The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has announced plans for a major new smart city in KZN.
Speaking at an event on Sunday (15 September), DTI deputy minister Nomalungelo Gina said that the 50-year Durban Aerotropolis master plan will turn the entire surface area around King Shaka International Airport into a smart city with diversified economic activities that will boost the province’s economy.
Gina said that the plan will cover 2,000 hectares of land as well as 10,000 hectares of green space for expansion. She added that the plan is expected to create over 750,000 jobs.
“The Durban Aerotropolis is the only greenfield aerotropolis in Africa and provides a unique opportunity for investors in various sectors including property, manufacturing, aviation and pharmaceuticals,” she said.
“Government perceives the 50-year Durban Aerotropolis master plan as not just a project for Durban and its future economic boom but for the entire province which will benefit through the economic spin-offs that will arise as a result of the hive of business activities in this Dube Trade Port precinct,” she said.
According to the official website for the aerotropolis, the region will ultimately see over a R1 trillion in potential investments and over 1.5 million residents.
It states that a number of components set the aerotropolis apart, affording it a distinct competitive advantage over other South African and African destinations.
These components include:
- A freight-orientated development with, at its heart, a world-class cargo facility managed by a single handler, Dube TradePort Corporation;
- It is purpose-built; and
- It is one of few developments worldwide which incorporate a ‘greenfield’ site with additional surrounding land available for carefully planned and controlled expansion.
“The coastal situation of the Aerotropolis makes logistics a cost-effective proposition. Its development, in conjunction with the airport city component – Dube TradePort – together with burgeoning seaport infrastructure, direct access to numerous global destinations and linkages to SADC countries, combine to position KwaZulu-Natal as a key business point in South and Southern Africa,” the website states.
“Its potential for growth into the future brings together a plethora of like-minded stakeholders whose own objectives align with a shared goal: the creation of an investment climate conducive for the expansion and growth of KwaZulu-Natal’s economy through the establishment of new opportunities for the broad business environment as a result of structured and planned development.”