Industrial complexes mirror business styles

Posted On Tuesday, 27 September 2005 02:00 Published by
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Moreland goes for sustainable clusters near residential areas
By Nicola Jenvey

The South African industrial property market has emerged from the doldrums into a new boom that promises sustainability and a long term dedication to economic growth, says Moreland Development industrial GM Val Purves.

The turnaround, after the stagnation of the 1980s and 1990s, highlights the failings of former government policies that encouraged institutional investors to develop industrial properties in periurban areas.

In the latest Moreland Views publication, Purves says these policies were unsustainable, and had to be rethought to change the face of the industrial property market.

In recent years manufacturing and industrial processes have experienced steady growth, changing the way in which the industrial property market is evolving.

The market's focus has shifted to smaller buildings, with less space for stock allocation as clients demand just-in-time production runs, and integrated industrial clusters for a seamless production process.

"There is a focus on the ability of industry to produce goods and to outsource the delivery, distribution and marketing aspects," Purves says. "Businesses specialise in what they know and the processes fit into one another."

He believes this change in business attitude has led to the development of industrial clusters, in which companies operating within a hub work in synergy.

A critical component of sustainability is proximity between work and home. Purves cites the RiverHorse Valley industrial complex that Moreland and the eThekwini municipality have developed as a public-private partnership.

The development created another primary industrial base north of Durban.

"The development has put employment opportunities on their doorstep. The nearby residential communities range from upper middle-class to the unemployed, all of whom want close proximity to their place of work," he says.

RiverHorse Valley has created 3,500 construction jobs and should facilitate 3,500 permanent jobs in a range of businesses. Its proximity to residential communities means less money is spent on transport.

Purves believes this is a concept that could be replicated in other commercial and industrial developments as the demand for industry grows along with the economy.

Business Day
Publisher: I-Net Bridge
Source: I-Net Bridge

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