City of Joburg

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo

 

Johannesburg Zoo

 

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A multi-million rand parkade currently under construction on Upper Park Drive in Parkview will enable Joburg Zoo to accommodate ever-increasing visitor numbers, while enhancing the experience at the city's favourite family destination.

Construction under way on the Zoo's new multi-million rand parkade
Construction under way on the Zoo's new multi-million rand parkade - LARGER VERSION BELOW. (Photo by Rudo Mungoshi)

"The popularity of the attractions at the Zoo has outpaced its parking needs," Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo project coordinator Shaun Naidoo, who is overseeing construction, said this week.

"The Zoo now welcomes an all-time record of over 600 000 visitors per year," Naidoo said. On busier days, especially on weekends and public holidays, people coming to the Zoo end up having to park along streets in the neighbouring suburbs.

This often results in local residents' driveways being blocked, and has also led to the mushrooming of informal security guards and an increase in vehicle break-ins and theft.

Capacity for 600 vehicles at a time

The new, double-story parking deck will accommodate 600 vehicles at a time, giving residents and tourists secure, quick and convenient entry to the 55-hectare facility, which is home to about 2 000 animals of over 300 different species.

Project coordinator Shaun Naidoo
Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo project coordinator Shaun Naidoo. (Photo by Rudo Mungoshi)

Naidoo said about R17.4-million had been allocated for the first phase of construction, which is expected to be complete by April 2016. A further R20-million will be spent on the second phase, which is scheduled for completion in November 2017.

Until then, visitors are urged to use the Zoo's alternative parking areas at Zoo Lake and on Erlswold Way.

Construction resumes following historic find

Construction was delayed by two months when contractors unearthed a historic midden, or refuse heap, on the site of the new parkade on 23 July.

The find created much excitement from local archaeologists, with City Parks cordoning off the area and suspending construction work to allow the find to be documented and dated.

"The Zoo and Zoo Lake area was a bequest to the City by the Hermann Eckstein family, who used the site to grow timber for the mining industry," Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo said on its Facebook page.

"The area of the find within the Joburg Zoo, which turns 111 years this year, was probably used as a waste disposal site during the height of the gold mining era in the City of Joburg."

Construction of the parking deck only resumed after the archaeologists had documented their findings and compiled a report.

The artefacts, including plates, teapots and medicine bottles thought to be over 100 years old, will eventually be showcased at the University of South Africa (Unisa).

Construction under way on the Zoo's new multi-million rand parkade