Developers are starting to eye Dinokeng

The Dinokeng tourism initiative - which aims to establish a "Big Five"
tourism node close to Johannesburg and Pretoria - is starting to catch the
attention of property developers.

A Blue IQ project of the Gauteng provincial government, the Dinokeng
initiative rests on the establishment of a major new game reserve with
associated eco-tourism attractions to the northeast of Pretoria/ Tshwane.

"The idea is to turn Dinokeng into a premier destination especially for
weekend and short-stay tourists from Johannesburg and Pretoria, and in this
way promote economic growth, job creation and social upliftment in the area,
says Dr Willie Marais, principal of leading local agency Homenet Maxima.

"And it is already fuelling new interest in residential and eco-tourism
related development around the Roodeplaat Dam and the historical villages of
Cullinan and Rayton."

Indeed, a degree of spin-off development south of the Dinokeng area has
already taken place, with the earlier approval by the Nokeng Tsa Taemane
municipality of projects such as Burkea Park, Pebble Rock, Leeuwfontein
Estate and Sable Hills.

"These provide some idea of the property potential of the area as in the
Burkea Park development, for example, 1ha freehold stands that originally
sold for around R40 000 are now changing hands for as much as R800 000."

However, Marais notes, there is widespread recognition - and acceptance -
that developments around the proposed game reserve will have to be
constrained by strict guidelines to avoid environmental despoilment and
over-extended infrastructure.

 "Going forward, the market now awaits clarification of zonings and land use
in areas on the edge of existing urbanisation to the west of Dinokeng's
demarcated area. The development framework for the area is currently being
formulated by the Nokeng Tsa Taemane local authority in consultation with
various stakeholders.

"Market talk, though, is that developers are already testing the water on
proposals for residential game/ golf/ lifestyle estates in the area and it
is reasonable to speculate that there will also be B&B's and commercial
development for service industries and convenience retailing."
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