SourceThe Riebeeck Lake is set to undergo a complete redevelopment to the tune of around R65 million.
According to environmental consultant, Pieter Colyn, who has been contracted by the Randfontein Local Municipality to undertake an environmental impact study, the lake and surrounding area will receive a complete face-lift, which will include a brand-new service station, three office parks, conference facilities, housing developments, an indoor sports centre, a restaurant, a nursery, a lifestyle centre, parking facilities and the Jonkerhuis Museum.
A public meeting was held at the Randfontein Public Library, where Colyn explained the entire development of the Riebeeck Lake area to interested and affected parties.
The development of the Riebeeck Lake area will put to a stop what many people in Randfontein have perceived as a complete waste of taxpayers’ money.
The Riebeeck Lake was once a popular picnic area that attracted people from far and wide with its lush gardens, swimming pool and family restaurant.
For many years now the condition of the lake and surrounding area has steadily deteriorated and the lake was eventually closed to the public after the umpteenth armed robbery of a family that had spent the day fishing at the lake.
The accidental shooting of a little girl during a robbery made national news headlines some years ago, and the lake was deemed too dangerous and closed, rumour has it, at the insistance of now acting Randfontein SAPS station commander, Colonel Marius Smit.
The redevelopment of the Riebeeck Lake, it is hoped, will breathe some new life into Randfontein.
The area is also set to get a brand new shopping mall, though it is not part of this project and will be privately run. The Riebeeck lake has become synonymous with vagrants, pollution and crime.
There have even been rumours of a drug dealer living and working from a municipal-owned house on the premices of the Riebeeck lake.
"The area around the lake will be developed with gardens and walkways where people may enjoy the outdoors and the waterfront," says Colyn.
"A jetty will be constructed into the centre of the lake area and the old train restaurant will be reintroduced.
"The water front on the South-South-West end of the property will allow for the incorporation of a new shopping mall which is to form an integral part of the overall larger development for the area."
According to Clyn, two acces road are planned from Raven Road while one access road will be on Malan Street and one on Tambotie Road.
"From an environmental view point one of our major points of concern is the state of the lake," says Colyn
"It is dirty beyond belief and must be rehabilitated in order to serve its purpose in the greater redevelopment.
"As environmental consultants we need to find out why and from where the polluted water comes. As part of the assessment we will also look at the periodic illegal release of smelly oily water which exits the storm water drains at the North-Western point of the property.
"We are of the opinion that some business undertaking is discharging this waste illegally upstream of the lake area into the storm water system just to get rid of it."
Colyn says that traffic and traffic flows along with its associated impacts will need careful assessment as a development of this magnitude will certainly impact on the volume of traffic as well as background vehicle noise.
"A development of this magnitude will also impact the value of houses in the surrounding area in a positive way.
"Being part of the greater redevelopment area will be a bonus point to property owners as they will be in close proximity to all the amenities that households require.
"I would like to urge residents to be become involved in the public participation process of the environmental impact assessment. Give imputs, pose questions and make suggestions.
"At the end of the day, this is their town, their environment and their lives."