Banking on the Vaal River
In the quest for economic progress, mega c i t y developments a r e becoming almost commonplace in South Africa. First, there was Waterfall Estate, then Steyn City, followed by Modderfontein New City. The latest is Vaal River City, another mammoth R11bn project located on the banks of t he Vaal River bet ween Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark.
Mirroring major cities around the world that reside on the water’s edge, the 250ha portion of land, with its sweeping, panoramic views of the Vaal River and 6km of river frontage, will form the Vaal River City development, which aims to regenerate t his key industrial node in Southern Gauteng, once a thriving hub of the steel industry.
Central to the node’s revival is the Vaal River, the untapped potential of which the Vaal River City Development Company intends to unlock with its new hydropolis and entertainment hub.
Heading up the Vaal River City Development Company i s CEO Reggie Kukama, with original owner Giuseppe Plumari retaining a 30% stake. Acquired by Plumari in 1996 and incorporated into Steyn City Properties, the 250ha site was sold to the BEE consortium of Kukama, Bridgman Sithole and Fernando Acafrao in 2008. The new development owns the land and has the commitment of government to partner with it towards contributing services and infrastructure.
“This 250ha portion of land is the most prominent land available in the region, situated among some of the major road networks including the R59 and R42 and is f lanked by two bridges that cross the river to Sasolburg. It is not only highly accessible and visible, it is also ideally situated and its 6km of ‘coastline’ makes it prominent and desirable from a leisure perspective. When you talk about position, position, position, this piece of land has all those attributes making it ideal for the new river city,” says Plumari.
Anchored by the Vaal River, the development will be a signif icant economic boost to a region with a stagnating economy. The region has historically been heavily dependent on a f lagging steel industry and suffers from poor infrastructure, a lack of