Durban’s inner city is getting a multibillion-rand extreme makeover that is set to transform and rejuvenate the area. The plan? To make Durban a liveable and caring city, with a CBD where residents can live, invest, work and play.
The latest project that’s about to commence is the Rivertown Precinct. This old, light-industrial area was previously dubbed Motortown, although that is certainly set to change – think boutique shops, galleries and restaurants; safe pedestrian areas lined with greenery; and an integrated creative hub that will entice locals and tourists alike. ‘Business and government have come together to innovate and set aside differences to see how our inner city can thrive,’ says eThekwini acting mayor Fawzia Peer. Spanning more than 30 000 m2, the Rivertown Precinct is located between the Durban ICC and beachfront. ‘With a growing port and passenger cruise market, new student villages within the CBD and an expanding, well-supported informal economy, the inner city is being revived,’ she says.
Certain streets, such as John Milne Road, will also be converted into car-free zones – areas that encourage pedestrian traffic and informal traders, creating a vibrant, open-market atmosphere.
At a forecast cost of around R40 million, Rivertown’s urban regeneration project is set to ensure the area rings true to that old adage, ‘It’s “lekker” by the sea’.