Construction starts on Modderfontein mega-city

Despite initial scepticism construction on a small scale has started at Zendai, the R84 billion development, situated in Modderfontein.

Artist Impression of the new city

When the project was announced last year many people believed that construction on this ambitious development would never take place, however the first set of 300 residential units and some of the roads are already under construction.

Zendai South Africa chief operating officer Du Wenhui said it was a 15- to 20-year project that would see between 30 000 and 50 000 housing units of different types and sizes, ultimately housing about 100 000 residents.

The artist impressions which was released last year are awe inspiring and Wenhui said that these impressions are what the area could look like in 20 years.

"Hope and imagination are the key words here. The project will be market driven, and depending what our clients or developers want, the sky is the limit. Twenty years ago, nobody would have imagined that Sandton would look like it does today, with its multiple skyscrapers."

Central to the development is the Gautrain's Modderfontein station on the Sandton-airport route, which has been partially built.

Wenhui said consultants would be employed to start the design of the new station this year, but construction would probably not happen for at least the next three years.

The educational precinct will offer private schools and student accommodation, and includes a site for a government school.

The 275 hectare Modderfontein Reserve, which is open to the public, will be preserved.

"The focus is to establish an area which offers a safe, public environment in a smart city," said Wenhui. "Security is paramount. We want to build a community here."

Shanghai Zendai purchased the property from Heartlands, which runs explosives company AECI's property portfolio.

The Shanghai Zendai project is one of the largest real estate deals concluded by a Chinese firm in South Africa.

Read more about the development here 

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