The Mercury

New mall developmen­t for Durban

Concerns raised over nearby landfill site


A MULTIMILLI­ON-RAND mixed-use developmen­t boasting Durban’s biggest shopping mall, a private hospital, commercial real estate and residentia­l properties is on the cards for Ntshongwen­i in the Upper Highway area.

However, the project – which according to the developers will bring an initial investment of R1 billion into the area – could be in jeopardy if the matter of the Ntshongwen­i landfill site, owned by EnviroServ, is not addressed. The municipali­ty is also planning to build a landfill site in the area.

Details of the proposed developmen­t were contained in a report that came before the eThekwini Municipali­ty’s economic developmen­t and planning committee last week.

The developmen­t is being led by a company called Fundamentu­m (PTY LTD) and if all processes go according to plan, the project could start within the next three months.

The developmen­t site is located 38km west of Durban, along the MR551 just after the Shongweni off-ramp, N3 west-bound towards Pietermari­tzburg.

A central part of the project is the shopping centre, to be known as the Mall of the West, which is mooted to be one of the biggest shopping centres in Durban.

The developmen­t has been welcomed by political parties which said it would bring economic revival and create jobs. One party described it as a “magical developmen­t” and something that the city desperatel­y needed.

The plans to build the mall first emerged in the media in 2018, but the municipal report details a much wider


The report stated that the developmen­t would take about nine years to complete, with the initial rand value being R5bn, facilitati­ng the creation of 35 000 full-time jobs and would generate R500 million in annual rates.

The overall investment value is expected to be no less than R28bn over the next 20-30 years, with the initial private sector investment of at least R2bn (of the R5bn) already committed towards Phase 1 (ie. the urban core) of the developmen­t and comprising the mall’s private hospital and residentia­l accommodat­ion). Phase 1 would be implemente­d over the next three years, with the mall opening in 2024.

Its framework shows that the developmen­t would have retail, commercial, mixed-use, integrated residentia­l, logistics and industrial, urban amenities and extensive open space network.

It is proposed that “to meet the opening date, road constructi­on should commence no later than the end of August 2021, that the city should give the guarantee for road upgrades that is required to enable approval of building

plans that will be submitted within the next two months”.

In the report, the company highlighte­d the presence of EnviroServ as among the potential concerns for the project.

“One billion rand and more is ready to be invested immediatel­y by the private sector which will trigger R12bn new additional investment, this investment and the associated socio-economic benefits could be at risk unless these issues are decisively dealt with. EnviroServ is an existing issue in the area and a threat to the investment and new developmen­t, the proposed municipal landfill directly below that would significan­tly exacerbate the problem,” said the report.

Dean Thompson, EnviroServ Waste Management chief executive, said: “We are aware of the developmen­t and are in ongoing discussion­s with the developer.“

In the report, the company also highlighte­d other challenges including the funding of road upgrades in the area over the next nine years and the provision of electricit­y beyond 8 MVA.

DA councillor and committee member Geoff Pullan said: “This is a huge developmen­t and we are all very positive about it in the council. It could create many jobs. The developers say the Mall of the West will be bigger than that of Gateway. It will not be closed (structural­ly) and would have a lot of open areas with trees.”

He said the one issue that was of concern was that of sewer infrastruc­ture because it was not good in the area.

IFP councillor and committee member Nessa Bhanprakas­h said they were excited about the project, adding that it would go a long way to revitalise the economy of the Outer West area.

“What excites us about the project is the thousands of residentia­l units to be built there. This will create employment opportunit­ies,” he said.

Bhanprakas­h described the project as a “magical developmen­t”, something that the city desperatel­y needed. “This developmen­t will be a city within a city.”

Municipal spokespers­on Msawakhe Mayisela said the project was significan­t in promoting much-needed socio-economic growth in the Outer West of

Durban. “Thousands of jobs as well as new business opportunit­ies will be created as a result of this developmen­t. The project is expected to contribute towards the developmen­t of the N3 nodal developmen­t, together with the Keystone and Cato Ridge logistics hub.”

Mayisela said the precinct would comprise a high-street retail concept, a hospital, commercial, business park and residentia­l accommodat­ion.

He said the municipali­ty would be spending no less than R1bn towards the roll-out of municipal infrastruc­ture to support the developmen­t.

“This developmen­t will make a significan­t contributi­on towards job creation and work opportunit­ies, as well as revenue from the property rates and utilities consumptio­n,” he said.

He said discussion­s were under way to address the concerns about EnviroServ and the city’s own landfill site to find solutions that were environmen­tally friendly and sustainabl­e, including the renewable energy possibilit­ies through exploring waste-to-energy innovation­s.

 ??  ?? AN ARTIST’S impression of the Town Square in the Ntshongwen­i developmen­t.
AN ARTIST’S impression of the Town Square in the Ntshongwen­i developmen­t.
 ??  ?? AN ARTIST’S impression of the high street retail space.
AN ARTIST’S impression of the high street retail space.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa