The construction of a “new city to rival Sandton” in north-eastern Johannesburg kicks off early next year with Shanghai Zendai Property’s R84 billion development of the Modderfontein property it bought from AECI. It will include the building of schools, a university and a contemporary African art gallery.
Dai Zhikang, the founder of Shanghai Zendai Investments, said the group planned to build a “new city” over the next 15 years that would focus on the retail and residential sectors.
The development will house about 100 000 people, focused mainly on international residents, the local middle class and pensioners.
The housing complex and schools form part of Modderfontein’s nine functional zones, which include services ranging from a central business district to an international conference and exhibition centre.
About R3bn has been committed to develop infrastructure over the next three years, and a Gautrain station is planned for the next four to five years.
“Our vision that the new city will become a unique landmark that will transform Modderfontein into an international cosmopolitan asset with a cultural and art element,” Dai said.
About 50 000 jobs would be created and 1 000 firms were expected to become tenants on completion. An application for the area to be declared an economic development zone had been lodged with authorities.
Chinese banks have made funding available to the project, and the group aims to approach local financial institutions for further funding.
The Gauteng government has endorsed the plan, with Premier Nomvula Mokonyane suggesting that it would benefit neighbouring residents in Alexandria and Tembisa townships.
She noted that Chinese investors would comply with regulations, and locals would be consulted on the development later this week.