‘Mega development’ to break ground on the West Rand

Private Property South Africa
Jackie Gray-Parker

Construction will begin soon on ‘Leratong City’, a R6.2bn mixed use project which is set to bring estate-style living and a range of convenient amenities within reach of low-income earners.

‘Mega developments’ seem to be all the rage these days. As things stand, there are five multi-billion Rand mixed-use developments currently being constructed across Gauteng.

‘Zendai Modderfontein’ in Modderfontein is the most expensive with an estimated cost of R84bn which will be spent developing 1,600 hectares. Waterfall Estate is next on the list with a projected total price tag of R71bn. Steyn City near Dainfern is third with a development cost of R57bn. Hazeldean in Pretoria East measures 950 hectares which is costing R44bn to develop. Menlyn Maine in Pretoria weighs in at ‘just’ 32 hectares and is set to cost R10bn. Collectively, the developments are worth approximately R265bn.

Now, there is ‘Leratong City’, a R6.2bn mixed use project which is set to bring estate-style living and a range of convenient amenities within reach of low-income earners.

Earmarked for the previously disadvantaged township of Leratong in Mogale City just opposite Leratong Hospital, Leratong City is set to comprise approximately 15 000 mixed residential units, an inter-modal transport hub, a government precinct and a 30 000sqm regional mall, all of which will cover an area measuring over 400 hectares.

Construction of the bulk infrastructure is due to begin in June 2016. Development of the project is being jointly undertaken by McCormick Property Development, Calgro M3 and Sasuka Logistics Services.

The area was selected due to its strategic position at a major juncture which links Mogale City, Soweto, Randfontein, Merafong, Roodepoort, Florida and Johannesburg. Given its locality, Leratong City is ideally placed to act as a launch pad for growth in the area. Indeed, it is hoped that with the assistance of a National Development Partnership Grant (NDGP), Leratong City will soon become a major high density regional node.

The residential units will be divided into several categories: Breaking New Ground (BNG) units, Grass Roots Affordable Housing (GAP), Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP), subsidised rental units and freehold units.

Although very different from the somewhat palatial houses which characterise Waterfall Estate and the like, Leratong City will be a “trendsetter” in its own right says Sasuka’s chairman Thamsanga Mfundisi. He adds that the project is aimed at transforming a disadvantaged former mining area into a more vibrant community where housing, shops, schools and places of work are integrated into a single, mixed-use neighbourhood.

Leratong City is anchored by Leratong City Mall which is already tenanted by major retailers such as Shoprite, Pick ‘n Pay, Woolworths, Truworths, Mr Price, Roots and KFC. All manner of amenities including crèches, a community centre, educational and healthcare facilities, business centres, religious sites, recreational parks, sports facilities and parks will be integrated into the development. A new substation will also be built and various road, sewer and water upgrades will be implemented in line with increased traffic and an increase in demand for water and electricity.

Special focus has been given to spatial planning which seeks to leverage the city’s facilities in such a way that residents can get the most out of their surroundings in a cost effective fashion.

For instance, a reduction in travelling time and costs between work, home and the shops means that residents will have more time and money, both of which can be invested back into the city. It is hoped that the project will also have positive spinoffs for the nearby Chamdor industrial area which would benefit greatly from a shot in the arm in the form of new jobs and investment.

Overall Leratong City is “set to herald a new era” on the West Rand, one which will hopefully be sustainable, viable and will last for generations to come.

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