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20 Years of Freedom and Democracy
Catalytic projects to transform the City’s spatial footprint
​An artist’s impression of the R3.6 billion Oceans Umhlanga
development which is described as a “Dubai-style” mixed-use
development, is a first of its kind in terms of design in South
Africa and is expected to change people’s perception about
Durban. This mega project is expected to attract a number of
business and tourists into the City.
IT’S ALL systems go for two large-scale projects in eThekwini Municipality, which are set to boost the City’s rates base and transform its spatial footprint. Lekha Allopi, the Project Executive from the Municipality’s Development Planning Department said the planning applications for Kings Estate and
Oceans Umhlanga have been approved by the Municipality.

Kings Estate is a R42.4 billion private investment project and the first cross border development in the City. This means that municipalities needed to work closely together to ensure that their integrated development plans talked to each other. It also meant that budgets needed to be aligned and infrastructure provision needed to be carefully understood for the project to be effectively delivered.
The developer will deliver to the market a mixed-use development including industrial, commercial and residential zoned sites in the northern parts of the City.

Allopi said this particular development talks directly to the City’s vision of becoming Africa’s most caring and liveable City by 2030 since the development is modelled on delivering quality living, work and play environments. She added that being situated within a 7.5 kilometres away from the Dube Trade Port makes this development “prime and strategic to attract investment”. “The development is earmarked to create 99 000 construction jobs over 20 years and 40 397 permanent jobs once operational,” said Allopi.

Furthermore, she said, the Oceans Umhlanga development is expected to create 15 000 construction jobs as well as 2 500 permanent jobs within the node. “It is also anticipated that rates to the City will be approximately R45 million per annum.” The total capital cost of this development according to the economic study undertaken by the applicant is R3.6 billion with a possible additional R4.8 billion in new business sales and R1.7 billion additional in gross domestic product.

The Oceans Umhlanga development will house3 towers that include elegantly designed residential apartments with sea views, upmarket retail facilities that brings global super-brands to Durban for the first time as well a luxurious five star hotel. Allopi said that in approving the planning application, building plans were being considered for the development.

Building plans were approved for the earthworks and this phase is complete. The next stage is for building plans for the structure to be approved by the City. Phillip Sithole, a champion for the Municipality’s Catalytic Projects Office, situated at the former Lion Match business park in Umngeni Road, said these two projects were identified as catalytic projects within the economic nodes on the City’s integrated development plan as they are in line with the Municipality’s urban renewal programme.

He added that within the uMhlanga node, the City has always remained committed to improving the economic node and over the past years has completed the upgrading the of Chartwell drive, the construction of the Umhlanga Pier, widening of the promenade, made provision of a temporary police station and expanding of the bridge over the M4. “This is evident that when public and private sectors merge, a lot can be achieved such as accelerating development which will attract more foreign investments, tourists and world class events which will boost the City’s revenues,” added Sithole.

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