Sibaya Coastal Precinct, one of the most significant and largest place-making endeavors of its kind in KwaZulu-Natal, was officially launched today by Tongaat Hulett Chief Executive Officer, Mr Peter Staude, Tongaat Hulett Land conversion and Development executive, Mr Michael Deighton and Mr Sihle Zikalala, MPL; KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.
At a spectacular site overlooking the warm Indian Ocean and undulating coastal topography that typifies the Precincts’ prime location along the lush North Coast, a gathering of local community leaders, councillors, private and public stakeholders joined Mr Staude and Mr Zikalala in marking the commencement of the land development operation that is routed within Tongaat Hulett’s SSIP (Socio-Economic Sustainability and Innovation Programme) and which is set to inject an estimated R50 billion into the local economy.
Situated between the natural boundaries of the Ohlanga and eMdloti river estuaries and stretching from the national N2 highway to the Indian Ocean, Sibaya Coastal Precinct incorporates seven nodes and spans over 1, 000 hectares of prime beach, forest, river and hilltop land. Still in the early phases of what is anticipated to be a 15 to 20 year project, EIA and development approvals are in place for nodes one and five, the first opportunities brought to market by Tongaat Hulett Developments in the latter part of 2015. Four developments namely, Signature Sibaya, Ocean Dune, Coral Point and Pebble Beach have since been launched and achieved a combined R2, 3 billion in sales to date, an indisputable response from the market in terms of demand. According to Peter Staude, “Sibaya Coastal Precinct is amongst the most highly sought-after, developable land in South Africa, and is set to boost the potential of KZN’s primary growth corridor. As one of the fastest growing regions in the country, the Precinct will act as the catalyst in unlocking the potential of significant regional development, infrastructure, job creation and will provide a solid anchor to the emerging Durban aerotropolis.”
Just 25 kilometres from the City of Durban, eight kilometres from the business hub of the uMhlanga Ridge and ten minutes from King Shaka International Airport, the Precinct represents a link along the eastern seaboard that will ultimately connect local residents and visitors to an integrated, thriving community built on the most universal of concepts, connecting people to the things most important in life: family, community and nature. The overarching framework for Sibaya was conceptualised so that it worked with the spectacular landscape found here, with 60 percent of the concept plan being made of up green space. This includes the existing coastal forest but also rehabilitated agricultural land.
Beyond Tongaat Hulett’s visionary master plan for the mixed-used development that will potentially give rise to some 9, 000 residential dwellings and 500, 000 square metres of commercial bulk including schools, universities, retirement developments, corporate, retail, hospitality offerings and more to serve the local community, Michael Deighton said, “An undertaking of this scope and scale has the potential to create a new destination of choice within the province. Sibaya Coastal Precinct is underpinned by the premise of Reconnect. Rediscover and we aim to deliver an entirely new urban identity where people can come together in a place where the built and natural environments are activated and seamlessly woven together.”
Aligning to this concept of Reconnect. Rediscover, is Tongaat Hulett’s deeply entrenched philosophy of value creation. According to Deighton, and in keeping with opportunities that reside within Sibaya Coastal Precinct, “Tongaat Hulett’s belief in value creation for all stakeholders through an all-inclusive approach to growth and development and through our robust approach towards job and opportunity creation, will provide major opportunities for individuals, businesses and Government to collaborate. This will ensure that the broader Durban community and in particular the neighbouring communities of eMdloti, Waterloo and Blackburn communities are significantly and positively impacted through this development.”
Staude also reinforced his views on the impact of development by emphasizing how regional competitiveness, investment opportunities, as well as economic development and social delivery contributes exponentially to the betterment of society at large.
Aligning to this thinking, the Precinct will on completion, represent a destination thatwill not only see property values in strong competition with the Cape, but will translate into a world-class experience accessible to all.
“We have envisioned a place where people can seamlessly integrate their personal and professional lives into an environment of unmatched beauty. From the architectural footprint that plays on an open space lattice with concentrated hilltop settlements, to the preservation, rehabilitation and activation of the protected coastal dune forests, Sibaya Coastal Precinct is a place that will elevate the greater KwaZulu-Natal experience as a treasured asset to the region,” he said.
In reference to the socio-economic impact of the project, and in keeping with Tongaat Hulett’s hugely successful SSIP as piloted through the company’s ground breaking Cornubia development, it is estimated that over 30, 000 permanent jobs will be created on completion of the Precinct.
The SSIP is designed to empower through education, skills development and a range of interventions that sees previously disadvantaged individuals, largely from surrounding communities, given the opportunity to participate in, become part of and benefit from the land conversion, development and ongoing management activities. This benefaction is, as a small starting point, already being initiated through the sourcing of labour from adjacent communities for the bulk earthworks, infrastructure and top structure development that commenced in August of this year. Commenting on the rigorous approach Tongaat Hulett takes to ensure appointed contractors and partners adopt the company’s policy on supporting the local communities, Peter Staude said that SSIP approach was a key determinant in the appointment process and one that holds contractual obligations for partners and contractors.
For Sibaya Coastal Precinct in particular, open space management interventions together with linkages around construction activities present immediate job creation and small business opportunities. Looking to the future and according to Staude,
“Post construction economic opportunities will involve discussions with the occupiers of the Precinct where skills development opportunities will be identified and youth trained to be part of the labour and SMME pool. We will place emphasis on the localisation of economic opportunities where neighbouring communities are prioritized. This in turn will create a value chain and impact within the communities who will, by virtue of the nature of these door-openers, work hard to protect and grow the very businesses that they are economically and emotionally invested in.”
A further estimated 270 000 temporary construction jobs will be created over time, in line with construction demands, and this excludes the job creation opportunities that will be created by the Sibaya Conservation Trust, a managing body that will be established to oversee and manage the preservation of the Sibaya Forest.
For over ten years, residents of Durban, property developers and investors have kept a close eye on the evolution of Sibaya Coastal Precinct. What this place will be and what it means for the Province has long been a topic of keen interest. Now as the custodians of this unparalleled land asset are beginning to realize what has been one of the most deeply considered projects in their land asset portfolio, Tongaat Hulett remain mindful of the critical partnership that is shared with local government.
Fundamental to ensuring that the value creation that comes from a project of this scale benefits the City as a whole, projected municipal rates income for the City alone are estimated to be at around R556 million per annum. This, in addition to the creation of a residential, business and tourist destination will surely reinforce KwaZulu-Natal as being among one of the most attractive investment regions worldwide. Speaking to the greater asset that Sibaya Coastal Precinct represents to the region, The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr. Sihle Zikalala, welcomed the development, saying it would serve as a catalyst to further boost the economic profile of the province of KwaZulu-Natal.
“This project will contribute to the creation of a new identity of an integrated provincial economy where different business operations complement each other to make an exciting mix of market offerings particularly to those interested in investing in the diverse sectors such as tourism, hospitality, recreation, retail and residential estates.”
Amongst the rigour of creating a unique vision for this destination Tongaat Hulett remain committed to maintaining their reputational integrity of excellence, and solid relational dynamics with those who will be most affected by the change and often, disruption, that comes with progress. With construction on the Sibaya Boulevard and services infrastructure now in progress, the company remains mindful of the overall impact of construction on the neighbouring community of eMdloti. Michael Deighton has confirmed that the company is committed to rehabilitating and protecting the surrounding natural assets.