Road Closures and Safety Arrangements for Athlone Towers Demolition | Western Cape Government


Road Closures and Safety Arrangements for Athlone Towers Demolition

11 August 2010

Part of the N2 and the M17 (Jan Smuts Drive), as well as the Metrorail line between Langa and Pinelands station, fall within this exclusion zone and will therefore be closed for part of the day. Other road closures may be necessary to avoid gridlock in the area.

Officers from City Law Enforcement Services, Metro Police, City Traffic Services, Provincial Traffic Services as well as the South African Police Services (SAPS) will be deployed on the demolition day to enforce road closures, traffic rules, re-direct motorists to alternative routes and to ensure public safety.

No-one will be allowed within the 300m exclusion zone. All possible measures are being taken to ensure that the debris will not spread. The exclusion zone is, however, an essential precautionary measure.


No vehicles will be allowed to stop in the exclusion zone prior to the demolition and during the clean-up and restoration. All road closures will be implemented at 11:00 on the day of the demolition.

1. Closure of the N2 freeway

Pinelands residents who need to access Raapenberg Road from the N2 outbound will still be allowed past the road block at the M5, but no one will be allowed on the N2 past the Raapenberg turn-off.

No motorists will be allowed on the N2 inbound past Vanguard Drive and the Vanguard Drive off-ramp onto the N2 inbound will be closed. Langa residents will need to use Washington Street at Vanguard Drive to enter and exit Langa.

Alternative routes for the N2
Motorists leaving the city centre are advised to avoid the N2 and to rather travel on the N1, if their destination is east of Athlone. Officers will redirect motorists travelling on the N2 outbound onto the M5 north, from where they can access the N1, and travel back to the N2 via Vanguard Drive.

The City urges residents to make use of this detour and to not travel through the suburbs to access the N2 past Vanguard Drive. Even though the route via the M5 and N1 is a greater distance, it will still be quicker to follow this route than to travel through the suburbs. Using the identified detour will also avoid any traffic problems in urban areas and smaller roads.

2. Closure of the M17 (Jan Smuts Drive)

People travelling on Jan Smuts Drive from the South towards the N2 will be stopped at Klipfontein Road, but residents of the Bokmakierie and Hazendal areas who need to access their homes via Jan Smuts Drive north of Klipfontein Road will be allowed past the road block. No one will be allowed to travel north on Jan Smuts Drive past 12th Avenue, next to the entrance of the City's Athlone Waste Water Treatment Plant.

In the Pinelands area, no one will be allowed to travel in a southerly direction on Jan Smuts Drive past the Viking Way turn-off.

Alternative routes for the M17
Motorists travelling north on Jan Smuts Drive towards the N2 will be redirected onto Klipfontein Road to access either the M5 in the west to travel towards the N1, or Vanguard Drive in the east to access the N2 towards the airport.

Those travelling on Jan Smuts Drive in a southerly direction from Pinelands will be redirected onto Viking Way, which will take them to Vanguard Drive. Motorists travelling in a westerly direction on Viking Way towards Jan Smuts Drive, will not be able to turn left into Jan Smuts Drive (south), but will be redirected onto Jan Smuts Drive north through Pinelands towards Berkley Road and the M5.

3. Rail closure

Security guards will be deployed between Langa and Pinelands station on the rail line to prevent people from walking along side the rail environment. The Railway Police from the South African Police Service will also be out in full force to prevent any pedestrian crossing the railway lines.

4. Air space closure


The entire 300m exclusion zone will be cordoned off with natural boundaries (the Black River), fencing and law enforcement officers to prevent anyone from entering the area. All pedestrian routes that lead to the exclusion zone will also be carefully monitored.

Although a dust cloud is expected after the implosion, the impact should be minimal. The City will take all possible precautionary measures to minimise the dust.

There is no asbestos in the towers. Residents of the surrounding areas who suffer from medical conditions such as respiratory problems are encouraged to rather stay indoors during the implosion, and for about an hour afterwards.

Residents are also reminded to keep their pets indoors during the blast, or to consult their veterinarians about how to protect them from the noise.

It is expected that the blast will exceed 135 decibels, therefore the public who are planning to watch the implosion and will not be indoors, are urged to use ear plugs. Parents in the surrounding areas are requested to take due care of the health and well-being of their children and take the necessary advisory precautionary measures.

Issued by:
Communication Department
City of Cape Town

An exclusion zone of 300 metres around the Athlone Cooling Towers will be enforced when they are demolished by implosion at noon on Sunday 22 August 2010. This measure is aimed at ensuring the safety of residents and general public safety in the surrounding areas.

    • The N2 (Settler's Way) will be closed between the M5 (Black River Parkway) and the M7 (Vanguard Drive) from 11:00 until approximately 13:00. The road will be re-opened as soon as it has been deemed clear and safe for use.
      Jan Smuts Drive will be closed to all traffic (pedestrian and vehicular) between Klipfontein Road in the South and Viking Way in the north from 11:00 until approximately 13:00. The road will be re-opened as soon as it has been deemed clear and safe for use.
      Between 11:00 and 14:00, all trains on the Kapteinsklip Line will be rerouted to operate via the Maitland link between Salt River and Mutual, both directions. Once the line has been declared safe, Metrorail will resume the service as per the normal train schedule for the Kapteinsklip Line. Trains on the Cape Flats Line will not be affected by the demolition of the Athlone towers and will operate according to schedule.
      The airspace around the Athlone Cooling Towers has been restricted and non-scheduled flight operations by private aircraft are prohibited to operate within these declared restricted areas. The commercial airlines flights will not be affected, however, passengers, shuttles, tour operators and taxis that will be travelling to the airport to depart from Cape Town International Airport are encourage to familiarise themselves with the alternative transportation arrangements and to leave early in order to not miss their flights.
Media Enquiries: 

Pieter Cronjé
City of Cape Town
Cell: 082 465 4965

Wilfred Solomons-Johannes
Project Manager
Disaster Risk Management
Cell: 084 711 7709