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South Africa

Chinese company Zendai Development (SA) says it is currently fine-tuning a master plan to build a financial center in Johannesburg, with a projected investment of about 6.7 billion U.S. dollars.

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South Africa

The company is soliciting inputs from the local community and interested parties, Anthony Diepenbroek, Chief Executive Officer of Zendai Development (SA), told Xinhua.

The company had asked the public to submit their comments about the intended construction site in Modderfontein, east of Johannesburg. Zendai states that they are trying to ensure that the locals and all stake holders be consulted.

“The recently concluded series of public information sessions were aimed at seeking the opinions of interested parties in the surrounding community and proactively incorporating inputs into the final master plan,” Diepenbroek said.

“Zendai will use the feedback and other information to refine the preferred master plan, which will inform future planning and development decisions on the site,” he added.

The Hongkong-listed company has already started construction of roads and a school in the area. The state-of-the-art construction is expected to be completed in 15 to 20 years. The company is currently busy with the master plan which will guide the construction.

“We are currently focused on a master plan which includes bulk infrastructure such as roads, the sewer system and electricity. As previously stated, this infrastructure will make up five percent of the overall project cost,” Diepenbroek said.

He also said that the company would ensure that the locals benefit from the project in various ways.
Diepenbroek said, “The corporate offices of Zendai Development (SA) is now employing 42 people, of whom over 60 percent are South Africans. We plan to develop the acquired land in three approaches, that is our own, through cooperation with interested parties to jointly develop the land and sell it to other developers. We will ensure the participation of local businesses and further local employment opportunities.”

He added that the construction would be done through partnership or project contraction.
Local enterprises will benefit from construction activities as well as the procurement of construction materials.
It is expected that more than 200,000 jobs, both permanent and temporary, will be created.

“Zendai had been actively pursuing its strategy to enter international markets and has chosen the Modderfontein site as its first investment in Africa because of the potential opportunities for development at the acquired site. Our investment decision is long term. The sector remains healthy, interest rates are still low enough to attract buyers and there is a muted supply of world class residential and commercial property.

We intend to build on these positives and view South Africa as the centre of our African plans,”Diepenbroek said.
The 1,600-hectare area is strategically located, not far from Johannesburg’s wealthy suburb Sandton and the OR Tambo International airport, and with easy access to highways and main transport routes.
Zendai says it wants to save the time people use to go to work.

“In terms of new transport infrastructure, the plan proposes a package of measures that enhance alternative modes of transport like walking and cycling. The transport master plan will enable the delivery of the functional areas, as well as help encourage the use of more sustainable modes through facilitating new bus lanes and providing for pedestrians and cyclists. The overall strategy is to promote economic development without adding to congestion,” Diepenbroek said.

The planned financial centre includes a central business district, a library, medical facilities, sports clubs, an international conference centre, schools, low-cost housing, a hospital and churches.
Zendai’s vision is to create unique landmarks and in so doing transform Modderfontein into an international cosmopolitan asset with cultural and art elements.

The purchase of the land by Zendai has been hailed by some experts in the industry as a boost to investor confidence in South Africa’s commercial property. Enditem

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