and ta-rah... HERE IT IS. The new super dooper pedestrian mall leading down the main street in the city centre (Govan Mbeki Ave), with unique prototype vendors stalls which provide shade and lock up facilities for vendors, so that they don't have to schlep their goods back and forth.
This is a famous photo of a major flood in the Baakens River, in 1908, when this mule ended up on a roof! You can see the Tramways building on the top right of the picture, with water washing through it.
As recently as August 2006, the river flooded again, this torrent was the road leading past the Tramways Building, as you can see the street lights which are normally on the centre island are now in the river!
The road was completely washed away, and it is a major project to replace the bridge, so for now, it is still blocked off, and a detour takes you around the hole in the road.
Given all this, it is good news to hear that a project is being considered, which will remove the canal, dam up the river to create a natural lake, and establish it with indigenous plants and waterlife to produce a balanced ecosystem. This will tend to absorb much of the impact of future floods, as well as creating a pleasant environment around the revamped building. Let's hope this plan gets off the ground soon. It is exciting to see that people are at last waking up and entertaining these visionary ideas, and actually beginning to implement some of them. Watch this space!!