Plans to upgrade Bonteheuwel CBD

The Bonteheuwel CBD will get new fencing (in yellow), new pedestrian gates, and vehicle gates (in blue).

Upgrades for Bonteheuwel are on the cards for early next year, and the community is happy that after 15 years of talk, action is being taken.

The upgrades, which are headed by the Bonteheuwel project steering committee, will include fencing around the CBD.

They are set to start in February 2019 and be completed by March.

Ward 50 councillor Angus Mckenzie said that fencing would turn the CBD into a safe space for shoppers and businesses.

He said the upgrade would also include the refurbishment of buildings, and the freedom square, which would be knocked down and rebuilt. It would also include a play park and murals of the heroes of Bonteheuwel.

“We want to make it walker friendly and people friendly. It’s no longer a talk shop; it is actually happening. We have been speaking about it for 15 years, and it is finally happening,” he said.

There will also be upgrades to the resource centre, and informal traders will be able to have stands outside of the library.

Mr Mckenzie said the traders depended on the small profit they made from their stalls, so accommodating them would be part of the upgrade.

“While many people assume this will be an overnight programme, sadly it is not that simple. It is a process of not just upgrading infrastructure but also the development of the community at large in terms of economic development, safety and education. Our Bonteheuwel upgrade seeks to address these holistically rather than individually,” he said.

Chairman of the Community of Bonteheuwel Association, Abie Clayton, said the upgrades were good for the community as well as the businesses in Bonteheuwel.

“The upgrades are of importance as the community deserves good things and as a community leader, I feel this will be beneficial to them. I think the new upgrades will decrease the number of crimes occurring in the area, and I am patiently awaiting the changes. Actions speak louder than words,” he said.