South Africa building R8 billion city next to the Kruger Park — Nkosi City

Mpumalanga’s government has started a project to develop the province’s first post-apartheid city, and the developer told City Press that it would cost R8 billion to construct.

Called Nkosi City, the development will be situated on the western border of the Kruger National Park and will contain a combination of RDP, social, and bonded housing. It will also have several urban farms.

According to the developer, Dovetail Properties, construction of the development could begin as early as this June.

Dovetail Properties’ director, Philip Kleijnhans, said that upon its completion, the development would take the form of an “agricity”, with residential housing situated amongst small-scale urban farming plots.

He envisions that beneficiaries of RDP houses and wealthy owners of expensive, bonded places will live side-by-side in Nkosi City.

Kleijnhans also said that the farming projects would create employment opportunities for unemployed women and young people in the area.

“This is a project where government, private enterprise and the local community are doing something together, probably for the first time,” Kleijnhans said.

“The city will not only be a central business district for the region, but also an agricultural hub of macadamias, citrus and cash crops, eventually totalling about 5,000 hectares.”

Kleijnhans told City Press that an initial feasibility study showed that the farming component of Nkosi City alone could generate more than R300 million for local communities in the first three years.

Nkosi City promises to have the characteristics of an environmentally friendly community. Part of the energy supplied to Nkosi City will come from a solar farm and a biomass renewable energy plant.

This is expected to create an estimated 15,000 jobs.

“What is left,” Kleijnhans said, “is bulk water and electricity supply. Three dams are going to be built, and Eskom will provide electricity.”

According to the developer, Nkosi City will have 3,471 houses and apartments, 241 hectares of urban farms, nine preschools, three primary schools, and two secondary schools.

It will also feature a TVET college, agricultural training centre, provincial hospital and clinic, and an SPCA.

The new city will also provide various forms of office and retail space.

Nkosi City is the brainchild of Kleijnhans, Chief Sicelo Nkosi, and former Mpumalanga agriculture, rural development, land and environmental affairs MEC Mandla Msibi.

Conceptualisation began 13 years ago when Msibi was still a ward councillor in the City of Mbombela.

“Government officials are very proud of this initiative,” Kleijnhans said. “They refer to it as their legacy.”

He added that attendance at the project’s committee meetings was good, with at least 80 officials attending the meetings every month.

Kleijnhans said that the developers would begin to engage with potential financiers and specialists for the new city’s numerous and diverse development opportunities.

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South Africa building R8 billion city next to the Kruger Park — Nkosi City