“Tourists and residents are enjoying the upgraded view point at 230 Currie Road which offers a panoramic view of the city from a vantage point on the hillside.
The site offers the best views in Musgrave,” said Ward 31 Councillor, Chris Pappas.
“The site has created an attraction to our area which will help to attract tourists who will hopefully spend money in our restaurants and shops thus supporting local business. The site upgrade will also help to remove elements of crime that are associated with grime and under maintained open spaces.
“Lastly, the space provides a tranquil space for outdoor activities such as yoga for residents who would like to use the space. The Botanical Gardens, through their trust and the curator’s office, came forward with an idea to create a walking path from the gardens up to the Currie Road site. Funds became an issue, however, as part of my councillors ward allocation for infrastructure we were able to replace the old fence, remove the razor wire, install some benches and bins and start with the path to the gardens,” added Pappas.
According to Martin Clement, curator of the Durban Botanic Gardens, the upgrade included clearing bush to broaden the view on offer. “Some invasive alien tree clearing on the right hand side has also provided for a much wider panoramic view. Residents have also been encouraged to make use of the site for passive recreation – hence the seating and bins that were installed along with the other upgrade work towards the end of last year,” he added.
Clement said that Botanic Gardens got involved with the upgrade after noticing its potential to wow tourists visiting the city. The Currie Road Reservoir provides a fantastic view over the Botanic Gardens and city skyline – from Moses Mabhida Stadium looking across the inner city skyline to the right. We have noticed a regular influx of tourists making using of the revamped reservoir site as a stopover to enjoy the view and take photos,” added Clement.
Clement said that there has been a need to improve the visitor connection between the lower and upper portions of the Durban Botanic Gardens that was divided due to the construction of Edith Benson Crescent during the early 1920s.
“Whilst future plans include building a proposed canopy boardwalk style bridge over the road; the shorter interim measure has been the construction of a trail from the upper gardens to Currie Road. It just so happened that we had an opportunity to clear the overgrown passage adjacent to the Currie Road Reservoir linking to the upper gardens.
The reservoir having a great view of the city and its proximity to the upper gardens, prompted the upgrade of the grassed area on top of the reservoir and development of the first phase of the trail that runs from either side of the upper gardens towards the reservoir,” added Clement. In addition to the viewpoint upgrade, Clement said that further plans include a trail that visitors can enjoy. “We are in the process of completing the trail from the upper gardens to the reservoir. The final section leading up past the reservoir to Currie Road will likely be completed in the next couple of months,” added Clement.