Eco­nomic plan to boost prop­erty

The west coast town of Sal­danha Bay is set to come into its own if de­vel­op­ment zone plans get the green light. Lea Jacobs re­ports

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PROGRESS to­wards the dec­la­ra­tion of Sal­danha Bay as an In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Zone (IDZ) is well un­der way. The town is lo­cated on the Cape’s West Coast, about 120km north of Cape Town, and its port was re­cently de­vel­oped into a mod­ern har­bour with the con­struc­tion of a deep-wa­ter jetty to ac­com­mo­date ore ships.

Named af­ter An­tónio de Sal­danha, a cap­tain of one of the ships in Afonso de Al­bu­querque’s fleet that vis­ited SA in 1503, the town’s lo­ca­tion makes it a favourite spot for wa­ter en­thu­si­asts. Verg­ing on the desert of Na­maqua­land, the re­gion has a Mediter­ranean cli­mate, al­beit with low an­nual rain­fall.

The in­ten­tion to de­clare the de­vel­op­ment zone was gazetted in Novem­ber last year, with a pub­lic comment phase clos­ing this past Jan­uary. Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Rob Davies is now study­ing the feed­back, and will con­sult with the Cabi­net be­fore mak­ing a fi­nal de­ci­sion — al­though this is ex­pected in a mat­ter of months. Signs are pos­i­tive, with Davies say­ing in Fe­bru­ary that a fea­si­bil­ity study had found Sal­danha Bay to be an ideal lo­ca­tion for the de­vel­op­ment of both an oil and gas cen­tre and a marine re­pair hub.

Pam Gold­ing Prop­erty area man­ager for the West Coast, Stephanie Wynne Cole, says the town forms part of the larger Sal­danha Bay mu­nic­i­pal­ity, which also in­cor­po­rates nearby Vre­den­burg and Ja­cob­s­baai. To­gether they are home to just un­der 100,000 peo­ple. The area's eco­nomic char­ac­ter is an­chored by its nat­u­ral deep-wa­ter port, which has al­ready at­tracted sig­nif­i­cant in­dus­trial ac­tiv­ity — ArcelorMit­tal’s steel-man­u­fac­tur­ing plant, Sea Har­vest, Na­makwa Sands (Exxaro) and Dur­feco. There are also three mil­i­tary bases in the area, and a num­ber of smaller busi­nesses and en­ter­prises.

“The IDZ process has iden­ti­fied four main sec­tors for fur­ther de­vel­op­ment,” says Wynne Cole, “namely re­new­able en­ergy, oil and gas, mar­itime ship build­ing, and steel and min­er­als. It is es­ti­mated that the pro­ject will cre­ate at least 4,500 di­rect jobs in its first year, and up to 15,000 in sub­se­quent years. And in fact, a re­cent study by the Univer­sity of Cape Town Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness has in­di­cated that th­ese fig­ures might even be con­ser­va­tive.

“That study also found that for ev­ery rand spent on the IDZ pro­ject, some R9.50 in re­turn will be gen­er­ated — one of the high­est cost-to-ben­e­fit ra­tios the team of econ­o­mists has ever en­coun­tered for such projects.”

What does this mean for prop­erty in the area? If the IDZ goes ahead, Wynne Cole says it will bring a huge in­flux of pro­fes­sion­als and their teams who will be work­ing on the new in­dus­trial and port de­vel­op­ments, and who will all need ac­com­mo­da­tion in the area. “There is al­ready very big rental de­mand in Sal­danha and Vre­den­burg,” she says, “es­pe­cially in the R2,000 to R6,000/month price range. We are al­ready short of stock, and with de­mand set to in­crease ex­po­nen­tially, it would seem to be an ex­cel­lent time for in­vestors to ac­quire buy-to-let properties. With the cre­ation of so many sus­tain­able new jobs, there will also surely be in­creased de­mand for buy-to-live properties from those who will be set­tling per­ma­nently in the area, or who find their eco­nomic sta­tus im­proved by the op­por­tu­ni­ties as­so­ci­ated with the IDZ.”

Pric­ing in the area cov­ers a range of properties, in­clud­ing older homes and new de­vel­op­ments, in a va­ri­ety of price ranges. An en­try-level small home can be ob­tained from R300,000 to R800,000, while mid-level properties are priced be­tween R800,000 and R1.2m. At the top end of the lo­cal mar­ket, larger and more lux­u­ri­ous homes can fetch from R1.2m to R6m, or even more for man­sions lo­cated on the beach­front. There are also a num­ber of va­cant stands still avail­able for de­vel­op­ment.

“The new job op­por­tu­ni­ties cre­ated by the IDZ will … boost de­mand for homes, both rented and owned.

“The pro­ject will also ex­pose many new po­ten­tial buy­ers to the su­perb life­style on of­fer in the Sal­danha area. Be­sides the ap­peal of the beau­ti­ful bay and its beach­front, there are am­ple sports fa­cil­i­ties, restau­rants, churches and so­cial clubs to en­joy.

“The West Coast Mall in Vre­den­burg has boosted the pres­ence of ma­jor retailers, while med­i­cal care is avail­able in Vre­den­burg, which has both govern­ment and pri­vate hos­pi­tals. For those want­ing to set­tle fam­i­lies in this idyl­lic en­vi­ron­ment, there are nu­mer­ous school­ing op­tions, in­clud­ing both pri­vate and govern­ment schools.”

This five-bed­room home in Ja­cob­s­baai looks di­rectly onto the ocean and sur­round­ing fyn­bos. Oc­cu­py­ing 891m², the home also has two re­cep­tion rooms and a garage. It is on the mar­ket at R3.7m.

This beau­ti­ful home on the front row in Ja­cob­s­baai is cur­rently run as a pop­u­lar guest house. Set on just more than 800m² of land, the prop­erty of­fers six en-suite bed­rooms, a dou­ble garage and two re­cep­tion rooms, as well as a pretty out­door braai area. It is on the mar­ket at R8.2m.

This prop­erty is lo­cated on the front row in Jac­bos­baai, a pop­u­lar hol­i­day area just north of Sal­danha Bay. The four-bed­room home has im­ported bam­boo floor­ing, a neat gar­den and two pa­tios, one with a built-in braai. A wooden deck runs around the house de­liv­er­ing un­in­ter­rupted ocean views. The prop­erty is on the mar­ket at R4.9m.

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