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BEAUTIFICATION OF TEMBISA SIDEWALKS

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More than 400 million people in Africa live in urban areas and because of high rural to urban migration rates the number of people living in urban areas will increase from 62% to 70% by the year 2030. In 2011, the South African government recognised that there was an urgent need to address the revitalisation of South African townships and in response the National Development Plan Vision 2030 (NDP) was drawn up.

President Jacob Zuma welcomed the National Planning Commission's draft Vision and Plan for 2030 which when finalised would evolve into the NDP Vision 2030 and called on South Africans to take ownership of the proposals and ideas. This plan envisaged an approach that promoted the development of capabilities and the creation of opportunities for all South Africans. Three years on, Corobrik (Pty) Ltd and the Ekurhuleni Municipality are working together on the renewal of Tembisa's sidewalks, creating a pedestrian environment which will benefit all of Tembisa's 463 109 (Census 2011) citizens.

Corobrik supplied approximately 1 000 000 (one million) Champagne PA clay pavers to the main contractor, White Haze Building as well as a selection of smaller contractors from Ekurhuleni who were on a municipal mentorship programme. Although most clay pavers can be laid in a variety of patterns, a lot of consideration was given to the laying pattern of the pavements to make it cost effective and simple for the contractors to lay.

And, with more than 10 819.61 people per km2 (Census 2011) potentially using the sidewalks, an attractive Herringbone design in a fully interlocking pattern which promotes even load bearing and reduces the possibility for movement of the paving system was considered the best option to suit the needs of Tembisa.

A key feature of the Corobrik Champagne Clay Pavers is their colour fastness even after a hundred years of baking in the hot African sun they will retain their attractive colour. In fact, one of the earliest forms of paving more than 5,000 years ago in ancient Iraq, relied on using baked clay bricks to construct a pavement.

Teboho Clement Mokoena of Corobrik who liaised with the contractors on the project said, in the Nguni language, Tembisa means promise and Corobrik is delighted to be part of Ekurhuleni Municipality's urban renewal programme which will see the realisation of the area's potential. This rejuvenation of Tembisa is expected to take five to 10 years to implement (Engineering News) and will see the fulfilment of previous Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale vision when he said in 2011 that housing developments should be where people play, stay and pray.