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The Municipalitys mega development projects advance
​An oversight visit to three of the City’s mega projects, which are
earmarked to boost economic development and sustain jobs was
conducted. Above is an artist impression of the Ntuzuma Mall, which
is one of the developments.
MEMBERS of the City’s Economic Development and Planning Committee, led by its Chairperson Councillor Sipho Kaunda, visited three mega development projects in the northern parts of the City on 5 August.

The project sites visited include the multi-million Dumisani Makhaye Drive, KwaNozaza Node and oThongathi Mall developments to assess if these projects are progressing according to plan. “If there are hiccups, we want to intervene and see where we can assist because these projects will contribute drastically to our Economic Recovery Plan that was hailed by the World Bank. The plan is anchored by eight pillars and one of them is to sustain jobs which becomes very critical in the current situation,” said Councillor Kaunda.

The oversight visit started at the Dumisani Makhaye Drive development, the biggest road infrastructure project in South Africa, to track the progress of the multimillion-rand Midway Crossing Shopping Centre which is part of the entire development and is expected to be completed in September 2021. The committee was satisfied with the progress of the development as per the detailed report presented on site by developers. Milestones achieved at the Midway Mall, which commenced in July 2019, includes earthworks that are completed, piling done and suspended concrete slabs progressing well and being cast on a biweekly cycle. Furthermore, brickwork has commenced, structural steel is being erected and roof sheeting is set to commence in two weeks’ time.

The development employs a total of 602 workers of which 292 are locals. The delegation then proceeded to the Ntuzuma Mall development which is due to start construction in the first second of next year. Councillor Kaunda was pleased to hear that all processes and groundwork that will pave the way for construction of the Ntuzuma Mall has begun. This groundwork involves the relocation of a storm water depot to a nearby site. The project will be a first for the community as it will attract high quality retail stores to the area so that residents will not need to travel to neighbouring malls to do their shopping.

A total of 1 500 employment opportunities are estimated to be created during the construction phase and once the mall is operational. Whip of the Committee, Councillor Mfana Qwabe said one of the pillars in the eThekwini’s Economic Recovery Plan is supporting the rural, township, and informal economy of which the Ntuzuma Mall was a perfect example. “The decision to construct a mall in the area comes after the Municipality conducted a feasibility study which proved that the area is perfect for economic activity due to the movement along the main road, Ithendele Drive.

As part of the entire node development, the nearby taxi rank will receive a boost as well as the construction of traders’ stalls.” The visit concluded at oThongathi Mall which is set to change the retail landscape and offer a first-class shopping experience within the oThongathi shopping district. The mall is already making a rates contribution to the City of about R70 000 monthly. Once it is up and running, the Municipality will collect around R300 000 in rates from the mall. The delegation, which included management from the Economic Development Unit, were impressed with the progress achieved at the site which employs a total staff of 173 during the construction phase with a further 350 to be hired full time once the mall is operational.

Construction of the 18 014 m2 retail shopping space began in June and is expected to open its doors to shoppers in April 2021. Project Manager from oThangathi Mall Owen Nxumalo said: “The site currently runs a two-shift system and has progressed well in meeting milestones through the support of the eThekwini Municipality, Area Based Management as well as all community stakeholders. We have to date completed most of the bulk earthworks as well as piling on site. The concrete work has concluded approximate 45 percent of the work package.

Structural steel and roofing have commenced the first phase of works and progress accordingly.” Nxumalo said the development has to date employed 90 percent local labour, of which 60 percent is youth. He said this was only possible through working together with the local community structures.

nonduduzo.ngcongo@durban.gov.za
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