Sustainable PTF

A PV system supplies electricity for the admin buildings and ablution block. (Mobile).jpg

Nomzamo, a small township just outside of Strand in the Western Cape, can now boast a Public Transport Facility (PTF) that gives priority to the community’s needs, thanks to the successful design and construction work carried out by SMEC South Africa.

The Nomzamo community hall and business centre were built some 12 years ago. At that time the taxi rank was simply a grass and gravel patch located between the community hall and Michael Street, which was being used informally by minibus taxis to load passengers.

Having identified the urgent need for the informal minibus-taxi rank to be upgraded, the City of Cape Town appointed SMEC South Africa in January 2013 to carry out the design and construction of the Nomzamo PTF. The preliminary design was completed in July 2013, while construction of the facility was finalised in August 2015.

“The new facility has integrated several aspects of sustainability into its functionality,” Doug Calverey, SMEC South Africa, technical specialist: roads and highways, comments. “It has been planned to accommodate minibus-taxi movements in the most efficient manner.”

In addition, the commuter has been treated as the number one priority in terms of comfort and safety, so that conflicts between pedestrians and moving minibus-taxis are reduced.

The roadway along Michael Street, which passes through the minibus-taxi precinct, has been raised and paved with a grey interlocking concrete paver, so that drivers are made aware that they are entering a public transport area where pedestrians havepriority.

Safe pedestrian crossings have been provided at strategic points,delineated in red brick pavers so as to stand out from the surrounding grey concrete or black asphalt. The commuter loading and off-loading areas, as well as the pedestrian walkways, have all been designed with overhead canopies to ensure adequate protection against sun and rain.

Low walls and bollards under tree cover have been designed to double as seating opportunities and to prevent minibus-taxis from mounting the kerbs and parking in areas identified for the exclusive use of the commuter.

Adequate refuse bins have been placed at strategic positions on columns or against walls to discourage the scattering of litter. The buildings themselves include a meeting room for use by the community and the taxi association.  

The Red Box Security Tower has been designed so that the security officer has an unobstructed view of the whole taxi rank as well as the adjacent soccer kick-about fields and the pedestrian avenue in front of the community centre.

The buildings also include a manager’s office so that adequate management can be provided by the city to control the maintenance, cleaning and operation of this important public transport facility. This is critical, as the facility generates a huge volume of litter deposited by commuters.

Six trading kiosks have been constructed specifically for traders who wish to cook and provide food for commuters and taxi drivers. These will be hired out by the City of Cape Town at a suitable rental to cover operational costs.

All the kiosks have been provided with water, wash basins, fat traps and an extractor fan. The kiosks themselves are separately metered so that water and electricity costs can be recovered from the traders. Six open trading bays have also been demarcated on the new paved area outside the Nomzamo business centre so that informal traders can be accommodated in a controlled environment.

A wash bay has been constructed for two taxis with an overhead canopy and a separately metered water supply. The intention is to provide a business opportunity for an entrepreneur to provide a taxi washing service. The wash bay features an underground oil separator that prevents oil and grease from entering the foul sewer system.

A photovoltaic (PV) system provides adequate electricity supply for 100% of the administration buildings and ablution block when the sun is shining. The PV system can always be expanded in the future to include batteries in order to accommodate lighting at night.

“It is hoped that the Nomzamo community takes ownership of thefacility and proper management control is implemented, so that this public open space can be used for the benefit of the entire community,” Calverey concludes.


Commuters have been regarded as the number-one priority in terms of comfort and safety. (Mobile).jpg Nomzano is a small township just outside Strand in the Western Cape. (Mobile).jpg
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Issue 68