Aida is to open a new franchise in Lydenburg, the highveld town set to become one of the fastest developing towns in the country.
The franchise has been awarded to the three partners already running Aida's successful Tzaneen office and, apart from Lydenburg, will also serve the markets of Ohrigstad, Burgersfort and Steelpoort as well as the agricultural market stretching from the Drakensberg range to Ohrigstad.
Co-franchisee Theo de Jager says that due to fast development fuelled by expanding mining operations in the area, it is widely believed that Lydenburg will overtake Rustenburg as the country's fastest developing town within the next two years.
"The area is rich in minerals and seven new mines are attracting mineworkers from the gold fields where mining activity has slackened. And the new Steelpoort Dam is expected to further boost the property market. Engineers contracted for the dam project are already on site and more inflows of workers are expected," he says.
"Forecasts show that the town will double in size within the next five years, but there is already a shortage of residential stock. In fact, many miners from the gold fields have left their families behind because they can only find singles accommodation.
"Lack of infrastructure such as bulk water and electricity supply has dampened new development but local government has now targeted these items as priorities and it is expected that bulk services will be in place by the middle of next year."
Meanwhile, the shortages of housing stock have seen prices rocket and De Jager notes that housing in Lydenburg is now much more expensive than in other Mpumalanga towns such as Tzaneen and Phalaborwa.
"Standard three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes with a single garages command prices of between R900 000 and R1m in Lydenburg, compared to about R650 000 in Tzaneen and R550 000 in Phalaborwa."
The new franchise has acquired offices in the main street of Lydenburg and officially opened this month. It will initially field four agents, but is looking to increase this number to about 16 to fully cover the extensive area to be served by the franchise