NATIONAL NEWS - Durban has joined the ranks of an elite club of only a handful of cities around that world that has a dedicated aerotropolis, which once complete, will become the economic driver of the province, creating 750 000 jobs.
The official 50-year Durban Aerotropolis Master Plan was unveiled earlier this month, at the same time that the modern Durban Aerotropolis Visitor Centre, based at the Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone, was launched.
The announcement was made by KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala, Deputy Minister of Trade and Economic Development, Nomalungelo Gina, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube and eThekwini Municipality Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda.
The Aerotropolis will have a footprint of 32000ha between Ballito and Durban, open to both public and private sector investment and includes green space areas amounting to about 10 000ha.
The entire development has the potential to attract investment valued at around R1-trillion. The Dube Trade Port forms the heart of the new developments that make up the aerotropolis.
The aerotropolis will incorporate business, manufacturers, residential housing, recreation spaces and techno hubs.
Zikalala said: “The main objective of the Durban Aerotropolis initiative is to build a 21st century airport city and a way of positioning the province as trade gateway to Africa and the world. Our plan is to turn the region into a bustling hive of economic activity to drive job growth and become a regional economic powerhouse. “
MEC Dube-Ncube said: “The long-term strategic objective of the Dube Trade Port Project was the establishment of an Aerotropolis in the north of Durban, stretching from uMhlanga to Ballito. Airports have a potential to shape business location in the 21st century.”