A 2 000 ha construction project set to commence early next year is expected to transform the area 30 km west of Durban along the N3, connecting communities to infrastructure, economic opportunities, amenities and civic services.

Linked to SA’s Strategic Integrated Project 2 (SIP2) – a logistics and industrial corridor connecting Durban, Johannesburg and the Free State – the Ntshongweni Urban Development, led by Tongaat Hulett, will include residential, logistics, recreational, warehousing and leisure components, Business Tech reports.

Zandile Gumede, mayor of eThekwini Municipality, confirms that the venture is a ‘catalytic project’ to kickstart economic development and job creation.

Development of the urban and retail core is forecast to attract R12 billion in investments and generate 132 000 construction jobs and 14 000 permanent positions, while the logistics and business component is expected to rope in investments and construction activities worth R10 billion and create 70 000 construction and 6 500 full-time jobs. More than 20 000 residential houses will be built, but 1 000 ha will be reserved for open space and recreational use.

‘Despite the current economic downturn, we are fully confident in Ntshongweni’s immense potential to bring more people closer to essential employment opportunities and urban services and amenities, while creating a favourable investment climate for investors and developers,’ according to Tongaat Hulett Developments MD Michael Deighton.

Once it is completed in the next 15 to 20 years, Ntshongweni is expected to generate a total of R700 million in annual rates for the eThekwini Municipality and R5.1 billion in annual tax revenue.

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