The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has announced plans for a major new smart city in KwaZulu-Natal which could possibly create 750-thousand jobs.
Speaking ahead of the launch of a Visitors Centre and the unveiling of an extensive model of the proposed aerotropolis, KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said the purpose-built airport city, which was anchored by the King Shaka International airport, would enhance urban, regional and national competitiveness and make the province more economically efficient, sustainable and attractive to investment
The 50-year Durban Aerotropolis master plan will turn the entire surface area around King Shaka International Airport into a smart city with diversified economic activities that will boost the province’s economy.
The Aerotropolis will play host to almost 1.5 million residents and attract approximately 1-trillion rand in potential investment. CEO of a private equity investment company, Ebrahim Patel says this a major stepping stone for the growth of KZN in the long term.
Dube TradePort Corporation chairperson Professor Zanele Bridgette Gaza described the aerotropolis as a ground-breaking concept for KwaZulu-Natal, as well as for South Africa.
She said it would create an environment capable of capitalising on steadily increasing international air connectivity, efficiencies related to the Dube TradePort manufacturing and logistics hub, the adjacent and strategically important Durban harbour, a growing SEZ and a greenfield space ripe for well-planned and carefully orchestrated development.
The fact that this was one of very few initiatives worldwide “utilising a greenfield site, consciously tailored to become a platform for the support of air logistics” set it apart from other aerotropolis developments both locally and abroad.
“The development of wide-ranging social infrastructure will bring with it the advent of small business promotion and growth in small-scale agricultural activities, new entrepreneurial prospects and initiatives to address affordable housing backlogs, paving the way for integrated urban communities living in dignified settlements and enabling residents to be co-located with job opportunities in a new live-work-play model,” she said.