For those who know Durban, the N3 ends in an area known as the Warwick triangle. It's been a rather chaotic area for as long as I can remember and getting through it either by vehicle or on foot tends to be quite an adventure.
Fixing up the area has been a work in progress for absolute ages and has hit numerous obstacles over the years. There have been abandoned, half completed fly-overs and wierd patch arrangements for pedestrian and vehicle traffic flow for about the last twenty years at least. And every now and then the roads and walkways get ripped up and rerouted.
Central to the difficulty in getting the area up to coping with current demands is the historical significance of the Early Morning Market which lies in the middle of this high traffic volume tangle. And it's not just the historical significance, there are hordes of small fresh produce traders and peddlars of goodness only knows what nowadays who's tenuous day-to-day livelihood is at stake.
So it is with no particular surprise I see the latest attempt at unravelling the Warwick Triangle tangle has run into problems.
I've got to admit I've got mixed feelings about this.A contentious plan to build a R400 million shopping mall at the site of the Early Morning Market at Warwick Junction in the Durban city centre could be thwarted by the unique history of the site.
But the project is also in jeopardy as nervous investors balk at the controversy the development has provoked.
Carlos Correia, the boss of Isolenu, the mall developer, said yesterday: "As developers we are very concerned. We are business people. We never expected this reaction. We can't invest in an area where we are not welcome."
Correia said if no solution was reached in a month, Isolenu would rethink the investment. "But we still believe the Warwick area needs an upgrade."
The eThekwini city council is pushing for the mall because it fits in with its plans to upgrade the transport network in the vicinity ahead of 2010 by providing a 400-bay parking facility for southbound taxis on the third floor. Two flyovers are being built at a cost of R1.2 billion, of which the national treasury is paying 70 percent.
full story from Business Report here
Yes - there's a need to upgrade the area, or at least come up with some sort of durable plan to resolve the mess.
But it's also pretty unique, and there's Mike Sutcliffe's usual bulldozer approach which tends to get up my nose a bit.
Dunno. Anyone got any opinions on this?