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FUTURE CAPE TOWN | PRASA upgrades the old apartheid concourse at Cape Town station




“The new and expanded Parade Concourse is a 12,350 square meter area …”

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The construction phase of the Parade Concourse project started in October 2013 and will reach practical completion by end March 2015

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Key facts: 

  • Architects: Makeka Design Laboratory, DHK , Jakupa 
  •  Engineering: Manong & AssociatesAurecon
  • Job Creation: 393 jobs were created during this 18 months construction by Boshard Construction. Furthermore, it is estimated that more than 200 permanent jobs will be created by the commercial tenants in the Parade Concourse.
  • Project cost: The upgrade was at a cost of R126m
  • Project Managers: Target Project Managers
  • Disabled access: Installed at a cost of R4,8m to provide 4 lifts and 4 escalators.
  • Fire equipment was installed to ensure that the building is fire compliant at a cost of R1,4m.

5On Monday 30 March 2015 , the Group CEO of PRASA – Mr. Lucky Montana took  journalists on a tour on the newly upgraded Parade Concourse at Cape Town Station. This part of the Cape Town Station is of significance because it used to be a segregated section used by non-white commuters only during the Apartheid.

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Background

The Parade Concourse was originally built in 1966 as the “non-white” station of Cape Town and was officially opened on 19 July 1966.  This marked for the first time in 103 year history of the station, the formal segregation of non white commuters from the communities of Langa, Gugulethu, Bonteheuwel and Lavistown.  The Parade was given a minor interior upgrade at a cost of R4m in 1994 following the construction of the station deck taxi rank by the City of Cape Town.

Throughout the refurbishment the main focus was to do away with the apartheid legacy of dividing the station along colour lines, and more importantly enable the improvement of commuter access to operational areas of the station from District Six and Cape Peninsula Technikon and enable a more vibrant university precinct and community at the back of the station.

In 2011 following the World Cup  upgrade of Cape Town Station’s main concours and the Adderley and Strand Street precincts, the plan was to initially upgrade the then existing Parade concourse primarily for rail operations and also provide very limited commercial space.  Given its history and poor performance of businesses in this area, it made good business sense to strengthen the link of this concourse with the taxi and trader areas, together with improved access to platform areas.  Specific focus was also made to improve access to these areas for the disabled, with the provision of lifts and escalators.

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The Upgraded Concourse – 2015

The construction phase of the Parade Concourse project started in October 2013 and will reach practical completion by end March 2015. The new and expanded Parade Concourse is a 12,350 sqm  with a total 4,002 sqm available for commercial use. The overall finishes of the concourse are described as  “world class and in keeping with the same standard as the City Concourse” dispelling any potential confusion of it being of a lower standard than the rest of the upgraded station areas prior to 2010.

PRASA has already leased with a number of retailers and major banks for ATM’s to provide services on this concourse, these include Vodacom, Steers, Pepkor, Debonairs, Zebros Chicken, and a number of local businesses.

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The concourse is equipped with modern speed gates and electronic communication systems which will enhance the commuter experience and ticket offices which are positioned for better access and location at the opposite end of the new concourse.

Credits

  1.  Photos courtesy of PRASA