Its a go! Urban development gets green light
17 October 2018 | Web Article Number: ME201812300
With all development rights in place, civil construction on the much awaited Ntshongweni Urban Development will commence in early 2019. This 2 000-hectare project located 30 kilometres west of the Port of Durban on the N3, is the next logical urban precinct expected to unlock significant economic activity for the city’s largely underserviced outer west subregion. Ntshongweni Urban Development is ultimately set to provide a framework for environmentally sustainable, community-centric and inclusive urbanisation.
As the primary land steward, Tongaat Hulett is responsible for the overall development vision and concept framework plan that aligns with public sector policy, plans and objectives. This extends to the creation of compelling and tailored real estate solutions for developers, investors, future residents and end users within Ntshongweni Urban Development. The site is situated with KwaNdengezi and Dassenhoek to the south, Summerveld to the west, Assagay and Hillcrest to the north and on completion will provide critical spatial, social and economic linkages to the existing surrounding communities.
The first phase of the multiple phased development, the Retail and Urban Core will anchor the Ntshongweni Urban Development as a mixed use, urban precinct centred around a new regional retailing offering. This will be followed by a variety of other uses including residential, logistics, recreational, warehousing and leisure components. The pioneering design will make substantial provision for the site’s ecological wellbeing as well as responding to the needs of the people who use it. Tongaat Hulett Developments Managing Director, Michael Deighton says, “All development rights for the Retail and Urban Core are in place and we officially have the go ahead to break ground in the first quarter of 2019.”
Commencing with essential road upgrades to Kassier Road, the first phase of construction in the Retail and Urban Core precinct will ultimately generate 19 000 construction jobs. Deighton says, “The road upgrades are necessary to accommodate future growth, paving the way for this new precinct.”
Ntshongweni’s prime location on the N3 which links Durban to the economic heartlands of Gauteng and the Free State will bring substantial economic benefits especially from the logistics sector.
Tongaat Hulett Developments Managing Director, Michael Deighton says, “The N3 corridor is currently the country’s busiest transport route and will be upgraded in line with the aim of improving the country’s logistics and transport links. Linking into this important strategic corridor, the people-centred Ntshongweni Urban Development will create a benchmark for the way in which new, integrated, inclusive South African urban precincts are developed. From urban planning through to the residential, retail, commercial, recreational, logistics and light industrial activities, the mixed uses of this area are vast.”
Approximately 1 000 hectares of open space is being allocated for passive and active recreational use. Deighton says, “The area is well known for its outdoor pastimes with a strong horse riding, trail running and cycling community already enjoying the surrounds, and we aim to elevate and enhance these activities for established and new communities to access and enjoy.”
With people’s social needs and those of the environment forming the bedrock of the development’s design, Tongaat Hulett Developments will implement their comprehensive iThuba programme to ensure socio-economic benefits are felt where needed most. Bongani Gumede, Tongaat Hulett’s Executive responsible for community, public and private partnerships in execution states that, “This tried and tested approach will embed social relevance, access to opportunities, localisation of skills, enterprise development and the creation of sustainable inclusive communities in every facet of the development execution.”
Over the 20-year construction period, Ntshongweni is expected to generate 400 000 temporary construction jobs, 35 000 permanent jobs, R700 million in annual rates for the eThekwini Municipality and R5,1 billion in annual tax revenue. The new urban core will offer residents shopping and leisure opportunities currently only available to them through expensive and time-consuming travel. Deighton comments, “Capitalising on this area’s beauty, the development will bring much welcomed progress while providing a turn-key solution for unlocking the region’s significant potential and therefore improving the quality of life for the people residing in the area.”
Deighton concludes, “Despite the current economic downturn, we are fully confident in Ntshongweni’s immense potential to bring more people closer to essential employment opportunities and urban services and amenities while creating a favourable investment climate for investors and developers. These far-reaching socio-economic benefits are why the development is regarded as a catalyst for change in this underserviced semi-rural area.”