Date: 2022-11-07 13:54:24
Kassier Road Upgrade Kickstarts Westown Square Development, The Phase 1A of Shongweni Catalytic Project
The long overdue upgrade of Kassier Rd has begun, enabling the development of the Phase 1A of Shongweni Catalytic Project, officially launched as The Westown Square in August this year.
The Shongweni development is a catalytic project that will be the new economic hub of Durban’s Outer West region, anticipated to generate some R15 billion in new investment over the next 10 -15 years. The development is led by Fundamentum Property Group.
The mixed-use precinct of urban and green spaces at Shongweni is perfectly positioned between Durban and Pietermaritzburg on the country’s main economic arterial, the N3. The first development activity within the Shongweni Urban Development, a 2 000-hectare eThekwini catalytic project, Westown has approved development rights of approximately 517 000m² of bulk floor area.
“The upgrade of Kassier Rd is long overdue and the commitment by the City to the funding of this work has enabled Westown to begin development,” says Fundamentum CEO Carlos Correia. “This upgrade, along with supporting bulk infrastructure (water, wastewater, electricity) has been triggered by the first phase of Shongweni development – Westown Square. A retail high-street offering with open and convenient spaces that connect people to shopping, dining, commercial and recreational amenities, this project is widely recognised as a catalyst for the upliftment of the entire region.”
Infrastructure upgrades include two new bridges and a total make-over of the existing two-lane Kassier Rd across the M13 and N3 into four lanes with a centre median. A new pedestrian bridge will also be added over the N3 along with a new loop ramp and bridge over Kassier Road providing direct access into Westown.
Because of the extent of the Shongweni development and the number of sub-precincts that will come on stream over time, the Kassier Rd upgrade will be implemented over stages. Stage 1 (split into sub-stages A and B) covers the 3km section from Alverstone to Milky Way (MR559) and Stage 2, is from Alverstone to the R103 (Old Main Rd).
- Stage 1A and 1B
Stage 1A runs from the N3 to Milky Way (MR559). Work on this stage began in October 2022 with preparations for the road bypass which will come into play from mid-January 2023. This bypass is located adjacent to Kassier road, after the N3 bridge heading south towards the Shongweni Farmers Market and has been put in place to limit disruptions and facilitate traffic flow, while this section of Kassier Rd is upgraded. It is anticipated that this bypass will be in place for 12-15 months.
Stage 1B, is from the N3 Shongweni interchange heading north to the Hillcrest Hospital/Alverstone intersection. Construction of this portion will commence in early 2023. As the road upgrades progress, so too will the development of Westown Square, with the West Private Hospital, the warehousing and logistics sub-precinct and the first tranch of residential units being phased in.
“Our belief in this project is supported by all three spheres of government, as well as the leadership from surrounding communities and local businesses,” Correia adds. “The road to Westown has been a long time coming, and we are grateful for the support and patience of our neighbours and stakeholders, including the local Chief, indunas and Councillors of Wards 7 and 103, who are working with us to ensure Westown becomes a true asset for the area.”
As part of its commitment to empowering the local community, The Westown Foundation, has been set up to facilitate and amplify local socio-economic opportunities that the development will create in the surrounding communities. The initial focus, in partnership with contractors Stefanutti Stocks and the support of the local Stakeholder Community, is the establishment of an on-site training centre, providing skills development and training in construction and building-related trades. As part of Westown’s commitment to local sustainability, participation, skills transfer and empowerment, these skills will be used on-site as the development of Westown unfolds and facilitate opportunities beyond the training centre.
“The journey to mark the official commencement of the first Phase of the Shongweni Catalytic Project was official confirmed by the Council of eThekwini Municipality in October 2018,” says Phillip Sithole, Deputy City Manager for Economic Development and Planning. “After a long process of completing the statutory planning approvals as well as the confirmation of the financial commitment towards the delivery of the municipal bulk infrastructure required to support the development, the eThekwini Municipality is very excited that actual implementation has finally started. At the sod turning event on 11 August 2022 his Worship, Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, confirmed that the Municipality will be contributing an amount of R595 million towards the municipal bulk infrastructure required for Phase 1A, with the Developer (Fundamentum) contributing an amount of R2 billion.”
“We are very proud to partner with Fundamentum to deliver this important catalytic development, especially in the Outer West region. The development is expected to provide the much needed work and business opportunities, during and post construction stages.
We are looking forward to the official opening of the Westown Square towards the end of 2024,” continues Mr Phillip Sithole.
“This is a clear indication that the eThekwini Municipality remains committed to supporting private investment and will continue working hard for successful partnerships with the private sector in delivering commercially viable developments as they critical in improving the socio-economic condition of the city,” concludes Mr. Phillip Sithole.