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Private sector confidence boosts outer west development

Date: 2024-04-24 10:03:55

Private sector confidence boosts outer west development

EThekwini City Manager Musa Mbhele, eThekwini Deputy Mayor Councillor Zandile Myeni, Inkosi Shozi and eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda witness the signing of the agreement between CEO of Balwin Properties Steve Brookes and CEO of Fundamentum Property Group Carlos Correia.

WITH just under a year to go before the official opening of Westown Square, the investment of the new 100ha ‘City of the West’ is powering ahead. EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda joined development partners, Fundamentum Property Group (FPG) and Balwin Properties on-site on 18 April, to see firsthand the progress of Westown Square. This comes as the City has invested R600 million into bulk infrastructure in the region. Mayor Kaunda also witnessed the signing of a R2 billion agreement between FPG and Balwin for an eco-estate residential development. “We have invested close to R600 million towards the bulk infrastructure required to support Westown.

This investment will yield huge returns for the City. Once completed, Westown Square will generate approximately R21 million per annum in rates income, increasing to more than R500 million per annum after completion of this R15 billion urban development in 2037,” he said. Mayor Kaunda explained that the 15-year strategic catalytic Shongweni Urban Development consists of nine mixed-use precincts in total. “ Westown Square will be complemented by commercial, residential, logistics and industrial components including a private hospital. We are excited that this is going to be the first real Smart City in the province and will make eThekwini a world-class City,” he continued.

Mayor Kaunda said the socio-economic impacts of this investment has been tremendous. To date, 1 000 people, mainly from the area and surrounds, have been hired for the construction of the bulk infrastructure and Westown Square. CEO of Balwin Properties Steve Brookes said approximately 8 000 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase of the Shongweni Eco Park with around 500 permanent jobs to be created on completion. Carlos Correia, CEO of Fundamentum said Westown is the single biggest infrastructure investment by the Municipality since the Soccer World Cup in 2010 and brings significant socioeconomic value to the Outer West region.

Infrastructure upgrades include two new bridges and a total make-over of the existing two-lane Kassier Road across the M13 and N3 into four lanes with a centre median. While the M13 bridge will be rebuilt, a new pedestrian bridge is being added over the N3 along with a new loop ramp and bridge over Kassier Road providing direct access into Westown. Correia said R1.4 billion of private sector investment has been triggered through the investment by Fundamentum with Absa Commercial and Investment Bank’s (Absa) backing the 50 000m² Westown Square retail experience. “This investment was cemented as Balwin signed a formal agreement with Fundamentum for their 1 260-apartment lifestyle estate, that will comprise of 20 phases, to be built over the next few years and is due to launch later this year,” added Correia.