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New opportunities expected as authorities give green light

A PROPOSED multi-billion rand development project earmarked for land near the airport will be the biggest to ever take place in Mthatha.

The multi-use development will include conference facilities, a cinema, five-star hotel, up-market residential complex, sprawling shopping mall, bus terminus and taxi rank and a casino.

Artist impression of some of the
proposed development in Mthatha

Dubbed the Mthatha West Mixed Use Development, the project is expected to cost between R2-billion and R3- billion over a period of 15 to 20 years.

It is the brainchild of Mthatha resident and local businesswoman Dr Lexie Ceza.

Ceza said she had acquired the land earmarked with the help of the department of land affairs and the venture had the blessing of traditional leaders from four different municipal wards near the airport.

“We have been given the go ahead.from all the relevant authorities and.right now are just looking for funders,” said Ceza.

“People from the Transkei have been.crying for something like this.”

Sagie Naidoo of Colonial Capital, the company appointed to manage the.project, said construction was expected to start in earnest year once bulk services had been installed on the land.

“The project is really at an advanced.stage at the moment,” he said, adding that they would not be able to release further details now.

Despite the airport having been in existence for many years, most of the land surrounding the facility has never been developed.

Mthatha city bosses have given the go-ahead to the development.

King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) municipality spokesman Sonwabo Mampoza yesterday said the local authority was excited about the project as it would provide job opportunities for locals.

“That is a very beautiful piece of land out there and this is the type of development that will certainly enhance the profile of this area,” said Mampoza.

“We are highly appreciative of this as it will give more opportunities to a lot of unemployed people in our area.

Unskilled and skilled people will definitely benefit.”

Mampoza also lauded the positioning.of the planned development saying it would offer easy access to everyone, even tourists visiting KSD.

“Through the executive mayor’s [Nonkoliso Ngqonwa] stakeholder relations programme, we always encourage investors to come and invest here,” he said, adding that infrastructure like roads and electricity had been upgraded to make Mthatha more attractive to investors.

“We are hopeful that this development might act as a catalyst in our quest to attract more investors with huge capital to come and invest it in our city.”

Local traditional leader Jonas Ndzambule said the development would have major economic spin-offs for local residents both in urban and rural areas.

“People want development which in turn breeds job opportunities.

When there are jobs, then people are able to put money in their pockets.

“This will have a positive impact on the local economy.”

Ndzambule however said development in and around Mthatha was being hamstrung by land claims from rural communities.

“This [land claims] should not adversely impact on development. Let us all work together to make sure this one project becomes a reality,” he said.

But other traditional leaders like Gobizizwe Makaula from Ncise, less than 5km from the airport said they were not aware of the development.

OR Tambo Business Forum chairman Vuyisile Ntlabati said they were behind the initiative. — [email protected]

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No offence to Umtata, but its a dump. what do they need a 5star hotel for? - for ANC politco's to jet into their underused airport and gladhand locals, stay for a night and piss off again?
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