Transport is a key sector that can shape the fortunes of a suburb. In the case of Philippi this can be the difference between being linked to the city and being isolated from the lifeblood of its economy. Road, rail and air transport upgrades are on the way.
Key transport infrastructure changes are under way which will change access to Philippi. These will allow the transport services that are in place to better serve the people of Philippi – as well as to allow expansion of access.
But more than this, the vision that is taking shape for Cape Town to become an Aerotropolis city brings with it the real possibility that Philippi will finally be able to claim its place in the city’s economy. As the nearest neighbour to the Cape Town International Airport, and with ample vacant industrial land, Philippi is a natural location for expansion of the airport economy .
N2/Borcherd’s Quarry Realignment
The decision of the Western Cape Provincial Government to fund the realignment of the N2 at Borcherds Quarry in a R610m project is a potential game-changer which will transform access to the area and potentially increase the desirability of doing business there. Phase One will see the widening of the highway to three lanes in both directions. A new bridge will be built and Borcherd’s Quarry Road will be realigned so that it links directly over this bridge to New Eisleben Road. New on and off ramps will also be built to connect to the N2.
The MyCiTi public transport network is to be expanded. Of the 16 routes criss-crossing the city of Cape Town, five are scheduled to go through the heart of Philippi. Among the roads that will be upgraded as part of the MyCiTi project are Stock Road, Sheffield Road, Govan Mbeki Road and Imam Haroon Road (formerly Lansdowne Road). Work on Stock Road widening is already under way. The road was recently kerbed (in 2014) on its eastern side, as part of the upgrade project, to make it safer for pedestrians. Dedicated access lanes are to be built to accommodate the buses. This upgrade is valued at R170m and will be followed by further work to accommodate bus stops and planned areas for formal trading.
Train station renewals
The two train stations that serve Philippi (Stock Road and Philippi) are to be upgraded. Planning for the work at the two stations is under way. Philippi is one of the busiest stations in Cape Town with more than 30 000 passengers using the station daily. It is unclear when the work will be completed.
Joe Gqwabi long-distance taxi rank
The upgrading of the rail stations and bus network will feed into the existing transport infrastructure, making the area a key hub for the City. The Joe Gqwabi long distance bus and taxi terminus is located near the Stock Road station. The provincial long-distance bus and taxi testing station is located there too.
The Golden Arrow Bus Services company has a major depot in the heart of Philippi, in Stock Road. It employs around 1,000 people at this facility. Many of the buses that serve the city originate from here each day.