Hong Kong- listed property development Group Shanghai Zendai will be constructing a US$ 7.66bn new Modderfontein City in South Africa starting next year. The project will comprise construction of a university, schools and a contemporary African gallery. Development of infrastructure, among them a Gautrain station planned for the next four to five years, is part of construction works awarded about US$ 273m.
The city will mainly host international residents, local middle class and pensioners, all about 100, 000 in number. The new Modderfontein City will join the list of Modderfontein’s nine functional zones. It will create 50, 000 jobs and it is expected that 1, 000 firms will use it. Local authorities have already received application to declare the area an economic development zone, in readiness of the new Modderfontein City.
The new city will come about as a result for the need for access to information technology (IT) and integrated public transport systems. The CEO of Zendai Development South Africa Anthony Diepenbroek, noted that this would be “the South African City of the Future”.
Zendai property group outlined its ambitions in April about the development of the 1 600 hectares, which would also offer mixed land use. The company bought the Modderfontein property for US$ 0.09bn last year from AECI, a South African explosives and chemical company.
Diepenbroek also noted that access to IT and cost effective public transport would see Modderfontein develop into an urban center similar to the world’s major urban centers. Chinese investors have availed funding for the new Modderfontein City project, and Guateng area authorities have endorsed the construction/development.
Diepenbroek noted further that by 2050, the population of the African continent will have doubled, making the continent home to 25% of the world’s population. The new Modderfontein City would, therefore, help ease population pressure.
The envisioned is a sustainable ‘smart city’ where cost-effective IT and public transport infrastructure will be made available. Information systems will be channeled to buildings in the city at relatively low costs. Dwellers will also have access to an integrated public transport system according to Diepenbroek.
“Our vision that the new city will become a unique landmark that will transform Modderfontein into an international cosmopolitan asset with a cultural and art element,” said Dai Zhikang, the founder of Shanghai Zendai Investments.
When the new Modderfontein City is completed, it is expected to be home to 100 000 people offering commercial, retail and residential developments.