New Sheppie economic hub set to open in November

 Construction is well under way on the Port Shepstone Intermodal Transport and Retail Facility which is set to open in November.

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South Coast Herald

This project has created more than 350 jobs.

Ray Nkonyeni Municipality has announced its satisfaction with the progress on the construction of the multi-million rand Port Shepstone Intermodal Transport and Retail Facility, which is set to be an economic game-changer.

The municipality briefed the media on Tuesday morning last week during an open media day at the council chamber in Port Shepstone.

The facility is expected to be operational in November.

Municipal spokesperson Simon April provided some background to the project, which is a public-private partnership development (PPP), mainly driven by a private developer.

“It is a PPP development as the municipality has leased out its immovable property, Erf 1905 which is valued at R25m, and the Department of Transport has put in R30m towards the public transport facility which is part of the development. The municipality entered into a 50-year lease with the developer which is renewable for a further 49 nine years, and this was finalised in December 2021,” said April.

He adds the construction was delayed due to challenges in relocating public transport operators, mainly taxis, which once sorted, construction started almost a year later.

“This development is divided into phases and the current phase is a four-level structure with a gross retail area of 23 890m².

The current phase entails the level one basement, which will comprise of the tenants’ delivery or loading/off-zones, 203 bays for public transport, 50 informal traders stalls, 14 shops, which can be utilised by local SMMEs subject to approval by the developer, medium voltage switch room, mezzanine floor with ablution facilities and some storage” said April.

April stated that the level two ground floor facing Nelson Mandela Drive entrance will lead customers to 37 shops, with Boxer and China Hyper being anchor tenants.

“The level three ground floor facing the Ryder Street entrance will lead customers to 35 shops with Shoprite being an anchor tenant, and level four, the rooftop will have 470 parking bays. The next phases of this development will be constructed on the vacant portions of Erf 1904 on the northern side of the main facility. The developer has indicated that he intends to relocate the then Truckars’ Building tenant on one portion while Build-It has signed the other portion adjacent to the gravesite,” said April.

He also clarified about the second phase, which had an issue with graves which were allegedly tampered with.

“While this matter is having litigation processes, we want to clarify that, as the municipality, we did not give permission for the demolition of graves and/or interference with the grave site. In attending to the matter as the municipality, we facilitated engagements between the affected parties to have the matter resolved, and we would like to end there on this matter as it is sub-judice,” said April.

On a positive note, April indicated that this project has created more than 350 jobs.

“Once completed, we anticipate that more than 800 permanent jobs will be created.”

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