Powerful growth in Lephalale

Affectionately known as the heartbeat of the Waterberg Bushveld, Lephalale is possibly one of the fastest growing nodes in the country due to the fact that it is the area destined to be the future mining and energy generation hub in South Africa, says Dirk Conradie, CEO of Cranbrook Limited, a development company specialising in property and investment projects in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

Formerly known as Ellisras, Lephalale was identified by the Limpopo Employment Growth and Development Plan as a petrochemical cluster and has attained the status of a national development node. The region is currently in the midst of massive economic development which is related to mining and energy generation due to the near completion of the Medupi power station and five Greenfield mining operations.

Described as the future hub of power generation in Southern Africa, Lephalale is home to Grootegeluk Coal Mine, which is the largest open-cast coal mine in the world, the Matimba Power Station, which is the largest dry-cooled power station in the world. Lephalale is also the location of the colossal World Bank-funded Medupi Power Station, which is currently under construction. “Add to this Exxaro’s R9,5 billion expansion of its mining activities, as well as the Lephalale Local Municipality’s response to this planned rapid expansion in the mining, energy and several supporting industries, (the volume of which has never before been realised in South Africa at this planned scale and in a relatively short timeframe),  it’s clear where the town’s 50% growth figure over the past year, is derived from,” he says.  “According to the Lephalale Economic Development Company, the region’s permanent residents will escalate to 240 000 by the year 2025.”

Conradie notes that mining and power generation are not the only things that Lephalale is known for.  Located in the north-western part of the Limpopo Province, just 280km from Tshwane, it is regarded as the gateway to Botswana and other Southern African countries.  “Situated on the banks of the Mogol River along the Waterberg Mountains, Lephalale is a place of breathtaking beauty and is the last stop for tourists en-route to safaris in Botswana and the Okavango Delta. It has become famous among tourists worldwide for its pristine natural beauty and game farms hosting the big five,” he says. “The area has several private game reserves due to the abundant wildlife in the region that can be viewed, by either open-roof game drives or guided walks with professional rangers.  Along with the wildlife, geological sites and rock art are also a strong draw-card. The Mogol Club Golf Course which is located in the area is also one of the best in the region.”

He adds that due to the rapid development in the town, along with the need for additional housing to accommodate the growing number of residents and visitors to the area, Cranbrook Limited developed the Ledibeng Eco Estate. Situated on 635ha on the foothills of the Waterberg range and adjoining Lephalale, Ledibeng gives investors the opportunity to invest in  a lifestyle estate as either their primary residence or as part of a rental portfolio. Conradie says that due to the escalating demand, investors who purchase a R1,2m, three-bedroom home in the estate can achieve rentals upwards of R11 000 per month.

“Ledibeng gives property investors the opportunity to take advantage of the growth potential of Lephalale and stake their claim in one of South Africa’s coalfield treasure chests, while still enjoying the beauty of the country’s unspoiled Bushveld. The estate is approximately three hours away from Gauteng, has controlled access and offers fully serviced stands that range from  500m2 to 1,2 hectares,” says Conradie. “There are large greenbelts throughout the estate, with 60% of the development being left as nature intended. Residents will be able to enjoy bird and game viewing from their doorstep.”

He notes that given the skyrocketing growth of Lephalale, Ledibeng Eco Estate offers a solid investment opportunity both in the medium and long term. “The combination of a lucrative, willing rental pool and high capital growth gives investors an attractive alternative in today’s uncertain market,” Conradie concludes.

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