Cydna and the skydeck

These are two separate matters:


The Cydna Sewage Works once served northern Johannesburg. After their closure and the building of the highway, Cydna was split into a number of portions, including James and Ethel Gray Park (two separate parks on either side of the highway), the Cydna electrical substation, SASCOC, and various municipal uses on the Oaklands border.


The Skydeck is a proposal to build a Petrol Station over the M1 highway from the open piece of land between two rivers near Melrose Arch.

Recent News


18 September 2020 - Skydeck Application Withdrawn and Update on Cydna


The Skydeck:

We have received a letter from Century Property Developments, dated 17 September, stating that they have withdrawn their application in support of developing the Skydeck over the M1, and will not be dealing with this application in any capacity. We will be following up on the details, but on the face of it this appears to be a victory for our neighbourhood!



We have received an update on the Cydna matter from Andre Enslin, who has been acting as Town Planner for the City. He has stated that he has not yet received a proper undertaking / letter of support from the City of Joburg Property Company (JPC) on the matter, and therefore cannot yet finalize the report and establish the steering committee to proceed with the project. We will provide updates as these become available.


17 August 2020 - Skydeck Re-Advertised and Supporting Memorandum Received


The Skydeck has been readvertised, and on the advice of our town planning consultants, we need to resubmit objections within the next two weeks and give them a current date. See the post dated 29 March below for details.


The supporting memorandum, which was not available at the time the application was advertised, has now been received and is available to view here:

Supporting Memo
Skydeck Supporting Memorandum
2020_03_25_Birdhaven Ext1 Memo.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 415.1 KB
Skydeck plan
Skydeck plan
2020_03_19_Layout Plan BH1 Signed.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 722.2 KB


29 March 2020 - Skydeck Application Advertised - OBJECT NOW!


On Wednesday 25 March, just before lockdown, Century advertised the development application for the Skydeck over the M1. We are strongly opposed to the development for the following reasons:

  • It is situated on the confluence of the Sandspruit and the Orange Grove Stream, and is therefore completely unsuitable for a Petrol Station with underground tanks.
  • The area is well served with Petrol Stations already.
  • It will result in further congestion on Athol-Oaklands Road over the highway.

If you care about our environment and do not wish to see a deterioration in our area's traffic, you should be objecting too.


To object:

Please object in the 28 day period - well before 21 April.

Skydeck Objection
Skydeck Objection
Microsoft Word Document 23.3 KB


29 November 2019 - The City Defines a Way Forward



In 2018 the City engaged with interested and affected parties on potential changes in use to the part of Cydna north of Oaklands, west of Athol-Oaklands Road, and south of the Cydna Substation. There was widespread panic about the creation of a mega dump site for Pikitup on the location. The panic was unfortunately not based on fact, but the reaction resulted in the City reflecting on how better to engage with residents on potential changes in the area. This culminated in a meeting with the Planner representing the City and representatives of residents associations of the surrounding area on Tuesday 26 November. The following was presented:

  • The current use of the property is not in line with the zoning or the title deed (and has not been for several decades).
  • The City requires space to relocate the City Parks and Zoo Depot from Paterson Park and intends to merge it with the Cydna Depot. The usage is low impact, with a small group of office workers and field workers based here. 
  • The relocation will result in the redevelopment of the derelict nursery and other neglected spaces.
  • No garden or other refuse areas will be developed on the property.
  • No Pikitup Depot or Offices will be relocated to the property.
  • Community support and input is sought for the re development and regularization of the property.

The presentation was well received, and the following was agreed:

  • A steering group of representatives of local residents associations would work with the City's Planner to craft appropriate conditions and controls for the rezoned properties.
  • These would be presented to the City and to local communities for input prior to finalisation.

Overall, both what has been presented and the City's approach to working with local communities is positive, and is supported by NORA.


The following documentation is of interest:

Cydna Property Development Plan
A description of the proposed changes.
Property Dev Plan Rem Ptn 315 Syferfonte
Adobe Acrobat Document 880.4 KB
Cover Letter from Planner
Describing the process and proposed way forward
Cover Letter PDP Rem Ptn 315 Syferfontei
Adobe Acrobat Document 229.4 KB