The first-phase upgrade of the East Rand Mall taxi rank will soon be complete. The two-phase R12m modernisation of the rank is the final element of the 68,400m2 regional mall’s recent major upgrade programme. The taxi rank update project was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, which stalled the construction industry for several months from March 2020.
First phase of the refurbishment being undertaken at the taxi rank of East Rand Mall.
Situated in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, the project is being undertaken by the East Rand Mall’s co-owners, Vukile Property Fund and Redefine Properties.
As an extension of the East Rand Mall, the rank has grown to become a landmark public transport point in the area. It serves the mall, employees of the mall’s tenants and surrounding businesses. It is used by shoppers, retail workers, commuters, long-haul travellers and the local community. Its users have steadily increased in number over the years, driving the need to upgrade the rank to keep pace with commuter demand and expectations.
Local and cross-border travel
East Rand Mall Taxi Rank is, in fact, two taxi ranks – one for local commuters and the other for cross-border travellers.
The general rank serviced by the VBTA Association, Boksburg District Taxi Association, and Reiger Park Taxi Association, is 8.4 kilometres from Dunswart, the main regional rank that interlinks all destinations on the East Rand. It connects customers to 15 destinations in a radius ranging from 27 kilometres up to 49 kilometres: Tsakane, Vosloorus, Katlehong, Kempton Park, Reiger Park, Daveyton, Thokoza, Thembisa, Johannesburg, Germiston, Ivory Park, Dunswart, Wattville, Springs, and Boksburg.
It is also the main pick-up point for commuters travelling to Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe from the cross-border rank with the Boksburg Cross Border Taxi Association, which offers journeys ranging from 500km to 5,000km. This association is also a courier of goods to its destinations.
East Rand Mall currently upgrading the taxi rank.
Increased area for commuters and taxis
The first phase of the refurbishment includes a wider entrance and new steel structures over the taxi lanes, which increase the area for more commuters and taxis to wait undercover, protected from the elements. Resurfaced roadways feature new islands and fresh markings. A new wash bay area has also been integrated.
The ablution block received a major refresh. Vibrant splashes of colour in reds, oranges and yellows bring its walls to life. More natural light brightens the building’s interior, which features colour blocks in its new epoxy floors.
The second phase, which is scheduled to take place from August to October 2021, will introduce further improvements and add elements designed to activate the ranks’ retail complement.
“We are proud to be working with our owners, Vukile Property Fund and Redefine Properties, the rank’s taxi associations, the metro, and our customers and communities to create a bright, modern space that supports a more enjoyable trip. The taxi rank’s customers are our customers, they work in our stores and nearby businesses and live in our neighbourhood. We are pleased to create a more positive experience for all who make up the East Rand Mall ecosystem. The first phase of the new rank is already looking great, and providing a quality experience that complements that of the mall. We believe it will mean a lot for our customers, and this upgrade has the potential to attract even more customers to the rank and the mall,” says Petra Foord, general manager of East Rand Mall.