Commonly referred to as the “stainless steel capital of Southern Africa”, Middleburg attracted hundreds of expatriates and their families during the 60s and 70s, predominantly from the U.K and Europe who were in search of a better life on the African Continent. And a good life it was. In an effort to draw skilled workers, major industry offered not only excellent remunerative packages, but also included company housing and free education.
Although this particular region is not commonly associated with tourism, its conveniently close proximity to the Kruger National Park has moderately increased the tourism facet of the town. Several popular attractions such as hiking trails, the Middleburg Dam, the Ndebele tourist village and many local festivals hosted at the Taljaard Park Stadium have contributed to increasing the number of visitors to the region. The town also boasts other facilities that can be found in any tourist hub, including a golf course, hotels, bars and entertainment amenities.
Commercial property development is on the increase in Middleburg. The Mall @ Middleburg is set to become one of Mpumalanga’s premier shopping destinations when it opens in 2012. An investment of R450m will ensure that the deadline is met and that the 34 000sq/m shopping centre should prove to be a resounding success. The CBD, which is the oldest part of the town, hosts a number of retail shops, restaurants and facilities that service the needs of the community.
Middleburg and its surrounds are growing in terms of population according to recent reports. Population growth goes hand-in-hand with the need for development and infrastructure. The local Municipality have approved more than 6000 building plans in the last five years, and development in both residential and commercial sectors of the market are on the increase and do not appear to have been affected by the recession.
Residential property statistics released by Lightstone reveal that there have been 68 property transfers in the last 12 months, which made up 50.37% of freehold property sold and 49.63% of sectional title property.
Recent purchasers in the age category of 36-49 years of age formed 47% of the population that purchased property in the area in the last 12 months. The average price paid for a freehold property was R985 000, and sectional title averages came in at a much lower R529 000 when compared to the freehold sector of market share. Price averages in the area have increased steadily in the last five years and the banks have approved over R45m in finance in Middleburg in the last 12 months.
Families who have to consider schooling, the area has a number of excellent English and Afrikaans medium educational facilities on offer. Laerskool Kanonkop and Middleburg Primary cover the junior schooling aspect, and Steelcrest High and Middleburg High schools cover the secondary division of educational requirement. An approximate 138km to Pretoria and 175km to Johannesburg makes living in Middleburg a winner, and when the fledglings “fly the nest” to go on to University, home is not that far away.