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thohoyandou cbd

Thohoyandou cbd

Legal and illegal car parks occupy 99% of spaces, the taxi ranks and the bus terminus are in grid lock, and festive people occupy 90% of left-over pedestrian spaces. Furthermore, there are a great number of physically challenged people in every street in a celebratory mood, and street traders are occupying all the open spaces they can access for maximum trading opportunities. Meanwhile, robberies by well-armed and violent gangs are going on in two of the largest shopping malls and there were five substantial fires started by arsonists in street bins and shop fronts with flammable materials. Last but not least, some security commander has ordered the closing of all gates to contain the situation.

This article asserts that no part of Thohoyandou’s CBD should be beyond the accessibility requirements of emergency services. If any service cannot access a certain area where it needs to render its services, then it is failing and thus may not be able to respond to the disaster it is called upon to control and eliminate. For the purposes of this study, the accessibility requirements are defined under each of the emergency services in the following sections.

This article argues that police, ambulance and fire brigade services need to access a settlement’s built fabric timely to execute their emergency functions. If the services’ ability to penetrate the built form is compromised for any reasons, then the situation of disaster risk is greater. This is the rationale behind undertaking this investigation.

A figure-ground approach to the Thohoyandou CBD was constructed from a 2012 Thohoyandou BA Locality Map. Urban morphology construction depicted underlying properties of each element of urban form as they apply in the CBD.

The South African Police Service

The study methodology consisted of several approaches. Firstly, an urban morphology approach with specific reference to figure-ground spatial mapping was undertaken for (1) the underlying erven structure, (2) the built form, (3) open spaces and parking spaces, (4) street-level obstacles and (5) street trading areas. The purpose of the application of this approach was to determine how the properties inherent in the above morphological schemata may impact emergency vehicular and pedestrian accessibility to all parts of the CBD.

The CBD shows that ambulances would face some serious obstacles arising from the configuration of the built form. Examples include the north-west corner of the CBD where an ambulance would have to drive in circles to reach its destination. To the south and south west, the continuously built-up area acts as another set of barriers. A large part of the CBD would require ambulance personnel to move with stretchers and medical equipment on foot. Other problem areas are summarised in Table 3 .

A framework for disaster risk management was developed at the 2005 World Conference on Disaster Reduction. It is stated that the framework was developed in the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005–2015): Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. It was summarised by a five-point ‘to do’ list (see Table 1 ).

Assessing Thohoyandou central business district’s accessibility

In evaluating the penetration of the physical structure of the CBD, the study investigated pathways for police foot patrols and police vehicles. Further assumptions were that (1) the police would depart from the police station and (2) the police could approach any part of the CBD from any vantage point using the CBD ring road. The police pathways ( Figure 8 ) shows that foot patrols and vehicles would be in a position to penetrate any part of the CBD. There are 23 drivable entries into the CBD: four from the north, three from the east, eight from the south and eight from the west. The number of foot patrol entrance points into the CBD is beyond counting.

Complicating the role of ambulance services and the CBD situation is that there is no hospital or a large medical facility within Thohoyandou’s CBD. Therefore, any ambulance attending to the needs of the CBD population would have to drive from (1) the University of Venda Clinic (5–7 min drive away), (2) Tshilidzini Hospital (8–10 min drive away) and (3) Donald Frazer Hospital (30–45 min drive away) or Elim Hospital (at least 1 h drive away).

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