Get ready for traffic pain as Joburg prepares for a 2 year overhaul of Jan Smuts Ave

The City of Joburg will proceed with a planned expansion of Jan Smuts Avenue in the Parktown area and beyond, in a two-year project that will impact congestion levels and travel times for many residents in the area.

According to DA ward councillor for the area, Tim Truluck, the contract for the project will likely go out to tender by March or April, with the hope that the upgrade will be completed by mid-2020.

It is expected to involve major roadworks on and around Jan Smuts, stretching from Zoo Lake to Bompas road. The drive behind the project is to alleviate traffic congestion in the area, and will be the start of a new phase in infrastructure upgrades in the city.

Following meetings with the Joburg Road Association and other consultants, Truluck said that the project will directly affect Saxonwold, Parkwood, Rosebank, Parktown North, Dunkeld and Dunkeld West.

Other details from the consultations include:

  • There will be 2 lanes on both side and it will go from Erlswold Rd to just after Bolton Rd; and again from Jellicoe Ave to just before Bompas Rd.
  • It will have a central median that will divide the two sides. This means that some roads – Westwold, Ashwold, Rutland, Sussex, Newport, 12th Ave, Smits – will be left turn in and out only.
  • Intersections will have marked pedestrian crossings and wheelchair slopes. No new traffic lights or stop streets will be installed.
  • There will be a 1.5m wide sidewalk and a 1m planted area between the sidewalk and road on both sides.
  • Services will have to be removed or realigned. This will result in occasional outages due to accidents and reconnections/work. A Community Liaison Advisor will be appointed to handle these type of problems.
  • The trees will be removed. A heritage study was done to determine this. The JRA will provide a tree for planting in the neighbourhood green areas for every tree removed. No trees will be replanted in the road reserve.
  • The whole road reserve will be used, so properties will not be able to use it for parking anymore. If they have built over it, it will need to be demolished. These property owners will be notified.
  • One side of the road will be done at a time allowing 2 lanes still to be used for traffic flow. But there will be congestion. And rat running.

According to a ward newsletter sent out by the councillor, he said a public meeting will be held later in February to discuss the plans, with more details coming soon.

“It will be a trying time for all of us, but it is one of those things that needs to be done. Much of this type of work was put off in the past – now we have to play catch up,” Truluck said.


The City of Joburg has embarked on a major city revitalisation project over the past few years, which has seen a lot of main routes – including the M1 double-decker highway – get a facelift.

The most recent project included the R30 million upgrade of the M2 to alleviate traffic congestion on the route, and followed R120 million and R90 million upgrades to the M1.

[Image source: City of Joburg Twitter]


Read: How much time South Africans lose to traffic every day

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