Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Parks Tau officially unveiled the new-look Bruma Lake, which has over several months undergone extensive rehabilitation to restore it to its former glory.
Affectionately known as the “Jewel of the East”, the popular Johannesburg landmark lost its shine a number of years ago following high levels of pollution and contamination. The sludge in the lake was a result of washing powder, motor oil, sewage, litter and other debris flowing into it from the Jukskei River.
Rehabilitated at a cost of R71.5-million, the much cleaner, fully rehabilitated and environmentally friendly commercial node – which consists of a lake, park and bridge – is expected to boost business confidence in an area that for years has been a source of discomfort and frustration among residents and businesspeople.
The unveiling follows several attempts to rejuvenate the lake.
Over the years, the City carried out extensive consultations and engineering studies to determine the interventions that needed to be effected to rehabilitate it and restore its surroundings to their natural order and let nature take its course.
Solar-powered floaters were installed three years ago but they failed to achieve the desired results. After several interventions to address the pollution and water quality, the lake was closed in 2014 to make way for its conversion into a park. The contractor moved on site in May 2014. The first phase started in June 2014 with the draining of the lake. The Jukskei River was diverted from the centre of the lake, giving way to the construction of the channel. Phase two, which involved landscaping, was completed in January 2015.
As part of improving public safety around the area, which had become a crime hot spot, the project included the rehabilitation of the bridge.
Guests of the Mayor included Members of his Mayoral Committee, CoJ officials, City of Ekurhuleni officials and the outgoing Democratic Alliance Ward Councilor Cllr Mike Spadino.