Take-off trajectory for Durban Aerotropolis

25 September 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201916471

Commerce & Trade
Government & Municipal
Property – Commercial & Industrial
Special Economic Zones

A ground-breaking, 50-year Durban Aerotropolis Master Plan, designed to create an all new and extensive urban environment around King Shaka International Airport with the potential to attract R1 trillion in investment has been unveiled.

Provincial MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube revealed details of the plan at an event at the Dube TradePort to launch a modern Durban Aerotropolis Visitor Centre.

"This is a purpose-built airport city which aims to enhance urban, regional and national competitiveness and will make KwaZulu-Natal more economically efficient, sustainable and attractive to investment," she said.

Take-off trajectory for Durban Aerotropolis

The aerotropolis, which has been seven years in planning and development, is set to cover some 32,000ha of land centred around the Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone, which forms the growing heart of the emergent new airport city.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala, said the aerotropolis was, “poised to take advantage of rapidly increasing global connectivity, efficient Dube TradePort logistics, Durban's seaport, the Special Economic Zone status of the precinct surrounding the airport and the attendant 'Greenfield' status of the development, and positions KwaZulu-Natal as a highly strategic investment and business destination in South Africa".

He added that the aerotropolis would incorporate business, manufacturers, residential housing, recreation spaces and techno hubs.

"Durban Aerotropolis has the potential to both catalyse the social, spatial and economic transformation of KwaZulu-Natal, whilst simultaneously localising the undoubted benefits of global trends through the implementation of a robust, though flexible long-term development framework," he said.

Dube-Ncube said that the Durban Aerotropolis concept had been adopted in 2012, with the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial government commissioning a KZN Integrated Aerotropolis Strategy. "This was a collaborative effort involving input from a number of Government and industry stakeholders and paved the way for the formulation of the Durban Aerotropolis Master Plan, adopted by Provincial Government in 2017," she said.

The primary objective was to drive rapid infrastructural development as a necessary pre-condition to the attraction of significant levels of private sector investment.

With Dube TradePort already regarded as one of South Africa's top 10 investment opportunities, the organisation's Chairperson, Prof Bridgette Gasa, said: "Durban Aerotropolis is poised to become KwaZulu-Natal's premier development platform for transformation, social cohesion and access to technology, while delivering a sustainable framework for ongoing private and public sector investment opportunities.

“The carefully orchestrated planning and developmental roll-out of the Durban Aerotropolis concept will most certainly give significant impetus to economic development in this strategically important region of South Africa."

Hamish Erskine, CEO of the Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone said the aerotropolis, “represents a massive opportunity to expand new infrastructure that has been brought into the region with the development of the airport and Dube TradePort but also to position the region as an investment destination on the world stage.

“The Durban Aerotropolis will have a footprint 32 000ha of land, translating to 42 million square metres of developable property, open to both public and private sector investment, this will be inclusive of green spaces area that amounts to some 10 000ha. The intention is to create an estimated 750 000 employment opportunities over the 50-year master plan implementation horizon. The entire development has the potential to investment valued at some R1 trillion.”

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