Multibillion-rand project set for PMB

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Durban - The construction of the multibillion-rand Edendale Town Centre in Edendale, ­outside Pietermaritzburg, is expected to start in a few months.

Preparatory work has begun with the profiling of the area earmarked for the development.

The project is believed to be the biggest investment undertaken by the city in almost three decades.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the town centre was being funded by the government as a flagship project - the first of its kind to be built in the area.

The town centre will be a 121-hectare development.

She said construction was expected to start in the 2020/2021 financial year.

Phase one is anticipated to be completed within 3 years and the whole town centre will be completed in about 10 years.

The Msunduzi council announced about two weeks ago that thousands of people would be relocated to make way for the project.

Areas that could be affected include Slove Village, Tehuis, Mbali unit 4, Seven Oaks and Ashdown extension.

The council said residents had been profiled for the purposes of relocation.

“The Edendale Town Centre will consist of various elements and land uses that are typically found in a high-impact urban area like a city or a town.”

She said it would house the offices of government departments and certain municipal functions and other specialist services.

There would be a business incubator facility with workshops for small, medium and micro enterprises.

The centre would include a residential component and a civic park.

“The project is a long-term project that will be constructed in phases.

“The total project will cost billions of rand once complete, however, phase one of the project is expected to cost just over R1 billion and will consist of four elements: a civic office building, informal market, sky bridge and roads.

“The project is in the planning stages and construction will commence once all the relevant development applications have been approved,” she said.

The municipality said the project would create many job opportunities during its construction and operation.

It said the development would unlock economic and socio-economic opportunities for the people of Edendale and Vulindlela.

The municipality said that, with the help of the National Treasury, it had put together the informal relocation strategy to resettle settlements that fall within an 800m radius of the proposed development.

The main goal of the strategy was to identify how many households need to be resettled, according to their housing affordability levels, household characteristics and housing location preferences, it said.

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