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Stutterheim Project

Aspire’s concept has re-defined Stutterheim’s urban edge by having linked the development of the town with Mlungisi township through a new access road and bridge. Besides this, the aim is to consolidate development along the N6’s urban zone into Stutterheim town.

Aspire’s project initiatives focus on:

1. Spatial integration of the town’s centre with Mlungisi to open up new economic opportunities

On 09 June 2012 the official hand-over of the R15m Cumakala Bridge and access road took place. The Cumakala Bridge is providing Stutterheim residents easy access to either side of the bridge: the Mlungisi Township and the town centre of Stutterheim.

The bridge, which is funded by the National Treasury's Neighbourhood Development Partnership Grant and was implemented by Aspire and the Amahlathi Municipality, halves the distance of residents' journey between Stutterheim and Mlungisi.

For generations, residents of the Mlungisi Township have had to travel four kilometres on treacherous roads or walk two kilometres through a steep, slippery valley to reach Stutterheim. Thus, the construction of a bridge linking Mlungisi to Stutterheim's town centre is a boon to residents and the economic development of the area.

The construction of the bridge was originally suggested by the community to celebrate the 150th year of Stutterheim's existence. Residents, however, envisioned a pedestrian bridge linking the communities. The project was upgraded by Aspire to accommodate motorists. The project's construction was unique. To maximise community benefit, it was built using the most labour-intensive methods available: an arched design built using bricks. Today the bridge is a new beautiful feature in town. Street lights have been placed to increase pedestrian safety at night along the road, and a pedestrian walkway leading all the way up to Mlungisi to promote safe walking.

2.  Nodal development: Mlungisi Community Commercial Park

Construction of a community commercial park at Mlungisi has started in October 2011 to provide a variety of services to Mlungisi residents and surrounding areas. These include a satellite post office and police station; a municipal pay point; library, multipurpose community hall; LoveLife youth centre & clinic; pharmacy; entertainment areas including an amphitheatre, sports fields and wellness centre; and retail shops such as a supermarket, market area, restaurant, hair salon, hardware store, clothing store amongst others.

Doors will open to the public by early April 2013.  In the interim, lease agreements will be signed and support provided to emerging entrepreneurs who want to take up this business opportunity. This is done in cooperation with the Eastern Cape Development Corporation, the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the Small Enterprise Development Agency.

Commercial space is still available for rent. Aspire welcomes tenants or any community initiative that are interested in providing services such as a cell phone shop; restaurant or take away; insurance services; funeral services outlet or furniture shop.

Central business district upgrade

A facelift for Stutterheim, the gateway to the Amathole mountain range, was identified as a priority intervention. The intention is to increase the town’s appeal for residents and visitors, as well making it more user friendly for pedestrians, vehicles and taxis.  The upgrade officially started on the 18 July 2011 and is estimated to be complete around June 2012. The area to be upgraded includes the roads within the central business district with the highest concentration of pedestrian traffic and commercial activity; areas along the two main roads McLean and Hill Streets, the intersection at Grey Square and the main taxi rank and immediate surrounds. Works to be undertaken will include: repair existing and the laying of new paving on pavements, new benches & trees, extension of the existing taxi rank, and partial closure of Hill Street, repair and upgrade of the north half of Grey Square and its closure for vehicular traffic, improvement of facilities for informal traders, public toilet facilities, and street lighting upgrade.

A brand for the town

Stutterheim has also launched its new town brand “Stutterheim – Pure Pleasure”. The brand was developed via a public community campaign where people from Stutterheim were asked: What is Stutterheim to you? The poems and stories submitted from a variety of residents told the story of the town and what it means to its population.  It became evident that “Stutterheim is the sanctuary of rich, natural hospitality that is expressed through its essential beauty and its spirited people” In short: Stutterheim is PURE PLEASURE.

Central business district upgrade

To live up to the brand: Pure Pleasure; a facelift for Stutterheim, the gateway to the Amathole mountain range, was identified as a priority intervention. The intention is to increase the town’s appeal for residents and visitors, as well making it more user friendly for pedestrians, vehicles and taxis.  The upgrade officially started on the 18 July 2011 and is estimated to be complete around July 2012. The area presently being  upgraded includes the roads within the central business district with the highest concentration of pedestrian traffic and commercial activity; areas along the two main roads McLean and Hill Streets, the intersection at Grey Square and the main taxi rank and immediate surrounds. Works that are undertaken l include: repair existing and the laying of new paving on pavements, new benches & trees, extension of the existing taxi rank, and partial closure of Hill Street, repair and upgrade of the north half of Grey Square and its closure for vehicular traffic, improvement of facilities for informal traders, public toilet facilities, and street lighting upgrade.

Petro Park along the N6

  • Facilitating investments into a Petro Park; a one-stop facility for travellers along the N6 at the town’s entrance from East London. The Petro Park shall include a service station, coffee shops, visitor’s information office and entertainment area for the young ones;

To kick-start the developments, National Treasury’s National Development Partnership grant has allocated a funding envelope to Aspire of R273 million to include the small towns of Alice, Butterworth, Dutywa, Hamburg and Stutterheim.

 

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