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Old April 3rd, 2011, 06:11 PM   #1
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#Ballito Discussion Thread

With so much going on in Ballito, this coastal town is quickly developing into a major player in industry with ALOT of major development heading its way
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 06:13 PM   #2
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Ballito - Seaside City?
The Property Mag - April 2011
Anne Schauffer

Thursday, 31 March 2011 12:06

True or false: last year, iLlembe District Municipality, of which Ballito is the commercial hub, recorded the highest economic growth of any region in KwaZulu-Natal and arguably the highest in the entire country?

True or false: Ballito has a new town centre on the drawing board?

And, true or false: ground is about to be broken on an R800- million- upwards international conference centre?

All true, of course, and if everything goes according to plan, Ballito will be celebrating these events with a glorious bottle or two of its very own wine. (The vines originated from the Cape, the varietal scientifically selected for its ability to adapt to the regional conditions. Pocket vineyards are dotted strategically around the landscape, ready to spawn any number of related industries.)

It seems somebody omitted to tell Ballito and surrounds that the country was in a deep recession. It’s been common knowledge for a good while that development on KZN’s North Coast supersedes development almost everywhere else, but still, a conservative estimate of 6% growth during an economic meltdown stifles most yawns. Conversation about the growth is old news, but what tends to make people sit up is talk of future economic drivers, and of course, what’s fuelling this seemingly unstoppable force.

Ballito residents joke that if they’re away from home for a few weeks, they struggle to navigate the new landscape. Was that there before? is a frequently overheard phrase. It’s no joke, for the rate at which new construction pops up out of the soil is pretty phenomenal, whether it’s new buildings, extensions or demolitions, residential, commercial or industrial. Of course, Ballito was touched in the same places by the recession as anywhere else, but unlike others, it seems to have been a yield, rather than a stop sign.

Enterprise iLembe, the region’s economic development agency, is headed up by CEO Kanyi Gasa, and Cheryl Peters is its manager of trade and investment promotions. This quasi-independent body was established to facilitate cooperation between the public and private sectors, with a clear mandate to promote growth in the area. Growth for them must, of necessity, involve projects which generate jobs, so Enterprise iLembe focuses on labour-intensive commercial or industrial exploits – such as wine farming – with sustainability as key.

Municipal Manager Mike Newton says it’s pretty clear what happened in Ballito. From its minor role as a popular seaside village, it suddenly found itself at centre stage, halfway between Africa’s two biggest ports, Richard’s Bay and Durban, and on the doorstep of King Shaka International Airport and the Dube Tradeport. Make no mistake, it’s still a great seaside resort (tourism remains a priority), but put that together with the knock-on industrial/commercial effect of the airport/seaport and it’s no wonder the ribbon’s just been cut on the iLembe Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism. Its vision is to be the voice of business on the North Coast, and its mere existence reflects the need and drive for the region to succeed.

Mike is understandably buoyant about commercial prospects in the area. ‘Effectively, iLembe becomes a trade/transport hub. If you settle in the area, you can move goods in and out of SA and sub-Saharan Africa,’ he says. ‘The big players/distributors are now looking to shift their warehouses closer. If the products are heavy, they get them down to one of two harbours; if they’re light, they fly them out. Not only far more economical, but also, with the increased speed and facilitated access to transport, a far wider range of opportunities has presented itself.’ By that he means anything from cut flowers to the conversations currently under way with an Australian group on the viability of fish farming. ‘And it’s not just “foreign money” from Johannesburg, Durban or overseas,’ adds Mike. ‘Our localdevelopers/entrepreneurs are starting to pump money into the area, which shows a growing level of confidence.’

Trust in the burgeoning Ballito residential market has been fostered for some time, as prime gated, golf and eco- estates, such as Zimbali and Simbithi, have attracted residents, retirees and those who want a holiday home at the sea.

Those in the know acknowledge that promotion of this enviable lifestyle by the developers of these upmarket estates has assisted in elevating the town’s status.

Gated estates are immensely popular. Andreas Wassenaar, the principal of Seeff Dolphin Coast, says, ‘The number one criteria for most buyers is a high level of security. The gated communities offer that. The main established estates, such as Zimbali Coastal Resort, Simbithi Eco-Estate, Dunkirk Estate, Brettenwood Coastal Estate, Port Zimbali Estate, Hilltop Private Estate and Beverley Hills Estate have attracted most of the interest within the greater Ballito area.’

John Pechey, owner of RE/MAX Dolphin Realtors, acknowledges proximity to the new airport as the spark which ignited the mini boom and created the spin-offs. He says, ‘Upcountry businessmen, particularly from Gauteng, aren’t merely holidaying here, they’ve moving here. It’s an easy 15-minute ride on the Gautrain from OR Tambo to Sandton, a one-hour flight here, and 10 minutes from our airport to Ballito. A breadwinner can commute within hours from Jo’burg to Durban.’ Add to this the niche market of all those daily Jo’burg-to-Durban commuters who lived in the south in Amanzimtoti – 10 minutes from the old airport – who’re relocating here.

Tony Kimble, branch manager of Wakefields Ballito/Zimbali, echoes the positive sentiments. But, together with everybody else, he places a large question mark over the issue of service delivery in the town. ‘Long term, there’s going to be major pressure on all the services, an issue which we hope has been planned for,’ he says. Most are anxious about the current traffic congestion, and there are very vocal concerns about the future if municipal skills aren’t there to plan and match the rapidly growing needs.

Ballito and its neighbours remain primary beach holiday destinations for many upcountry visitors. As a strong indicator of its increasing popularity, Sharmaine Erasmus of Dormehl Property Group points out how Ballito, as the heart of the Dolphin Coast, has become the destination of choice for major national and international events, such as the Mr Price Pro surfing competition and the Prawn Festival, which attract millions of visitors.

Even though the demand for freestanding properties isn’t as buoyant as those in gated estates, homes fronting the beach will always secure premium prices, hold their value and be in demand. Andreas says, ‘A signature beachfront property that in 2000 would have traded at R5-million sold in 2005 at R15- million, and would trade today for between R25-million and R30-million. Beachfront properties within top gated estates are very rare and this scarcity ensures their values are maintained.’

Janine Henwood is the holiday letting manager at Lighthouse Property Group. She gives a run-down on current rentals, including holiday, permanent and short term: ‘The average long-term rental is R6 500 for a two-bed, two-bath apartment, which works well for those who’re here for a year or two while their houses are being built, or as a permanent rental. We’re handling numerous short-term rentals at the moment: a three- month corporate let for those relocating from Johannesburg to Durban.’ Janine and her colleagues add, ‘Very few complexes allow pets, which is frustrating for many, and heartbreaking for others. It’s turning Ballito into a pet-free zone.’

John says holiday rentals always offer a good return on investment. ‘People are holidaying here more frequently because of easier accessibility, the perfect climate and the Big Five game reserves on our doorstep. Holiday rates can vary from R1 200/day out of season to R5 000/day for upmarket beachfront accommodation. A bit further inland, holiday rentals fetch from around R550/day up to around R1 600/day.’

‘Edgars Is Coming’ is emblazoned on a billboard as one enters Ballito, and although sense dictates it’s the simple opening of a store, for many it’s tantamount to the Second Coming. Translated, it’s ‘Ballito Has Arrived’.

Asked whether it’s too late to jump on to the Ballito bandwagon, Paula de Beer of Soukop Ballito laughs. ‘Never!’ she says.

Looking at the retail, commercial and industrial faces of the town, who’d argue? Clive Greene, principal of the local Pam Golding Properties office, describes the burgeoning landscape: ‘Ballito Lifestyle shopping centre grew from 16 000m2 to 30 000m2 and is expanding this year by a further 4 000m2. Ballito Junction shopping mall is expanding and Ballito Bay Mall is under completion, with signings by anchor tenants Woolworths, Game and Checkers.’

Louise Gibson, MD of ComProp, champions the arrival of The Quarter, a new leisure complex that, she says, ‘will provide impetus for Ballito’s growth as a full-service business destination’.

Some say those who moved to Umhlanga in the gold rush of a few years ago are now seeking quieter pastures further north. Ballito. If Umhlanga’s considered the new city, what does that make Ballito? The maid in waiting? Watch this space very closely this year.

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Old April 11th, 2011, 10:50 PM   #3
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From the Editor

By Dave Charles 08/03/2011 13:35:00

Last week I said that I would outline some of the indicators pointing to an imminent economic boom on the North Coast, but I hasten to add that these are simply my observations and I am not an economist. Still, you don’t have to be a professional bean-counter to be impressed by the plans that have been laid and the projects that are underway. The most obvious evidence of preparations for bigger things to come can be seen at the entrance to Ballito where heavy machinery is busy clearing and cutting contours for a massive new interchange designed to handle the huge volume of traffic that is expected to be heading this way over the next few years. Does this mean that more holidaymakers have their sights set on this part of the world? Well, partly, but actually the extra traffic will be generated by the roughly 1 million more people that are expected to be heading this way to live and work in and around the Dube Tradeport Corridor.

I know that that sounds a little incredible, but according to local government sources, the big guys have given the nod to job creation incentives in this part of the world in line with the national government strategy for growth and development. The airport was the first link in the chain. Next comes the infrastructural developments around the Dube Trade Port precinct. This includes an upgraded railway linkage that will service the tradeport and create a transport network into the massive new residential and commercial zones that have already been approved here.

There is a new road planned inland of the present N2 to take the pressure off the coastal strip. The supply of electricity will soon be heavily augmented in the region following exciting developments recently announced by the KwaDukuza Municipality after a particularly bad period of disruption due to cable theft and routine maintenance of late. Now, if only we could find another river…

If you think that the growth in this region over the past five years has been impressive, you will be blown away at what’s to come according to Helena Jacobs, former town planner for the KwaDukuza Municipality now working in the private sector.

She outlined some impressive plans at a recent business breakfast that had people on the edge of their seats. This region is now really set to rock if all goes according to plan. Can you imaging an International Convention Centre in Ballito? If the environmental impact assessment is completed on schedule, they’ll begin construction on a new ICC here later this year. They have to. The first major international and local expos and shows have already been booked. How’s that for putting the cart before the horse…still, it shows confidence! And building on this, more hotels are being placed on the Monopoly board as we speak and property is being snapped up faster than you would believe looking at the sluggish results from that sector at the moment.

There isn’t a restaurant chain, hotel group or significant retail outfit that hasn’t got plans for this region in the very near future. Corporate head offices are looking at strategic relocations by the score and the schools here are so oversubscribed that there is very strong speculation that a major player in the education industry is about to enter the picture.

It’s no wonder that a new chamber of commerce has just been established here. The Ilembe Chamber of Commerce was officially launched last week to a capacity crowd of local business folk who had come to hear not what your chamber can do for you…but what you can do for your chamber.

I remain healthily sceptical about the benefits of belonging to networks, chapters, organisations and societies like these. Generally they are big on talk and small on delivery unless you are part of the inner sanctum, but we have joined the chamber to keep a watching brief as it were.

So, the future’s so bright you’ve gotta wear shades – or so it would seem, but the reality is that trading conditions are going to remain fairly tight here for the foreseeable future because the number of economically active people living in the immediate vicinity of Ballito is still too small to sustain the burgeoning local economy. Luckily there is Life & Style to carry your advertising to an average of 60 000 economically secure readers (Media Marketing Services survey) throughout the region each week. Are you with us?

Welcome to this week’s issue of Life & Style

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Old April 16th, 2011, 06:45 PM   #4
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WOW there is alot going on from Zimbali to Blythedale!!


4/15/2011 2:15:43 PM

With major investment and development under way, the appealing residential suburb of Ballito on KwaZulu-Natal’s Dolphin Coast to the north of Durban is becoming increasingly sought after among primary home buyers, reports Clive Greene, Pam Golding Properties’ area principal.

“While Ballito remains primarily a holiday town figures show that in excess of 50 percent of homes are now permanent residences and this is increasing rapidly as more and more residential developments come on stream as more people choose to move here.” He says the holiday component of the prime beachfront area comprises some 2 000 apartments either right on the beachfront or just one road back, priced from R1 million up to R12 million.

“Ballito is seeing major new developments and investment, including a new interchange off the N2 freeway which is well under construction and soon to be followed by a new four lane entrance into the Ballito, which will ease traffic flow into the town. The main lifestyle shopping centre is being further expanded by approximately 4 000sqm to incorporate an Edgars store, while two new shopping centres are also under construction with Woolworths, Game, Checkers and Pick n Pay all taking up considerable space. In addition, the business park is almost complete with new businesses constantly opening their doors.

“All this has lead to an influx of new people to the area, seeking accommodation. Rentals are booming and new affordable developments are being built to cater for first time buyers. At Manor Estates and Sheffield Estates, prices start at R590 000 for a one bedroom apartment, while Caledon Estates offers excellent value with freestanding, three bedroom homes selling from R1.1 million – and almost sold out.”

The magnificent, highly secure Zimbali Estate has attracted many affluent buyers seeking the unique environment it offers. Comprising approximately 1 200 homes and apartments set in a beautiful, natural setting overlooking the sea and with its own coastal forest and expanse of beachfront, the estate is home to a variety of game with bushbuck and various duiker almost tame wandering through the gardens and golf course. Fish eagles and crowned eagles soar in the skies making their easily recognised calls. There are also two hotels, dominated by the new 5-Star Fairmont Hotel.

Greene says Simbithi Eco Estate in Ballito has bucked all recent trends during the economic slow-down. Sales here have continued at an all-time high with some R400 million in sales concluded last year (2010) – all the more notable as the majority of these were land sales at an average of around R1 million. Offering an exceptional lifestyle for both young and mature buyers, in a secure and nature-filled environment, there are approximately 1 800 homes and apartments mainly targeting the middle market, with apartments priced from R2 million and homes starting from R4 million upwards.

Construction of free standing homes is taking place at a rapid rate with some 150 homes under construction or completed and a further 80 with plans approved. Approximately another 100 building plans are currently in the process of being drawn up.
Other developments set in a tranquil and secure setting include Dunkirk Estate which offers some 480 homes and apartments, and which is almost 60 percent complete while Brettonwood Estate comprises approximately 680 homes and apartments. Further to this Mount Richmore Estates is under construction at nearby Salt Rock, with some 2 300 opportunities including a main street with shops and apartments above, forming an appealing village on its own. Each of the individual developments within Mount Richmore will have their own security.

Some eight kilometres from Salt Rock, near the Tinley Manor turn-off, Palm Lakes development is well under way. This project offers a more affordable opportunity for first time buyers with outstanding facilities, and with prices ranging from R1-R3 million for completed, luxury homes, while land sites are selling at round R480 000. Greene says this is an exciting development to watch as it caters for the majority of new buyers and when completed will incorporate some 1 800 units.

“Other nearby scenic hamlets of Salt Rock and Sheffield Beach, with their beautiful, unspoilt beaches, offer quality homes for the discerning buyer seeking exclusivity without being confined to the rules of an estate. Prices here range from R30 million right on the beach in Sheffield to R1.5 million back but still within walking distance of the beach. For the added convenience of residents a new shopping centre is just being completed at the Salt Rock off-ramp from the N3 with a Super Spar as the anchor tenant,” says Greene.

Further north the huge Blythedale Coastal Resort is about to be launched near the small seaside hamlet of Bythedale. Comprising 400 hectares of pristine coastal forest, four kilometres of beachfront and some 4 000 opportunities, this development will bring in some R12 billion. Blythedale itself offers a new, small beachfront development called Sovereign Sands that consists of some 100 free standing homes and apartments situated right on the beachfront, surrounded by sea and coastal forest in a magnificent setting.

Adds Greene: “Over and above all this, a new town centre on the inland side of the N2, near the new off-ramp to Ballito is presently going through town planning and should be launched within the next three years. This approximately R60 billion development is expected to offer shopping centres, hotels business parks and residential components.”

Issued by Gaye de Villiers
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Old May 11th, 2011, 11:35 AM   #5
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Wow, looks like KSIA is unlocking potential in Ballitto, why can't some people see that good, targeted and large-scale public investment is key to unlocking private sector investments?
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Old May 13th, 2011, 01:01 PM   #6
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Official Ballito Facebook and Twitter:

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Old September 7th, 2011, 08:12 PM   #7
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Campaign turns up the heat on Ballito

September 7 2011 at 10:46am

Suren Naidoo

THE North Coast hot spot of Ballito has upped its tourism marketing ante by launching a new campaign, Hot Ballito, at one of Joburg’s hottest nightclubs, ZAR, last week.

National radio, television and media personalities were at the glitzy launch spearheaded by the ILembe Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

“Personalities like 5FM’s Gareth Cliff and DJ Fresh, and former East Coast Radio host Daren Scott mingled with the likes of Carte Blanche host Derek Watts, John Walland from Jacaranda and many more high-profile guests,” said chamber CEO Trenley Tilbrook.

“Leveraging from the name of Ballito, or “little ball” in Italian, and adding a dash of red, a red ball has been adopted as the logo for the campaign. The Hot Ballito marketing campaign is aimed at positioning the town as the hottest place to be in KwaZulu-Natal and the country. It is a case of ‘Move over, Durban, Ballito is ready to burn!’

“Red balloons, beautiful flowers, dangerous cocktails and decadent canapés were brought in for the event, which was backed by a sound and lighting extravaganza.

“Sponsors included Enterprise ILembe, the KwaDukuza Municipality, G&G Productions and ZAR.”

Tilbrook said Ballito had been identified as one of the primary development corridors in the country with about 40 000 homes to be built in the next five to 10 years.

The area was also on the radar as a burgeoning tourism node.

“There is going to be a high-speed rail link between King Shaka International Airport and Ballito, a new town centre and an international conference centre.

“To get some kind of context about what I talking about, it is important to realise that in 2000 Ballito had one shopping centre and about 3 000 beds available for visitors. Today we have four shopping centres and 7 000 bed nights,” he said.

“Ten years ago there were 10 000 residents in Ballito – 30 percent were permanent and the rest were holiday homes occupied once or twice a year. Today the population has grown to around 60 000. And, while an average of 13 000 motorists a day passed through the Tongaat toll plaza 10 years ago, an average of 71 000 do so today.

“One of the biggest driving forces behind the rapid growth and expansion in the area is the establishment of the King Shaka International Airport about 20 minutes from Ballito. The close proximity has turned the once-sleepy little coastal town into an ideal stopover for international tourists en route to the world-renowned iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the Umfolozi/Hluhluwe Big Five Game reserves. Ballito has become the gateway to the Zulu kingdom,” added Tilbrook.

Ballito’s profile had also been raised through hosting international events such as the Mr Price Pro Ballito surf competition, which drew entries from around the world, and the Ballito Prawn and Jazz Festival, he said.

Following the launch of the Hot Ballito campaign, Tilbrook was up-beat about growing tourism and the area’s profile. He said one of the innovations for this year’s Ballito New Year’s Eve party would be a broadcast link between Cape Town and Ballito so “people partying in Ballito will be able to see those having a good time in Cape Town and vice versa”.

l For more information see www.HotBallito.co.za or call the ILembe Chamber at 032 586 0833.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 04:17 PM   #8
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‘Destroy R33m promenade now’ - court

February 22 2012 at 12:13pm
By Tony Carnie


A judge has ruled that this beachfront promenade in Ballito, built at a cost of R33m, is a "flagrant violation" of environmental laws and private property rights. Picture: Gcina Ndwalane

The high court has lambasted the KwaDukuza (Stanger) municipality for its “shocking and flagrant violation” of environmental laws and property rights and ordered that a large chunk of the new Ballito beachfront promenade be demolished within 14 days.

The 4km promenade and beach restoration project cost nearly R33 million in 2009, after the old promenade was smashed by a violent storm which devastated sections of the coastline in March 2007.

Several Ballito property owners, represented by attorney Norman Brauteseth, argued that parts of the new promenade were illegally built on their property and threatened the long-term stability of the protective seafront dune and their property.

Unless the municipality lodges an appeal, the judgment means a 350m section of the promenade, costing at least R4m, will have to be torn down. The ruling also opens the door for other property owners to challenge the legality of other sections of the promenade, and there is a strong possibility that the municipality will have to pay a hefty fine for ignoring environmental laws.

In addition to the demolition order and punitive legal costs, Durban High Court Judge Dhaya Pillay requested that the auditor-general and state attorney consider investigating who was responsible for the “mismanagement of the environment and squandering of public funds”, along with possible charges of criminal misconduct.

She found that the municipality had acted unlawfully by building parts of the promenade without environmental authorisation and had refused to accept the advice of its own environmental expert three times.

In this case, she said, the municipality’s reason for constructing the promenade without proper authorisation was public pressure for such a facility, not because there was an emergency.

“Public pressure and tourism are not compelling reasons to excuse the municipality’s conduct. Public pressure can hardly ever be a basis for commencing or continuing a listed environmental activity unlawfully. Nor can the socio-economic benefits of tourism. The environment, if damaged irreversibly, will be lost for ever.”

The judge said while she was not able to make a ruling on allegations that beachfront property owners had been “bullied” by engineers acting for the municipality, it was clear there had been “flagrant, repeated and continuing breach of the law”, and it seemed municipal representatives had also acted surreptitiously and suspiciously to persuade some property owners to approve the project.

When the body corporate of the Dolphin Cove development went to court to challenge parts of the project, the municipality denied that it had encroached on their property, said it had lodged an application to “correct” its unlawful activity and was waiting for a decision by the Environmental Affairs Department.

The municipality maintained the promenade was a public facility constructed following public demand after extensive public participation to provide necessary access to the beach.

Judge Pillay noted that the matter was complicated because the old high-water mark had moved because of the storm. However, even the municipality’s legal counsel had conceded that the promenade “appears to encroach slightly” on the Dolphin Cove property. And if a diagram from a survey done in 1975 was used, it would show that the entire promenade encroached into Dolphin Cove.

Judge Pillay said although permission was sought for the entire promenade, the environment department had not authorised the section in front of Dolphin Cove, while the municipality’s own environmental expert, Simon Bundy, had also raised concerns about adverse environmental impacts.

In March 2010, the department informed the municipality that the promenade had been built in breach of environmental assessment conditions, yet more than eight months later the department had not taken any action against the municipality, notwithstanding its power to lay criminal charges and impose substantial fines.

Before the unlawful activity could be rectified, the municipality had to pay an administrative fine not exceeding R1m. The judge said KwaDukuza could be liable to a further fine not exceeding R5m.

“As an organ of state and the third tier of government, it is shocking that it disregards not only the law and the rights of individual property owners, but also the advice of its own expert, Mr Bundy.”

Judge Pillay was satisfied that a punitive legal costs order was justified, but she lamented the fact that these costs would ultimately come from public coffers.

“Instead, the persons responsible for the mismanagement of the environment and squandering of public funds to defend criminal conduct should be held accountable.”

She ordered that her judgment be served on the state attorney and the auditor-general “to investigate whether the cost of this litigation amounts to the sort of irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure” disallowed by the Municipal Finance Management Act.

KwaDukuza spokesman Sifiso Zulu said the municipality’s legal section was still studying the judgment and would later advise the council of the outcome of the case and further action that might be taken.

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Old February 22nd, 2012, 05:34 PM   #9
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Didn't realise you posted this story. Just created a dedicated thread for the promenade.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 01:11 PM   #10
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As a matter of interest, does anybody know what has happened with the upgrade to the N2 /Ballito interchange. It appears to have stopped and I have heard stories of the contractor going bust/making off with the cash/ not being paid by central goverment. etc.etc.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 08:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ShaughnK View Post
As a matter of interest, does anybody know what has happened with the upgrade to the N2 /Ballito interchange. It appears to have stopped and I have heard stories of the contractor going bust/making off with the cash/ not being paid by central goverment. etc.etc.
I would assume it's because the Provincial government has run out of money and temporarily put all non-essential roadworks on hold so as not to go overbudget. If I recall correctly, they planned for work to resume around March/April. They attribute this to not receiving sufficient money from national government to pay for road repairs caused by recent flooding, and they feel that fixing the damage is more important than new construction.

At least that's what they say. Sucks to be a contractor!
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Old April 21st, 2012, 05:13 PM   #12
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May not be Mugabe, but something big and expensive is being developed here...


Mugabe ‘may be moving to Ballito’
April 21 2012 at 02:17pm
By Lyse Comins

Ballito is abuzz with word that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is building a mansion next door to the up-market housing estate, Zimbali.

And tight security around the identity of the owner is serving only to amplify the talk on the North Coast and among the jet-set in Durban.

The estimated R200 to R300 million development dubbed “House of Thozi” is said to comprise a main house, two man-made dams, which can be seen in an aerial photograph taken by this week, an under-ground bunker with a security house upstairs, bullet-proof windows and a private helipad. There are also apparently plans for a hotel to be built on the roughly 72 000 square-metre site comprising two properties bought for the development.

DA local councillor Colin Marsh said he had been inundated with calls from journalists wanting to find out who was behind the development at the old Pottery Gallery site off the M4 highway, which has been under construction for the past year. He said he was aware of the talk that Mugabe was building the mansion but he had also been told that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were coming to the North Coast to make a movie and that they had bought a property in Zimbali.

“Everyone is looking for the story and they can’t find the truth,” Marsh said.

He said he had done a deeds search on the properties, which he said were in the names of Straightprops 92 of which Martin Sherwood is a director, and Robert Mauvis, who are believed to be the sellers.

The Saturday Star was unable to confirm this or to get comment from the sellers yesterday. Marsh said the properties had sold for R100 million and R70 million.

A local businessman, who asked to remain anonymous, said the property was surrounded by a double security fence and the development value was estimated at around R200 million. He said local contractors had been sworn to secrecy regarding the identity of the owner. Completion is expected in about two months.

“They just say it’s a black doctor from Zimbabwe, but everyone says that it is him (Mugabe) because he’s got that kind of money,” he said.

Another local property businessman said that the sellers had signed confidentiality agreements “but talk is that the buyer was Mugabe’s minister of security who is developing a complex for Mugabe and his ministers”.

When the Saturday Star’s sister paper, The Independent on Saturday, tried to visit the development this week a well-dressed plain clothed security guard politely refused entry and when asked if Mugabe was the owner said “people are lying”. He said the owner of the house was “Thozi”.

Another DA councillor said he had also heard the talk and was outraged at the thought of Mugabe living in Ballito.

“He has stolen all the money from that country and he wants to come here now. Why should we keep him? He should rather retire in his own country or go to his partners in China. He must go to the Far East, to Hong Kong. He won’t get a visa to any other country,” he said.

However, Ballito and KZN Cancer Support Network co-ordinator Jaime Ernst said she had heard it was “definitely Mugabe” who was building at the old Pottery Gallery.

“Imagine if he does move here? He is an old man and I have absolute compassion for the elderly no matter what you have done because when you are old you reassess what you have done if you have still got all your senses. If the rumour is true that he has got cancer then it’s very likely that I might get called in to help him. He is aged and ill and it is never nice to be sick,” Ernst said.

The staff of four major estate agents in Ballito said they were all aware of the development and that they had also heard that Mugabe was behind the development. An estate agent said that one of the properties had been listed for R35 million in 2010 but it had been sold by another agent.

“It was a one-hectare stand and the house size was 1 700 sqm with four bedrooms and four en-suite bathrooms as well as additional flatlets and four garages,” she said.

However, when the agent who had apparently sold the property was approached for comment he denied any involvement in the deal.

“We have not done any business with Robert Mugabe. All our information is confidential. We have not sold a R35 million property. I heard it was Robert Mugabe and then it was Julius Malema. Neither I nor any of my agents has sold a R35 million property,” he said.

“Eventually, the truth will come out if Mugabe arrives here,” he said.

International Relations and Co-operation spokesman Clayson Monyela said he was not aware of Mugabe buying in Ballito. But the department did not have to approve foreign buyers’ property deals. - Saturday Star

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Old April 21st, 2012, 05:47 PM   #13
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I would very much doubt that Mugabe would be moving here for his "retirement" tbh... his ministers and advisors must know that he is despised in this country by all but the absolutely blindly loyal to the "revolution" movement... I doubt he would survive very long here, even inside a massive security complex.

I think he would move off to somewhere like Singapore or somewhere far away from the chaos he has created.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 08:37 PM   #14
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With the coastal areas north of Durban continuing to attract home buyers, further boosted by commercial growth in areas such as Umhlanga, the town of Ballito is rapidly becoming more a permanent residential destination than a holiday location as the demand for housing spreads ever further north, says Clive Greene, Pam Golding Properties area principal in Ballito.

"Easily accessible to the King Shaka International Airport and with its large estates such as Zimbali and Simbithi, Brentonwood and Dunkirk, Ballito has evolved into a prime residential area, particularly among families and those commuting to work in nearby Umhlanga Ridge or La Lucia Office Estate," says Greene.

He says the market in coastal towns is determined very much by its location, and by what industry is nearby. The fact that Ballito is moving towards becoming an area of primary residence augurs well for the property market, as it is less susceptible to the vagaries experienced by the leisure market.

"Ballito and surrounds is slowly transforming into residential rather than holiday towns although the mix is presently still about 50:50. A great deal more businesses have opened up in the past five years, including three shopping centres which have attracted more employees. The exclusive, gated estates of Zimbali and Simbithi have been extensively marketed and are proving very popular, while new gated communities are springing up, offering an exclusive lifestyle in a secure environment. While this market has been impacted by the recent economic trading conditions, there has recently been an increase in enquiries for residential property here as astute buyers and investors perceive that the current market offers sound buying opportunities. By its very nature coastal property around the world is both desirable and limited, which ultimately translates into limited availability coupled with price appreciation," says Greene.
Demand driven from lower end of market

"While Ballito is considered an upmarket area, the demand is currently being driven from the lower end with homes in the R800 000 to R1.5 million price range most sought after – as seen by the success of some of the more affordable developments, where one bedroom apartments start at R559 000 and range up to just under R1 million for a three bedroom unit. Various other gated estates offer units priced from R3 million to R10 million, while beachfront property and homes in Zimbali range from R1.8 million to around R12 million for apartments, and homes up to R40 million."

He says the proximity of Ballito to the airport has certainly positioned the town for growth, both from a commercial and residential perspective. "There is no doubt we are seeing this area targeted as being attractive for long term investment. Town planning has taken into account growth for the next 15 years, with this is now moving beyond planning and being put forward for development in the long term. There is a need for more affordable housing, a factor which is being considered by developers. However, land is expensive, making it difficult for developers to build lower priced developments."

For those wanting to acquire leisure property, a weekend retreat or a future or imminent retirement property, there are beachfront apartments, homes and apartments in the gated estates which offer a secure environment for a lock-up-and-go home with quick access to the airport. Adds Greene: "There are great beaches and festivals which have become synonymous with Ballito, creating an ideal place for young people to holiday. There is a good demand for holiday rental property in the area, which at least takes care of running costs for your investment.

"Ballito has a full range of property to suit all requirements while Zimbali and the beachfront offer houses up to R40 million. It is probably easier to say that property is now being valued on a square metre basis. Prices in Zimbali range from R40 000 per square metre down to R15 000 per square metre, while beachfront homes vary from R12 000 up to R30 000 per square metre, and the suburbs from R8 000 to R15 000 per square metre."

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Old November 30th, 2012, 05:15 PM   #15
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Nice promo for Ballito and KZN in this car review...


Breakaway to beautiful Ballito

MABUYANE KEKANA | 30 November, 2012 00:34

Magical beaches, sparkling blue sea, wonderful atmosphere and stunning weather: all this just about 600km from Gauteng in KwaZulu-Natal. My trip to this beautiful province rubber stamped my assertion that KZN is the gem of South Africa.

Despite the humid weather, KZN is, in every respect, perfect. My plan was to take the BMW 520i long-term test car on a trip to KZN, even though choosing the area to visit was a bit difficult. I eventually settled for Ballito, about 30km north of Durban.

Our home for the weekend was Hotel Izulu, situated about a kilometre from the N3 freeway. You don't have to drive around trying to find the place - even at night there's clear signage just after you take the off-ramp.

It was raining when we arrived as can be expected in this part of the country. Upon arrival at Hotel Izulu, I immediately recognised it as one of the hotels I had stayed at on a car launch many moons ago.

You see in this job, we tend to forget the places we have stayed at as the launches are usually tightly planned. This means we check in late in the afternoon or early evening, get ready for dinner, go to bed and then check out first thing in the morning.

Basically it's in and out, no time to appreciate the place (not complaining though) hence my failure to remember that I had stayed at Izulu before.

It was an hour before we reached our room, all thanks to the BMW key that had decided to play hide and seek in the car.

We first realised that the smart key was missing when we stopped at a garage in the Free State. But this technology has made things so easy - the fact that the key was still in the car was such a relief.

We decided to proceed and to look for it when we reached our destination. The smart key operates smartly indeed. The car would not have gone anywhere if the key was not detected.

In this case, the key was hidden somewhere in the car. This meant we did not have to stop - the only thing you can't do is leave the vehicle unattended as anyone can hop in and drive off. After reaching Izulu, the mission to locate the car key began. After a long search, I succeeded with my good eye sight and the torch light of a smart phone in locating the smart key under the passenger seat.

Apart from hiding the key from us, the BMW 520i is a perfect road car.

We filled up in Johannesburg and there was no need to re-fuel until we were ready to return home.

Achieving an average of 8.8l/100km is amazing. When you drive in KZN you learn quickly that you stick to the speed limit, or suffer the consequences.

Some background on Hotel Izulu: it is an intimate hotel, entertaining a small number of guests at a time, so you don't feel invaded at all.

This is the place for those who love their peace and quiet - reading a book while staying at Hotel Izulu would not make you feel odd.

At this time of year when people need time out from their demanding jobs, this hotel comes highly recommended. The décor is a combination of ancient and modern touches, giving a sense of harmony and peace.

History and geography books can be found at reception, and you can browse through these while waiting for a spa treatment or for your car to be brought to reception.

The suites are big with modern furnishings. Nestling among lush sub-tropical vegetation, sand dunes and shimmering Indian Ocean, Hotel Izulu has as its backdrop a breath-taking shoreline.

Just short drive up the coast from Durban, the resort is an ideal starting point for a trip around the province.

An internationally celebrated executive chef selects the finest local ingredients to create unimagined delights, each beautifully presented. The hotel cellar stocks many rare, sought-after South African vintage wines, to be enjoyed by the bottle or glass. We dined in the opulent atmosphere of GiGi's, but for those who enjoy privacy dinner can be prepared in the intimacy of your suite, or at a table set in the charming wine cellar.

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Old July 25th, 2013, 09:01 PM   #16
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Durban water project includes salt sales, shrimp

July 24 2013 at 11:50am

Johannesburg - Ilembe, the fastest-growing area on the east coast of South Africa, has embarked on a pilot project to increase water supplies that features selling salt extracted from a desalination plant and a shrimp-breeding farm.

The municipality of 560,000 residents north of Durban has approved a desalination plant that will supply as much as a half-million litres (132,000 gallons) of fresh water a day, recycling the salt for commercial sale.

Wind turbines may be used to save on power bills.

The $6.1 million project was initiated because South Africa’s eastern coast has such a low water table that boreholes are usually unfeasible with short, fast-flowing seasonal rivers that affect the reliability of water and a dispersed rural population that makes infrastructure expensive.

Ilembe like much of the nation is looking for a long-term, self-sustaining water solution.

Treasury’s 2012 Budget Review says South Africa will start running out of water 13 years from now without better management.

On current projections, South Africa’s water demand will outstrip available supply by 2025 to 2030, according to the document.

“We have a 35-year master plan for water,” Ilembe Municipal Manager Mike Newton said in an interview.

With a rate of growth of 5.7 percent, a 70 percent rural population, climate change and proximity to the sea, desalination is “an attractive emergency backup in case we run out.”

Using technology already in place in the Southern Cape, the project will build a portable desalination plant at Blythedale, a resort north of Durban.

Desalination Plans

It will combine techniques to create a blueprint for two larger proposed desalination plants on the north and south coasts of KwaZulu-Natal to provide water for the province.

The supply will be drawn from the dunes via a borehole instead of the sea from waters already partly desalinated.

With reverse-osmosis being used in the project, the potable supply will be remineralized as desalinated water is acidic.

Phase one of the project will cost 11 million South African rand ($1.1 million) including specialised equipment, with the second phase commercialising the salt.

Part of the brine would be supplied to aquaculturalists to breed saltwater shrimp, and the rest would be dried for sale.

A projected output is a ton of salt per day.

The saltwater shrimp project is already linked up with the Ocean Basket chain of seafood restaurants, which started an aquaculture company, and it’s envisaged that the salt-drying project will be done in conjunction with community projects.

Phase three is to find alternative energy supplies for the plant using vertical-axis wind-turbines or hydrogen separation.

The goal is to make each plant self-sustaining.

All three phases will cost 60 million rand, amortised by selling water over the 30-year lifespan of the plant.

This desalination project is an experimental prototype for two larger planned desalination plants for KZN, one for the North Coast and another for the South Coast. - Bloomberg News

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