A decade ago the provincial and national government earmarked the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal as the next big growth area for the country.
Mark Johnson of Seeff North Coast, said that the government originally targeted the area because of its close proximity to two of the busiest ports in Africa (Durban and Richards Bay) and because of the construction of the King Shaka International Airport.
“It is now abundantly clear to all that we are seeing the results of this strategy and vision becoming a reality, and I believe that we are sitting on the cusp of the next big surge,” he said.
“The semigration phenomenon, which sees families moving down from the inland regions and the ‘breadwinner’ commuting, has now changed to more businesses and business owners moving to the North Coast lock stock and barrel.”
Johnson said that lifestyle also has a huge bearing on the choices that are being made, with proximity to King Shaka International Airport, new schools, hospitals, regional retail centres and multiple recreation options, as well as the temperate climate, being critical features of the North Coast.
“The hub of the North Coast has shifted to Ballito, and with this being the new centre the commercial and retail growth is palpable,” Johnson said.
“Growth is inevitable and opportunities are plentiful – and this is reflected in the prediction that there will be a need for 12,000 houses in the next 7-8 years in this North Coast area.”
As the momentum grows, so do other opportunities in terms of supporting the commercial, logistics and retail infrastructure, said Johnson.
“The North Coast has become populated by a multitude of entrepreneurs breathing new and vibrant energy into the area.
“Many small businesses and home businesses have blossomed and become the norm, all of which has led to complementary business opportunities,” he said.
“In terms of larger industry, there has been a big shift as a result of what has already happened and what is planned to happen in the next 10 years.”
According to Johnson some of these potential developments include:
- In the south, in addition to Umhlanga and surrounds, we have the Cornubia office and industrial development;
- Flanking the airport on the West is the Dube Trade Port Special Economic Zone, the Agrizone and the Cargo & Logistics Hub;
- The larger planned Aerotropolis will have enormous benefits for the North Coast region and will be well positioned as a global logistics and manufacturing centre for sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world;
- North of King Shaka Airport are a plethora of opportunities in commercial, retail and manufacturing for large and entrepreneurial investors.