New R87bn Modderfontein city takes root

Private Property South Africa
Jackie Gray-Parker

China’s Shanghai Zendai Property Group recently launched the first phase of ‘Modderfontein New City’, a massive R87bn mixed-use development in Modderfontein.

Essentially, Zendai intends to create a fully-functional city within the next 15 to 20 years. In keeping with this concept, development will cater to all aspects of city life including finance, trade, logistics, entertainment, commerce, technology, education, health care and housing.

Focus will be given to seamlessly integrating the industrial and commercial components and urban functions in line with South Africa’s burgeoning urban growth patterns. As things stand, supply in existing urban areas is not keeping up with demand which has led to overcrowding, long commute times, congestion and excessive strain on existing services. Through Modderfontein New City, Zendai hopes to offer an alternative to the current status quo.

In keeping with this premise, Zendai’s ‘master plan’ allows for the development of approximately 13 million sqm’s across all sectors including commercial, medical, retail, warehousing, hotels, offices, recreational, institutional and a variety of residential nodes including low cost housing and luxury accommodation which will collectively house up to 100 000 people. A sports and international conference centre and various schools will also be built, all of which will be “well served” by a combination of road and rail links.

Construction of various roads and accommodation began in January 2015. AAt the launch, Anthony Diepenbroek, CEO, Zendai Development South Africa said, “The Centenary is our first project on the acquired footprint. We will continue to focus on master planning which includes bulk infrastructure planning; such as roads, water (including stormwater management), sewer and electricity, towards which an estimated R400 million has been spent to date.”

According to Zendai, focus will also be given to eco-friendly development, accessibility, sustainability and “merging international elements with authentic African culture” which should foster a multi-cultural atmosphere. Upon completion around 15 to 20 years from now, Zendai hopes to have created a truly unique and cosmopolitan development which will be the “New York of Africa”.

Explaining the decision to develop a project of this magnitude at Modderfontein, Zendai said the fact that the area lies within close reach of OR Tambo International Airport, the Johannesburg CBD, Sandton and Pretoria makes it a natural growth point with links to existing and future transport networks. As such, it made sense to invest in the area.

Modderfontein New City is the largest development of its kind by a Chinese entity. Upon completion, it is expected that the development will generate up to 200 000 jobs and contribute as much as R4bn annually to the state’s tax coffers. Interestingly, while the development will be aimed at people of all colours and creeds, it is thought that the city will appeal greatly to many of South Africa’s Chinese nationals.

Modderfontein New City by numbers

Town centre:

  • Will cover an area measuring approximately 240ha
  • Home to the planned Gautrain station and Long Lake industrial zone. Development at this node will focus on offices, corporate headquarters, the finance sector and trade and industry
  • Development capacity: 4 624 000sqm’s

Residential community:

  • Will cover an area measuring approximately 370ha
  • This area will play host to an international community comprising various residential properties. Related development includes apartments, shops, offices and hotels
  • Development capacity 2 772 104sqm’s

Entertainment precinct:

  • Will cover an area measuring approximately 43ha
  • African themed multi-functional entertainment area comprising hotels, a theme park, retail centres and accommodation
  • Development capacity 383 000sqm’s

Education and training precinct:

  • Will cover an area measuring approximately 140ha
  • It is envisaged that this precinct will comprise pre-primary, primary, higher, tertiary, vocational and technical education facilities
  • Development capacity 661 898sqm’s

Business trade and logistics park:

  • Will cover an area measuring approximately 280ha
  • The focus in this area is on providing for industrial functions
  • Development capacity 1 254 845sqm’s

Light industry park:

  • Will cover an area measuring approximately 74ha
  • Development is planned as a clustered area for airport affiliated operations and light manufacturing
  • Development capacity 235 830sqm’s

Silver industry zone:

  • Will cover an area measuring approximately 16ha
  • Planned developments include a hospital, frail care facilities, designated retail and housing
  • Development capacity 165 244sqm’s

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