Rawsonville, as an attractive Winelands village, is in a dismal state. Its potential is astronomical; its utilisation of this potential is almost zero. The main reason being, the main thoroughfare is in the worst condition, possibly the most dismal of any Western Cape town. It is undeniably, falling to pieces.
This road, in recent years has begun carrying heavier and heavier traffic loads, with more and more Robertson and other Route 62 towns using the route as a short-cut to avoid driving through Worcester. However, Rawsonville does not benefit from the increase in travellers as the town is unashamedly, an eyesore.
Buildings of heritage value exist, but the majority of the buildings have fallen to lower-order tenants, the sidewalks and roads are in disrepair, street lighting is unsightly and of poor quality and landscaping is non-existent. This is partly due to the road being classified as provincial, disallowing locals to make any aesthetic improvements.
This situation must be remedied urgently, but not in context of Rawsonville simply being a semi-urban blip on a provincial route, but should rather be treated as an urban entity with potential, that quality infrastructure will help unlock. In the proposed scheme, the road will remain its current width, as the traffic it carries cannot justify the widening of sidewalks etc. However, pedestrian and urban landscaping improvements must be made to Van Riebeeck Street, particularly the section between Brand and Porter Streets.
This scheme includes the bricking of sidewalks, the brick-paving of intersections, the inclusion of narrow islands at street intersections for landscaping, the planting of an avenue of trees abutting both sides of the street. However, trees must be carefully selected, choosing species that have a fibrous and non-invasive root system, to provide shade and beauty, but leave subterranean infrastructure unharmed.
Street lighting must also be addressed. Lighting is poor, non-conducive to any night-time activity and is an aesthetic eyesore. The aforementioned improvements will work wonders in acting as a catalyst to boost Rawsonville’s tourism and investment potential. Currently, tourism services and any property investment in Van Riebeeck Street is non-existent; this is due in most part to poor infrastructure, an unsightly main thoroughfare and Friday evening and Saturday morning unruliness.