JOHANNESBURG - A massive R3 billion mixed-use development is to commence in Rosslyn this week, which was expected to be the catalyst for the development in the area of the planned R50bn Tshwane Auto City over the next 10 years. 

The Tshwane Auto City forms part of the vision by the government and the automotive industry to transform Rosslyn into the leading automotive investment destination in Africa. 

The development of the Tshwane Auto City would be largely funded by private sector investment and in subsequent phases result in the creation of a new city in Rosslyn. 

The sod-turning for the commencement of Rosslyn Hub, the R3bn mixed-use development on a 100 hectare site in Rosslyn, takes place on Friday. 

Tshwane Auto City is to be developed on 7 100ha around the Rosslyn Hub. 

Brendan Falkson, a director of Big Cedar Property Development, the developers of the Rosslyn Hub, said yesterday on the sidelines of the pre-launch of the project at the African Construction & Totally Concrete Expo in Midrand that the 10-year first phase of the Tshwane Auto City project would create an estimated 160 000 direct and indirect jobs. 

Falkson said the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC), a wholly-owned government subsidiary, was tasked with the project managing the Tshwane Auto City and a spatial development framework and the master plan for the development of the city had been completed. 

He said the master plan for the development of the Rosslyn Hub was fully aligned with the Tshwane Auto City framework and had been signed off by the AIDC. 

Falkson said the Rosslyn Hub would be developed in three phases and followed the construction of 1 000 houses by Cosmopolitan Projects over the past three years that Big Cedar Property Development had sold to the firm. 

The first phase of Rosslyn Hub would comprise an 11 000m² convenience centre, student housing for about 1 000 students and a private school with “a technical slant”. 

Falkson said there was a shortage of student accommodation in the area, because the AIDC hosted 700 students, the Rosslyn Technical College had 1 200 students and Medunsa, which was 2km away, had a serious shortage of student housing. 

The school and other facilities were required to allow Cosmopolitan Projects to build a further planned 3 500 houses. Facilitate Falkson said they would “actively facilitate” the construction of the R120 million first phase of the link road from Soshanguve to the N4, which was the “trigger” for the Rosslyn Hub project that in turn would be a catalyst for the Tshwane Auto City.

The total cost to the government of the link road was an estimated R300m, but was vital to unlock the development of both the Rosslyn Hub and Tshwane Auto City. 

Falkson said the convenience shopping centre and first phase of the link road would be completed by November next year, with the student housing readying for the intake in January next year. He said it was anticipated they would be able to commence with the second phase by 2020. 

It involves the development of a vehicle distribution centre in the Rosslyn Hub, a Logistics Hub by the AIDC and government on property adjoining the Rosslyn Hub and a consolidated rail spur to enable vehicles to be transported directly on the freight rail line from Rosslyn to Durban. 

This rail link had been approved by Transnet and was necessary, because between 400 and 500 vehicles were transported to Durban each week. 

If the motor industry increased its production to 900 000 or 1 million vehicles a year, it was likely that this would increase the number of vehicles that needed to be transported to Durban to 1 000 vehicles a week. 

Falkson said the second phase of the Rosslyn Hub would take three years to roll out and would involve the development of a 60 000m² regional shopping centre and two hotels, among other facilities.