Shanghai Zendai Property, which plans to build a new city in Modderfontein, Johannesburg, has learnt its lesson after its luxury apartment complex in Luanda, Angola went wrong. The upmarket flats are standing empty because locals cannot afford them.
Zendai will build homes for the middle class, a retirement village and a complex for international residents as part of its R84 billion development in north-eastern Johannesburg over the next 15 years. This follows thorough research of the South African market.
Zendai purchased the Modderfontein property from chemical and explosives company AECI for R1bn in November. AECI tested its explosives on the 1 600 hectare property until the advancement of explosives technology made it redundant.
At the stakeholders’ briefing on the development yesterday in Modderfontein, it was interesting to see how Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and MEC for Economic Development Mxolisi Xayiya sang the praises of Zendai.
Mokonyane said the government was rallying behind Zendai simply because the project would eventually improve the lives of children from the neighbouring Alexandra and Tembisa townships, who were living in poverty.
She has called for locals to give Zendai a break from the negative misconceptions of Chinese investors.
However, all stakeholders would still have a responsibility to keep Zendai or any foreign investors in check.
“We are excited about the project. It is not all about job creation, but extending ownership of property and business to black people who were previously marginalised,” Mokonyane said.
Mokonyane will consult with Alexandra residents and is expected to speak to them on Friday. She said since the sale, no jobs had been lost on the property.
The company has committed to creating 50 000 jobs in the next 15 years. This is a significant number and will certainly help to ease the high unemployment rate in South Africa.
From now on Transnet will be able to hire its own graduates from the schools under the Transnet Academy.
Three new trained pilots from Transnet’s Maritime School of Excellence displayed their skills in front of hundreds of guests who attended their graduation ceremony in Durban yesterday.
The celebratory mood amplified as the helicopters flew closer and closer to the crowd – it was indeed a good sight for the parents and relatives of the new graduates.
Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba, who congratulated the 83 trainees in various maritime-related disciplines, said a long road lay ahead of the these young people. He tasked them with becoming the future leaders of Africa’s biggest port, rail and pipeline operator.
Some of the trainees will be absorbed by Transnet and some by the maritime industry. Along with the 17 helicopter pilots trained, there were also 20 marine pilots, 38 cargo operators and seven engineers.
Gigaba said Transnet would spend about R7.7bn on training in the next seven years as part of its market demand strategy, which intends to ensure an integrated approach to training. So far, the company has spent R2.5bn on training over the past two years at the academy.
Chief executive Brian Molefe said the maritime school was among a number of training facilities run by Transnet. He said the company oversaw schools of rail, engineering, security and also pipelines.
Chairman Mafika Mkwanazi congratulated Transnet for transforming not only the maritime division, but also the train and ports divisions.
He said these training facilities were the fruits of democracy and should be celebrated.
The maritime school first opened last year and has campuses in the port cities of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Richards Bay.
Edited by Peter DeIonno. With contributions from Dineo Faku and Nompumelelo Magwaza.