By Simon Peter
A US$8billion new city project has been unveiled for Modderfontein east of Johannesburg by a Chinese company, Shanghai Zendai. The project which will occupy 1,600 hectare land between OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton was announced by Shanghai Zendai founder and Chairman Zikhang Dai during an investor briefing hosted by him in the Modderfontein Reserve.
Shanghai Zendai is a Chinese company which operates 3 major businesses; urban development, tourism development and finance. The company has had projects of the same magnitude like the Himalayas Center and Thumb Plaza in Shangai China and is expected to generate long term growth for Modderfontein.
This mega project will focus on infrastructure with the initial construction directed on schools and houses. The city will include nine functional zones, the central business district, international conference and exhibition centre, an entertainment centre, silver industry and retirement industry, international residential community, education and training centre, sports Centre, trade and logistic park and light industry park.
Shanghai Zendai Chairman Dai said the city will retain the name Modderfontein because that sounds good and that they have committed to creating 50 000 jobs in the next 15 years. This is a significant number and will definitely help to reduce the high joblessness rate in South Africa.
According to Engineering News, the Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is outpacing growth in the rest of the world, with the region’s economy expected to grow by 6.1 percent in 2014. The construction industry is keeping up with the pace of future demand, as industrial, commercial and residential infrastructure projects crop up at an increased rate across the continent.