Braamfontein Spruit rehab a ‘priority project’

07 April 2016 - 12:46 By TMG Digital

The City of Johannesburg on Thursday said that halting the “environmental degradation” of the Braamfontein Spruit was a “priority project”.It said the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) “has commissioned a study on the state” of the city’s longest river and “the steps required to improve the natural habitat and surrounding infrastructure”.“The study will‚ no doubt‚ lead to far-reaching recommendations and actions by the JRA to restore the habitat and the measures required to combat future erosion and degradation‚” said JRA acting managing director Mpho Kau.The city’s statement said that rapid urbanisation close to the banks of Spruit “has had a choking effect on the river‚ deprived it of its natural flow path and reduced its capacity”.“This often result in the Spruit overflowing its banks‚ especially after heavy downpours‚ causing damage to properties and safety hazards for people who are using roads and low-lying bridges in the vicinity‚” it said.MTB ride along Braamfontein Spruit in Joburg - cannot believe that this is in the middle of the city— Gary Lane (@garyrlane) January 1, 2015asyncKau also stressed that “it increases the loss of valuable top soil and the flushing of the urban pollutants - both organic and inorganic material - and debris which blocks the drainage network causes additional concerns”.He said a a specialist engineering company “has been appointed to determine the required recommendations on remediation measures”.“The public will have an opportunity to submit additional environmental concerns as part of a stakeholder engagements process before the rehabilitation of the river can begin‚” the city said.Kau added: “The JRA has identified the rehabilitation of the Braamfontein Spruit as a priority project and it is confident that the experience gained during the study and the subsequent interventions will serve as an example for future action in other catchment areas and river systems experiencing similar challenges.”The Spruit is an important catchment area in Joburg and it runs through major parkland areas‚ recreational spots and hiking and biking trials...

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