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Mall of the West to kick-start Ntshongweni Urban Development
​An artist impression of what the Mall of the West will look
like once completed in 2022. The construction of this retail
centre, which is expected to begin early next year forms
part of the first phase of the Ntshongweni Urban Development
project.

​The first phase of the much-anticipated Ntshongweni Urban Development is expected to kick-start in 2019 with the construction of the 85 000 square meter regional retail experience, the “Mall of the West” with completion expected in early 2022. Nonduduzo Ngcongo writes about the economic spin-offs of the entire development.

THE R28 billion integrated Ntshongweni Urban Development concept is one of the country’s unique and finest models that is expected to reshape and revitalise Durban’s Outer West by creating a new economic hub in the area.

The mixed-used concept was envisaged and will be developed by Tongaat Hullet Developments in partnership with eThekwini Municipality and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.

Construction of the Ntshongweni Urban Development will span 15 to 20 years and Tongaat Hulett
Developments anticipates that this catalytic development will create 35 000 permanent jobs and 400 000 short-term construction jobs. The project is also expected to generate R700 million in annual rates for the Municipality and R5, 1 billion in annual tax revenue.

The entire pioneer development to cover over 2 000 hectares will include a town centre retail precinct called Mall of the West which will be complemented by residential, commercial, logistics and open space recreational components. The Mall of the West will create over 1000 jobs during the construction phase and an additional 1 500 permanent jobs once the mall is operational. The mall will also present a ground-breaking economic opportunity for local entrepreneurs as it will offer all its 100 percent shares to Durban based businesses.

In keeping with the rest of the development in phases to come, the Mall’s architectural aesthetic will use connected spaces that create a positive and symbiotic relationship between the built and natural environments. The Mall of the West will follow a concept plan like uMhlanga’s Gateway Theatre of Shopping and is at the forefront of building a whole new town to the West of Durban with the idea of connecting people to business, nature, adventure and to each other. To accelerate plans of the development, road upgrades have already begun on Kassier Road where this development is located.

Deputy City Manager for Economic Development and Planning in eThekwini Phillip Sithole said: “We are happy that it’s all systems go for the retail centre construction which will officially mark the beginning of the Ntshongweni Urban Development that is expected to significantly boost socio-economic development for the region.” “We treated the development as catalytic because it is within the corridor of government’s strategic infrastructure project 2 corridor, an initiative developed to improve logistics and transport links between key South African industrial hubs. Located between the port of Durban and inland centre of Johannesburg, Ntshongweni Urban Development will facilitate more streamlined distribution and logistics activities. This will stimulate jobs in the immediate area while, at the same time, having a positive impact on the economy,” he explained.

Sithole commended Tongaat Hullet Developments for their continued commitment to the socio-economic advancement. “This project is proof of what can be achieved if we all put our efforts and resources together to revive the economy. As we attempt to collapse the ruins of socio-economic inequities through radical economic transformation, we are confident that the Ntshongweni Urban Development would be one of the vehicles to assist in accelerating socio-economic change in eThekwini and the province,” added Sithole. Located 30 kilometres west of Durban on theN3, the development is the next logical urban precinct expected to unlock significant economic activity for the outer west sub-region. Capitalising on an impressive existing natural backdrop and integrating several local communities, the development will provide a pioneering framework for environmentally sustainable, community centric and inclusive urbanisation with critical spatial, social and economic linkages.

The Mall of the West will form the heart of the town centre, evoking a unique lifestyle destination that seamlessly links indoor and outdoor spaces. The mall will give residents and visitors a cutting-edge retail and entertainment facility that has a distinct emphasis on lifestyle-enhancing elements.

In addition, Tongaat Hulett Developments will implement their comprehensive iThuba programme to ensure socioeconomic benefits, skills and enterprise development initiatives reach the surrounding communities, ensuring inclusive local participation of local businesses and employees. iThuba programme provides skills and business training to local communities.

nonduduzo.ngcongo@durban.gov.za 
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