The ambitious R6-billion Coega Ridge Development, which will be roughly the size of Port Elizabeth’s Motherwell township, is expected to cut the city’s more than 80000 housing backlog by almost half. The planned development on the 3200ha of land next to the booming Coega industrial development zone (IDZ) will cater for all income groups, with subsidised, rental, affordable and high-income housing units.
The developers, Nu-Way Housing Developments, boasts several successful projects completed and under way around the country, including the R500-million Clearwater Office Park in Johannesburg and the Langa Junction Shopping Centre in Cape Town. Announcing the project in Johannesburg yesterday, Nu-Way Housing Developments executive director Jordan Mann said the company hoped to start building in the next two years. At the height of construction, up to 5000 jobs a month would be created.
Mann said Coega Ridge would also include community facilities such as schools, a university, technical college, hospital, neighbourhood shopping centres and a 110000m² regional shopping centre. Also planned are a light industrial area, railway station, office park and sports academy. An upmarket eco-estate with a golf course and hotel were also in the pipeline.
“This is our flagship project and one we are very excited to announce,” Mann said. Coega Ridge will essentially be a new satellite city and will go a long way to alleviating the massive housing backlog in the region. The company bought the land in the late 1990s. Although the development is a private initiative, government loans for prospective buyers or subsidised rental agreements will be brokered once the development is under way.
The Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism earlier this month gave a positive record of decision on the project’s environmental impact assessment. Although the Bay’s bulk infrastructure can initially only handle the first phase of the project 2500 houses the developers are in talks with the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) to fund bulk services that would benefit both the IDZ and the development.
CDC head of marketing and communications Dr Ayanda Vilakazi said they welcomed the planned residential development aimed at bridging the segregation of communities along racial, income and status lines created by apartheid. “Given the massive growth of the Coega IDZ in the Bay, decent residential areas will become very important,” Vilakazi said. “By the end of the year, the CDC will have 30 operational investors and a R151-billion investment portfolio. This will all require decent houses for people working at these companies.”
Nelson Mandela Bay municipal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki confirmed the city was in talks with the developers. He said a formal application still had to be submitted for rezoning and bulk infrastructure development plans. “The project will have to be captured in the water and sanitation master plans.
The developer will be responsible for all bulk infrastructure that connects the development to that of the Bay. “I am aware that an application for environmental authorisation was submitted which identified certain challenges from an environmental perspective and related to bulk services supply. “The developers have been working at addressing this with the provincial department.”