Roads connect us with our workplaces, our children’s schools, our parents’ homes, the shops, the gym, sports fields, restaurants, and a night out. They connect us with emergency centres when we need them, and with our places of worship. No doubt they play an essential part in our lives. As we hit the road in 2023, Drakenstein’s roads, upgrades, and traffic flow management come under the spotlight in this first edition of Vars . Drakenstein is in the fortunate position that we are located on a prime intersection of major Western Cape access routes, and our area historically boasts a well-maintained roads infrastructure network. As Drakenstein rapidly expands and new developments are mushrooming, it is important to keep our roads in tip-top shape. Businesses need this, and so do our residents – to make driving here a safe experience and a sheer pleasure. Harry Liedeman, Manager: Roads, Stormwater, and Traffic Engineering at the Municipality, shares details of major road network capital projects recently completed or currently underway in Drakenstein. One road that is definitely going to make heads turn this year is the R301 between Paarl and Franschhoek. It is getting a brand-new name – the Mandela Freedom Road ! The Drakenstein Municipal Council initiated this step to honour late President Nelson Mandela who took his first footsteps of freedom, following his incarceration, right here in Drakenstein 33 years ago – on 11 February to be exact. What better time for Vars to bring you this story? New developments often mean an influx of traffic. It is important to plan them properly so that they don’t lead to traffic congestion, parking challenges, or road surface damage. Henk Strijdom, Land Development Management Manager at the Municipality, walks Vars readers through the steps the Municipality takes to ensure that all new building plan applications are subjected to strict approval processes and that traffic impact assessments are submitted when needed. Did you know that Drakenstein’s unique topography helps us during Eskom loadshedding? As we are situated in a valley surrounded by mountains, many of our areas don’t require electrical pumps to convey water from point A to B; in most areas, water gravitates through the network to our consumers and reservoirs. In this Vars , we look at the Municipality’s comprehensive contingency plan to mitigate any possible service delivery disruptions due to Eskom loadshedding , and to safeguard municipal infrastructure – from installing Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) systems at our major traffic intersections to improving our sewage systems’ ability to function independently during loadshedding. We also list tips for using household gas safely . It is the beginning of the new school year and the start of many starry-eyed grade 1 learners’ school careers. Vars popped in at St. Albans Primary in Wellington to visit Liesl Appollis , a grade 1 teacher who believes that the biggest impact a teacher can make is to help learners find “their place in life”. We Are Hitting the Road in 2023


VARS | February

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