Bela-Bela - Gateway to investment

Taking residential developments into consideration, Bela-Bela (formerly known as Warmbaths) is probably one of the fastest-growing towns in South Africa.  The area’s proximity to the N1 and the fact that the R101 goes right through the town have earned it the reputation as the “Gateway to the Limpopo Province”.

Fred van Heerden, franchisee of CENTURY 21 Realty 2020, says that many up-market property buyers have chosen Bela-Bela as their investment location of choice due to the superb bushveld scenery, low crime rate, excellent amenities and thriving business sector.  “Bela-Bela is also rightfully a popular inland tourist destination due to major attractions such as the Forever Resort (formerly Aventura) and approximately 100 game lodges, of which several boast the Big 5.  This inevitably has attracted a host of foreign as well as local tourists, especially those from Gauteng. In the past few years, property prices have accelerated dramatically in line with the demand for property in the area. With more and more developers focusing their attention to Bela-Bela, the future looks vibrant for investors.”

Due to its proximity to Pretoria, Johannesburg and Polokwane, and the fact that the area is one of the most popular inland tourist destinations in South Africa, Bela-Bela has enough accommodation to service thousands of visitors.

Looking at residential developments, van Heerden points out that Bela-Bela is in dire need of an affordable, yet luxurious holiday accommodation apartments. “The positioning of the Waterfront at the main entrance of Bela-Bela, with all surrounding restaurants and businesses, would be ideal for a development of this nature.”

Aside from the established residential developments in place in Bela-Bela, there is a host of current and planned residential developments in the pipeline. Van Heerden notes that several lifestyle developments in game farms, totalling approximately 1400 stands, are currently in progress in proximity of the town. Serviced stands in these developments range in price from R350 000 to R1,5-million.  In addition, the Bela-Bela Council is currently developing the Extension 8 area, which consists of around 900 more affordable stands. “Four international golf courses are at present in the planning and development stages where high profile golf designers such as Gary Player and Peter Matkovich are involved. Two of these golf courses – Zebula Country Club & Spa (formally known as Mabalingwe Country Club) and Elements Private Golf Reserve, are among the top golf estates in the country. Lejwe La Meetse Golf Estate, that borders the town, is another golf estate which is in the final approval stage where the developers are planning a development in excess of R3,5-billion.”

Currently there is a big demand for industrial land in the Bela-Bela area that can be utilised for a whole range of light industries. “Bela-Bela is ideal for this sector due to the affordability of industrial land in the area, its proximity to Pretoria and Johannesburg, the free traffic flow to the north and the south due to the N1, access to the railway system, relatively effective municipal management and sufficient water resources,” says van Heerden.

In terms of investment, the Bela-Bela area has a lot going for it, including municipal services and property prices being more affordable than that in Gauteng. Van Heerden adds that the town has an unlimited supply of semi-skilled and unskilled labour, as well as an airfield that could be upgraded and utilised for not only light industries, but also for tourism purposes.

“It is evident from all of these points that Bela-Bela is expanding at a phenomenal rate, and has the potential to expand tremendously for many years to come.  Efficient long-term planning will undoubtedly ensure sustainability and economic progress in terms of the establishment of small and medium enterprises and the resultant creation of permanent job opportunities,” concludes van Heerden.

CENTURY 21 Realty 2020, in addition to the sale of second hand residential property within the suburban settings of Bela-Bela and Modimolle, specialises in the marketing of developments and game farms in the bushveld, which includes the entire area surrounding Bela-Bela including Mabula, Rooiberg, Leeupoort, Modimolle and Vaalwater.

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