis Botha Avenue.


Louis Botha Ant pic Across balfour park
Johannesburg Jewry are severely affected by scenes such as this one near Balfour Park this week where workmen are active on both sides of the road and, in the distance, all the way to Gresswold as well. Read why, and see the pictures below to understand what is happening, why, and how it will affect you!

The reticulation of power and water to service six times as many residents, and the removal of sewage and storm-water pipes and drains, all have to be put in place.

Follow the story, join the conversation…

Over this week and next – and maybe more if required – Jewish Report will try and answer our readers’ questions. Feel free to join the conversation and let’s hear what you think in our comments section below.

Jewish Report has also have placed a link to the 145-page “Strategic Framework” document in a PDF format for readers to see, download, print or share – to understand what is happening and why.

This major undertaking is bound to be a challenge to commuters and residents for quite a number of years to come.

Some of the motivation for the redevelopment, according to the City, is to address the problems of past spatial planning practices which have left Johannesburg with “sprawling low-density areas of settlement, lacking viable public transport systems.”

The majority of working-class and poor citizens are still living on the fringes of the city, commuting daily often at considerable cost, and face long distances to access work and economic opportunities. Also, private car and taxi use is a significant driver of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. 

Follow this fascinating series in our print edition and on the web (which, as you can see below, has the space to carry many more illustrations to see how it will affect your own quality of life and business and housing investments in the area.

And remember, this is an interactive website. Join the conversation and have your say by posting comments below – either in your own name or anonymously.

Louis Botha - minor station.png
Illustrated above is a visualisation of what the future holds showing a small bus stop on the Louis Botha Avenue “Development Corridor” – around all bus stations will be six to eight storey developments and business rezoning. They will also have facilities for mini-bus taxis to take passengers from the bus stop closer to their homes 

Louis Botha Ant pic trenchAt left is a bulk services trench near Balfour Park which has already had some infrastructure buried, filled with soil and compacted for further service to be added. This exercise is happening on both sides of the road in some places.  

Louis Botha - Stations
The bus stations will be situated at Orange Grove, Raedene (which will in time link up to the East/West corridor down Scott Street), Balfour Park, Corlett Drive, Wynberg and Marlborough. This map has a colour-coded key which illustrates the future population density plans

Louis Botha - density table

This pictograph illustrates the envisaged densification of population as envisaged in the council’s plan. The red focus area is that directly along Louis Botha Avenue. This has been subjected to an intensive study and is expected to grow six-fold. This will, however, obviously be driven by demand (for accommodation) and supply (by developers or landlords)

Louis Botha - major station
Illustrated above is a larger bus station, this one in Wynberg, which will also intersect the the Alexandra to Sandton route also currently under construction, has additional facilities and parking to support the higher traffic convergence and mini-bus taxi usage 

Follow Jewish Report in the coming weeks to find out how the changes may affect your property values, what opportunities they may offer and how the lifestyle of both observant and secular Jewry may be impacted

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  1. Chutzpah

    Aug 22, 2016 at 9:42 am

    ‘and chazas will fly’

  2. anthony

    Aug 22, 2016 at 10:50 am

    ‘The biggest problem NOW is that the constr people are incredibly slow and disorganized.After all this time not ONE single block is complete. Why not do a block at a time, finish ALL the pavements and road surfacing, street lights and storm-water drains before going to the next one. most NEW street lights are still not working. why?? The mess and chaos they have left behind in most places is totally unacceptable. is this a proper construction company, it doesn’t look like it. Also, this company should not have been allowed to control the traffic, as their expertise is obviously zero.’

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