Areas and Places

Coega success spilling over into Blue Water Bay, Port Elizabeth, reports Pam Golding Properties

The small, upmarket coastal villages of Blue Water Bay and Swartkops, which lie about 12km to the north of central Port Elizabeth, are poised for significant growth on the back of ongoing job creation and new development at the nearby Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ).

That’s according to Ian Olivier, area principal of Pam Golding Properties in Port Elizabeth, who says Coega, in its constant, successful pursuit of new investors and projects, is driving up demand for accommodation in neighbouring residential areas.

This is endorsed by Ayanda Vilakazi, head of marketing and communications at the Coega Development Corporation, who says it’s a common trend for people to choose to live close to where they work, to avoid stress, high costs and long travel times/distances.“As the Coega IDZ grows, we are very likely to see more and more people flocking to this hub of industrial development.”

He continues: “The core IDZ development area of 6400ha is filling up and a significant number of mega projects are on the way to fill the remaining 4000ha – including PetroSA’s R70 billion Project Mthombo, the liquid bulk tank farm relocation, GDF Suez of France’s open cycle gas turbine, the deepwater Port of Ngqura upgrade and others – making residential areas near the Coega IDZ a prime property investment area.”

This, says Vilakazi, is spurring non-industrial growth through commercial enterprise. “For example, a major shopping centre is planned near the Vulindlela Accommodation and Conference Centre in Motherwell, an exciting development that shows that industrial growth is matched by commercial demand.”

“As mega projects come closer to fruition, with an estimated R5 billion to R7 billion spend per annum pouring into the region, this will be matched by incoming skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labour, and there will be an increase in people looking for short and long-term accommodation with a desire for amenities, services and lifestyle offerings,” says Vilakazi. Through this we are likely to see major changes in residential and commercial property trends. It is thus prudent for savvy investors to watch this space and take bold moves to invest in a certain future.”

According to Olivier, Blue Water Bay and Swartkops were traditionally bought into by young and middle-aged families seeking a coastal lifestyle, offsetting the daily work commute against the pleasure of living away from the hustle and bustle of city life in a place where residents know each another. “Now, however, as South Africa’s largest IDZ goes from strength to strength, the local buyer profile is expanding to include middle and upper Coega management from large companies such as Discovery Health, which brought with it about 500 personnel.”

The challenge is going to be catering for this demand, believes PGP resident agent Phyllis Magda, who says there are only currently about 700 houses in both Blue Water Bay and neighbouring Swartkops.

Already increasingly difficult to find are entry level priced properties, typically two bedroom, one bathroom townhouses that start at around R700 000, she continues.

The average selling price, which according to Magda is R1.6 million, buys a freestanding family home usually within strolling distance of the beach and comprising three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a double garage.

The area also includes an impressive selection of luxury homes, some with price tags of more than R5 million and up to 800 square metres in size. These inevitably offer four or five bedrooms, four or five bathrooms, four garages and a pool as well as fine finishes, sea views and easy if not direct access to the best beaches.

One of her most impressive properties – currently under offer for full asking price – is a Tuscan home in Bluewater Drive, just down the road from the main beach, for R3.5 million. Magda, who puts the brick-and-mortar replacement cost at least R5 million, says that aside from its spectacular position and exceptional sea views, the home offers the best of everything. It includes four living areas that flow from the fully-fitted gourmet kitchen to two all-weather entertainment patios, five bedrooms and four bathrooms. The professionally landscaped tropical garden comes complete with a rock swimming pool, heated Jacuzzi and children’s play area. The property also has four car garaging and high-end security comprising CCTV and an alarm system.

For further information contact Pam Golding Properties Port Elizabeth on 041 3739955, Ian Olivier on 083 650 2913 or email

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