Khayelitsha soon to boast R300m business centre

Posted On Wednesday, 30 July 2003 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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CAPE TOWN A R300m business development in Khayelitsha, one of the single largest township developments in SA , has been approved by Cape Town as part of a major urban renewal project in the area.

Known as the Khayelitsha Business District , the first phase of the project was given the final go-ahead by Cape Town city's council yesterday after confirmation that private sector funding would be made available.

The project is aimed at giving the sprawling township, close to Cape Town International Airport, a business heart and is also one of the single largest private-public investments yet undertaken in a South African township.

The 73ha development is in the middle of Khayelitsha, next to the railway station, and is a joint venture between the city of Cape Town, the private sector and the Khayelitsha community.

Clifford Sitonga, mayoral committee member for economic and social development and tourism, said the project was a key strategic investment for the city.

"This will attract further investment to the area, broaden the rates base, stimulate economic growth and create employment opportunities. Besides complying with the council's strategic objectives, this initiative provides a major boost to the national urban renewal strategy," said Sitonga.

The private sector is expected to inject R250m while local, provincial and national governments will provide an additional R50m for the taxi and bus terminus, community centre, roads and other infrastructure for the residential component.

The development includes a 17500m² retail centre.

Wayne van der VentA key element of the development will be the innovative legal framework which provides for the establishment of a Khayelitsha community trust .

The facilities will complement the existing magistrate's court and regional offices of the social welfare department. The home affairs department is also planning to establish offices in the area.

Most of the infrastructure, such as roads, bulk water supply and sewerage are already in place.

The city has entered into an agreement with Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) to secure the private sector funding for the project.

RMB, part of the FirstRand group, has involved associate Futuregrowth because of its empowerment focus and relevant experience in commercial developments in similar markets.

Wayne van der Vent, a director of Futuregrowth, said various financiers and investors, including international bodies, had already expressed an interest . There has also been an "exceptional" response from major retailers to secure space in the proposed retail centre, the first in the Khayelitsha area .

"If everything goes according to plan, the centre will open its doors in the second half of next year," said Van der Vent.

He said challenges in formulating the financial package included reducing the risk factor "to make it saleable to financiers" and make it workable as a community ownership project.

Last modified on Thursday, 20 August 2015 15:53

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