Delegates of the SAPOA Annual Convention at Property Exhibition took a tour of Hutett’s integrated property developments on the first day of the proceedings.
All aboard the (thankfully air conditioned) coaches, as my fellow delegates and I head off on the Tongaat Hulett sponsored city tour. Diving away from the downtown located Durban Convention Centre we headed out towards Bridge City a joint venture between Tongaat Hulett and eThekwini Municipality. Clearly there is great collaboration with the city planners: Bridge City is currently connected to the inter-city rail transport, with a terminus at it centre. The city will later be accessible via the Go!Durban bus offering once it comes on stream.
According to Tongaat Hulett tying all aspects of land use together is critical and can only be done holistically. eThekwini’s Integrated Rapid Public: Transport Network plan is creating links across the greater metropolitan region along nine key corridors and via feeder routes. Tongaat Hulett firmly believes that coordinated public investment in public and economic infrastructure can transform township economies and catalvse private sector investment.
Bridge City is a shining example of this collaboration Tongaat Hulett‘s aim of de risking local investment is apparent in its vision for the precinct – which is to create a dynamic harmonious and balanced precinct led by aesthetics, landscaping and functional urban design principles.
From Bridge City, we headed out through the neighbouring residential areas of Phoenix and KwaMashu, which are probably Durban’s oldest apartheid settlements. Building Bridge City between these two areas is deliberate it brings to mind that the social compact Tongaat Hulett is bringing about is truly one of transformation and testimony to inclusive change in South Africa.
Away from the ‘township sprawl, we moved on towards the green, lush hills of Tongaat Hulett‘s multibillion-rand Cornubia development. Here we saw infrastructure roads, bridges and all other facilities of urban living being established. This mega project is a fully integrated human settlement, effectively an extension of Umhlanga Ridge: and offers both city living and urban pleasure through residential and mixed-use development. In a welcome break from sitting in the coach, we stopped at the visionary 1 0013 hectare Sibaya Coastal Precinct. It’s a truly magnificent expanse of natural coastal dune forests and undulating urban landscapes luxury for those who ward to get the best of Durbans urban real estate.
On the way back into town, we drove through Umhlanga and observed how extensively the small holiday town has grown to become home to some serious business space in the form of the Old Mutual Mall. Nedbank’s Park Square and the iconic Chris Saunders Park. It seems that Sandton has some serious competition here!
To end of the tour, we were taken back through the Durban CBD and past the harbour to enjoy refreshments and live entertainment at Moyo. It was a great opportunity to that and network with people I’d met at previous Conventions, and to catch up with some of my previous interviewees. We were in awe of the stunning changes that are being brought about in Durban and definitely ready for Convention!