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Waterfront gets the nod
•The Witness, Fri, 28 Sep 2007
By Nalini Naidoo

The R3 billion Camps Drift Waterfront project has finally been given the go-ahead by the Msunduzi Council’s Executive Committee (Exco), but only if the service agreement is tightened up to ensure that the developers, not the city, bear the burden of maintaining the canals.

Councillors agreed that the city will continue the normal dredging of the canals, required every seven to eight years, but the maintenance of water quality and any extra dredging required must be done by the developers.

The Camps Drift project, which proposes shops, a convention centre, hotels, an office park and upmarket residential areas, has been in limbo for 18 months and has remained a controversial item on council’s agenda.

The previous council chose Ocean Spray Investments as their preferred developers in 2005. However, when the new council took over in March 2006, they voiced concern about the agreement, which they felt favoured the developers over council. There was also concern that the directors involved were a small, well-connected, out-of-town elite, who had also garnered other key development projects in the city.

Ocean Spray director Nandi Mandela was also a director of New Ground, which was chosen to develop the twinned Hayfields (New England Road) and Qokololo Stadium sites.

According to speculation in council corridors, by July 2007, without receiving all the answers to their questions, certain ANC members who initially opposed the project started pushing for Ocean Spray to go ahead with the project. There are allegations, too, that a senior ANC person was offered a 10% share in the development, through a nominated front person.

The ANC’s Themba Zungu expressed his confusion on the sudden turnaround during yesterday’s Exco meeting. He said he gave the project the go-ahead in principle and only because it has been dragged out for months, and he does not want to be seen as standing in the way of development. However, he asked why the sudden turnaround occurred.

He urged that the service agreement be reviewed, saying: “We can’t say if your business affects the natural environment then we will give you more money to sort it out.”

The DA’s Mark Steele and Gerrit Meyer pointed out the vagueness of certain clauses in the service agreement pertaining to the maintenance of water quality, and asked officials to spell out these in detail to ensure it is clear that council cannot extend liability for costs of the development on the future residents of the city.

There was also a certain amount of amazement expressed when official Blackie Swart said that,while the land on either side goes to the developer, the canal will remain a servitude — and, as such, a responsibility of council. Many councillors later said they have always assumed the canal was included as part of the development. They said they will look at the implications of this, and will thoroughly scrutinise the re-worked service agreement.

Although the project has been given the go-ahead, it will still be at least 18 months before development work can begin.

The project has to go through the environmental impact assessment process as required by law. This could involve the need for a hydrological study, as the project is being developed on a large floodplain.

Published: 28 September 2007
 

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Discussion Starter #42
so we are looking at another 18 month wait to see the development rising from the ground? all in all it will be a fantastic, definining development for the city
 

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Airlink brings jet age to KZN capital

October 10 2007 at 07:18PM

Regional airline Airlink will increase its capacity between Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg with the introduction of a jet service six times a week between the two cities.

The service between Johannesburg's Oliver Tambo International Airport and Pietermaritzburg's Oribi airport will be the first jet service to operate out of Pietermaritzburg.

In a statement released by Airlink on Wednesday, the airline announced it would be using a 97-seater BAE 146-200 on its evening service to Pietermaritzburg from November 1.

Currently the airline uses a 29-seater turboprop Jetstream 41.

The jet service will operate the late departures from Johannesburg from Monday to Friday and Sunday, as well as the early departures from Pietermaritzburg from Monday to Friday and Saturday.

Airline spokesperson Karin Murray said there had been increased demand for flights between Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg.

The introduction of the service was part of a "gradualised increase" in capacity on the route.

Airlink has provided a scheduled service between Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg for the past 15 years.

Currently most air commuters out of Pietermaritzburg go by car to Durban International Airport and catch their connecting flight.

The planned 2010 opening of Durban's King Shaka International Airport, nearly 50 kilometres north of Durban, means that air commuters will have to travel nearly 150 kilometres to get to a major airport. - Sapa

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=181&art_id=nw20071010184537422C965415
 

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Pietermaritzburg growing strongly
2007/10/18

Fine & Country launched its new Pietermaritzburg office on the 10 of October 2007 at the Victoria Country Club in Pietermaritzburg.

"I have seen the property market in the area move from strength to strength in recent years and I believe it is set to continue, even if the pace slows down," says Brian Codling from Fine & Country Pietermaritzburg.

The Pietermaritzburg property market has performed in line with the national market and will continue to do so. Since the introduction of the National Credit Act (NCA) and the increased interest rates, the national market has flattened off and appreciation in the area has also slowed down.

Be that as it may, the area is a dynamic commercial, educational and industrial centre. Companies are relocating into its orbit, drawn by a quality of life which is not easily obtained in South Africa's larger cities.

Hotels, nightclubs, restaurants and bed & breakfast establishments cater for every tourist need. Yet the countryside is never far away. Timbered hills cradle the city while the Msunduzi River streams through its centre.

Pietermaritzburg has awoken from a politically induced slumber, with provincial government moving back to the city from Ulundi. The return of civil servants and is an important factor behind an enormous 30% increase in economic activity in the past year.

Local government has been buffing up services, signifying further interest and confidence in the vast potential of the area. One such government expenditure includes the development of a highway corridor between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

A massive development at Cato Ridge, between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, is expected to take place within the next decade. It is believed that it could be the "Midrand" of KwaZulu-Natal. "There are various developments on the go in the Ashburton area and it is anticipated that the corridor between Hillcrest and Pietermaritzburg will become a Midrand equivalent within the next decade," says Codling.

"Although prices have increased over the past five years, property here still represents good value in comparison to the Durban market," says Codling.

Currently, there is high interest in entry level properties that are well presented. Entry level flats start from R350k, while entry level homes are priced in the region of R600k. Mid-level homes are now selling between R1m and R1,2m while the most expensive up-market properties in the Natal Midlands Country start from R3,5m and can go up to R25m.

There is great demand for vacant land around the city and requests remain strong for both individual plots as well as areas for development. Individual plots range in price from R250k to R1m, dependent on the location.

The Pietermaritzburg area is known as an educational centre and has some of the country's finest private schools such as Hilton College, St Anne's, St Charles and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

One of the premier developments in the area is the Victoria Country Club Golf Estate which is setting new pricing standards for both residential and office properties. The area is an hour away from the coast and a 30 minute drive away from an activity-filled location for hiking, fishing and other outdoor activities.

"Residential housing supply is beginning to rise to the challenge of meeting the strong demand in the area. Pietermaritzburg is both a desirable and convenient place in which to live, while still offering good value for money. I expect that investors who jump in early, and those who already have, will receive great rewards within the next decade," Codling concludes.
 

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^^ I've noticed a lot of development in Pmb in the last year. Buildings being refurbished and nice new residential developments. The Midlands countryside that borders onto the city really is magnificent.

Was in the city today and noticed a new office block under construction near McDonalds. The signboard just said new office block with 1500m2 parking.
 

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Greg when you say the City you mean DBN City, if so that will be great.
 

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No, I mean Pietermaritzburg CBD.
 

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The PMB CBD looks neglected... did not enjoy my drive through there at all. The meander is awesome. Michaelhouse...

 

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The PMB CBD looks neglected... did not enjoy my drive through there at all. The meander is awesome. Michaelhouse...
The side of the greater CBD facing the N3 is very dodgy and uncared for. It's always been that way and caters largely for traders from areas such as Transkei. The other side (largely padestrianised) is much cleaner and home to a fantastic array of Victorian buildings. Unfortunately for people travelling along the N3 they usually enter the bad side and don't get to see the city's charm.

I agree the Midlands is fantastic. It's a beautiful weekend escape from city life.
 

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The side of the greater CBD facing the N3 is very dodgy and uncared for. It's always been that way and caters largely for traders from areas such as Transkei. The other side (largely padestrianised) is much cleaner and home to a fantastic array of Victorian buildings. Unfortunately for people travelling along the N3 they usually enter the bad side and don't get to see the city's charm.

I agree the Midlands is fantastic. It's a beautiful weekend escape from city life.
That's sad Greg, I think the Municipalities in KZN are drinking something that makes their heads spin as they should make sure that the entrance of DBN and PMB are clean as first impression lasts. Once you see ugly things on the city entrance then there's no point of you getting deeper.
 

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Hotel, offices plan for mall
10 Apr 2008
Thabisile Gumede (Witness)

THE Msunduzi Municipality’s Executive Committee (Exco) has approved the third phase of the expansion of the award-winning Liberty Midlands Mall, which is planned to include a hotel, offices and a “value retail centre”.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
interesting...they need to add a second retail level, its a bloody long walk from end to end.
 

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Pietermaritzburg transport department won an award last week for being the best performing department in KZN, can those who in the know tells us what initiatives they have come up with to deserve that award?
 

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Here's a pic of a basic new R70 million Value Centre type setup in PMB - called Invesco Centre

the anchor will be Hi Fi Corporation....
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Yeah the midlands mall is getting a 30 000m2 expansion taking it over 80 000m2. Additionally it is getting a Southern Sun hotel, under which brand it will fall is not known yet. All developed by liberty
 

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P'maritzburg stacked with old gems
2008/09/10

Widely regarded as one of the best preserved Victorian cities in the world, Pietermaritzburg is a popular hunting ground for people wanting properties that date back more than a century.

Predominantly Edwardian and Victorian architecture, and often constructed from red brick, they range in price from the late R500ks to R4m and more, depending on their condition, character and location, according to Robyn Kirkby of Pam Golding Properties (PGP) in Pietermaritzburg.

Of those currently on her company's books, the most affordable is a three bedroom Heritage cottage with original Oregon floors and high ceilings. Situated in a quiet lane not far from the city centre, it's listed at R560k.

There's also a listed Victorian home in Wembley, which is marketed for R1,785m.

Sited on a 1,339sq m stand, the house comprises four reception rooms, three fireplaces, four bedrooms, single bathroom, entrance hall and pantry.

At the top end of the price spectrum, at R4,750m, is another Victorian jewel built in 1904. Kirkby says its character derives from its high ceilings, Oregan Pine flooring and wrap-around veranda which looks out over 6,750sq m of garden. In all, it comprises five bedrooms, en suite and family bathrooms, four reception rooms, banquet-sized dining room, study and fitted kitchen. Two garages and storerooms complete the picture.

Of the period properties being marketed by Natal Property Consultants (NPC) at the moment, one is a Victorian in Central for R1,395m. According to NPC estate agent Claire Johnston, both of its lounges have fireplaces and both bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms. In addition, there's a guest bathroom, fitted kitchen with scullery/laundry, self-contained flat, servant's accommodation and a double garage.

NPC managing director Bruce Campbell is marketing what he calls "an old gem" in one of Central's side streets. Once a family home, he says it has been professionally converted into a suite of four, air-conditioned offices. In addition, the property offers a boardroom, kitchen, covered parking for four cars and an outside room. The listing price is R1,1m.
 

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Pietermaritzburg transport department won an award last week for being the best performing department in KZN, can those who in the know tells us what initiatives they have come up with to deserve that award?
By having the least busses stolen or crahed :eek:hno:
 

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Witness Today:

Five directors, including former president Nelson Mandela’s grandaughter, Nandi Mandela, involved in three major developments in the city may have to repay millions of rands to Ithala Bank, raising doubts about their ability to finance the local projects.

In jeopardy are the Camps Drift Waterfront development, a hotel complex in New England Road and a shopping centre at the Qokololo Stadium in Edendale.

The directors are currently the subjects of a forensic investigation instituted by the KZN Finance Department, into how one of their companies, Dolphin Whispers, managed to secure a R48 million loan from the government-owned Ithala Bank when the maximum loan limit was R15 million.

Dolphin Whispers was involved in the development of a multimillion rand 10-storey complex as part of the revamp of Durban’s Point Road. The company went into liquidation last year after failing to pay the company it had hired to fix defects. The company also defaulted on its loan repayment to Ithala.

Finance and Economic Development MEC Dr Zweli Mkhize told the province’s finance portfolio committee last week that the the forensic investigation is due to be completed by the end of November.


Three of the five directors of Oceanspray, the company awarded the contract by Msunduzi Municipality to develop the Camps Drift waterfront, are also directors of Dolphin Whispers. They are Mandela, Vaughn Charles and Craig Simmer. The other two directors of Oceanspray are local accountant Roshan Morar and Sean Murphy.

The environmental impact assessment (EIA) on the New England Road project has been completed and the development has been given the nod by the Environment Affairs Department.

Residents have a short time to appeal against the decision. The Witness has learnt that so far there have been at least three appeals.

One of these is based on the type of hotel to be developed on the site. When the project was first mooted, residents were told that this would be a City Lodge. However, it seems from the latest report that a more down-scale hotel is planned.

For the Camps Drift project, a hydrological report is being drawn up on the impact of the development on the Msunduzi River. According to sources, this report should have been done by now.

Mandela was not available for comment, but Henry assured The Witness that the predicament of Dolphin Whispers will have no impact on the Pietermaritzburg projects.

He said all the directors involved in the local projects were minor shareholders in Dolphin Whispers and that they welcomed the investigation by the Finance Department as a means of clearing their names.

The R3-billion waterfront project is set to include shops, a convention centre, hotels, office parks, upmarket residential areas and an Olympic canoe and kayak slalom water course.

The proposal on the New England Road development offered a City Lodge-type hotel, restaurant and 35 simplexes. Plans for Qokololo included sports facilities, a shopping centre, taxi rank and petrol station.
 

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Publicity Building


149 Pietermaritz Street


Old Pentrich Railway Station


149 Pietermaritz Street


Macrorie House


Cottage on Boom Street


Italian POW Church


Victoria Hall


Longmarket Street Girls School


Main Post Office


Natal Museum
 
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