The Dinokeng area to the north-east of Pretoria is all set to boom, thanks to a Blue IQ initiative which aims to establish the area as a premier tourist destination.
But, says Dr Willie Marais, principal of leading local agency Homenet Maxima, the area's full growth potential is being stunted due to service delivery bottlenecks.
Dinokeng already has a tourism and ecology base. It is well known for its nature reserves and the Roodeplaat Dam and a "Big Five" reserve is currently being created in line with the Blue IQ initiative. "This large reserve is being fashioned by linking up several existing reserves in the area and it is hoped that it will be partially operational by 2010, enabling tourists here for the Soccer World Cup to see the Big Five without having to leave Gauteng.
"This and other plans for the area will undoubtedly act as a catalyst for future property market growth and already the residential sector is faring well with sub-division taking place and property values up dramatically since 1999. Vacant 1ha plots are now selling for around R500 000 with developed plots going for R2m on average," Marais says.
However, the moratorium placed on development in 2001 because of a water shortage in the area is sidelining further major growth. "The moratorium has not yet officially been lifted as a new water pipeline from the Tshwane reservoir has yet to be completed. The pipeline was due for completion in 2005."
Also hindering the property potential of the area is the fact that some large tracts of open land are being used by informal settlers. "This automatically devalues surrounding landholdings but also speaks to the urgent need for affordable housing options in this area.
"This will hopefully be addressed if the plans to incorporate Nokeng into the Tshwane metro by 2011 come to fruition, and then it should be full steam ahead for an area which really has great potential."
ISSUED BY HOMENET