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Investing in construction and the KZN property sector

Durban’s old buildings are getting a new life.

The regeneration of Durban’s centre is happening one building at a time. The Inner City Regeneration Programme of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality reported on good progress on 33 identified buildings in 2022.

Introduced in 2021 to eradicate problem buildings, the programme aimed to see property owners, the Department of Public Works and Transnet working together.

An investment of R270-million in water supply and sanitation in the Point Precinct and Anton Lembede Street is underway and public spaces on Mahatma Gandhi Road have been upgraded.

A private developer has been busy repurposing inner-city buildings. In 2019 the Garlicks department store building was relaunched as the new HOMii building with 145 flats. Since then Urban Lifestyle Investment, again through its HOMii brand, has opened The Watt Club, which offers studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments, a gym, a rooftop social area, games lounge, co-working spaces and a laundry. Flats can be bought or there is a rent-to-buy option.

The Watt Club

The Mid-South Coast does not have anything like the same number of estates as the North Coast, but that is about to change. Renishaw Property Developments controls 1 300ha which it has started releasing into the market. The Renishaw Coastal Precinct near Scottburgh will eventually have five multi-use nodes and the aim is for them to be self-sufficient in water supply and power generation.

Two sites of Node 1 were released in 2023 and have been marketed as ideal sites for eco-estates. The sites are near the road leading to Renishaw Hills, a 25ha mature lifestyle estate with more than 300 residents and about R400-million in sales to date.

Tongaat Hulett Developments (THD) has for some years been rolling out a series of developments on land it owns and it has launched the nTshongweni Urban Development on either side of the busy N3 highway west of the city.

Investec Property is behind a major new development, The Brickworks, strategically located between the Port of Durban and King Shaka International Airport.

The R2-billion first phase, on which construction will start in the middle of 2022, will see the old Corobrik factory site transformed into a business and logistics park. Once the project is complete there will be more than 450 000m² of leasable space.

KwaZulu-Natal has a number of brick companies and four cement factories. Three of these are run by NPC at Simuma, Durban and Newcastle, and the company has a further six sites for concrete and two for aggregate. NPC is part of the Intercement group. Lafarge has several aggregate quarries and eight Readymix plants around the province. The company’s grinding operation in Richards Bay has closed. 

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