Investor commitment to spark an economic boom

Posted On Tuesday, 04 September 2001 02:00 Published by
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Government, the council and corporations join hands to change the face of SA's third-largest city, writes Nicola Jenvey THE commitment shown by a range of investors,

Government, the council and corporations join hands to change the face of SA's third-largest city, writes Nicola Jenvey THE commitment shown by a range of investors, from national government and the unicity council to corporations and retailers signals a positive future for SA's third largest city.

For years Durban has struggled against negative perceptions when projects have been aired but never realised.

However, large-scale investment projects planned in the next few years promise an economic boom, while instilling a greater sense of purpose among residents and potential investors.

Major projects include:
A R1,4bn investment in the Gateway shopping and entertainment centre the largest singlephased shopping complex in the southern hemisphere scheduled for opening in October;
R1,34bn for upgrades and expansion to the port of Durban; A R1bn academic hospital in Cato Manor; and
The R657m Point Marine theme park, expected to be the catalyst for developing a waterfront in the city.
Smaller projects include:
A R250m venture to double the capacity of the International Convention Centre (ICC);
A R127m project to upgrade Durban international airport for the expected growth in tourism traffic, scheduled for completion in three weeks' time; and
R263m from the unicity council for a new soccer stadium.
The Pavilion regional shopping centre completed a R150m upgrade in January, ahead of the Gateway opening, as a clear message of the future for retail shopping in the city.
Since opening in 1997, the ICC has attracted thousands of national and international delegates to Durban.
The airport upgrade will offer visitors their first taste of an ocean gateway to the kingdom, with a themed design and a 13000-litre marine tank.
In February Afrisun KZN, in association with Sun International, opened its doors to the city's first casino, Sugar Mill casino in Mount Edgecombe. The R200m development is the forerunner to Sibaya Casino and Entertainment World to be built in Umdloti.
property developments to the north of Durban continues to create a new business node, with more than R3bn spent on building construction in this area in recent years.
Over 100 companies have established their offices on land opened up for development by Moreland, the property division of the Tongaat-Hulett group.

It has created about 30000 permanent and 25000 temporary jobs.

Prof Jeff McCarthy, of the University of Durban-Westville, says investors have developed a greater sense of unity and decisiveness about the future which will translate into the need for action rather than words.

Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day

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