South Africa

New coastal smart city to be built in South Africa

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane says work is underway to develop a new smart city in the province.

Presenting his state of the province address on Thursday (17 February), Mabuyane indicated that the project was still in the planning and design phase, with the provincial government working to attract investors.

“The development of the African Coastal Smart City is gaining momentum, following the president’s roadshow on the eastern seaboard towards the end of 2021.

“This initiative is going to serve as a game-changer and a catalyst for further development and investment attraction throughout the Wild Coast. There are already investors who have expressed an interest in the area. To facilitate implementation on the Eastern Cape side of the programme, we have appointed Coega (Special Economic Zone) to package our projects.”

The plans for a new smart city on South Africa’s East Coast were first mooted in 2021, and cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma presented the plan at the ANC’s NEC lekgotla in September.

Dlamini-Zuma said the development is expected to take place between Port St Johns and Margate on the country’s Wild Coast.

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In addition to the economic benefits, Dlamini-Zuma said the coastal city would help reduce unemployment in the area, promote tourism and help reverse some of the semigration from the area, which had seen more people leave to the country’s larger cities.

The minister said that the new city would also address apartheid spatial planning, which many of the country’s major cities developed along racial lines.

Coastal development

Government plans to use its new district development model as an outline for a significant new development zone along the eastern seaborad, says president Cyril Ramaphosa.

During a roadshow of the area in November, the president said the development is expected to contribute to creating new ‘regional nodes’ that will attract investment into the area and create jobs and other opportunities for communities.

He added that the government was encouraging investment in the region by packaging existing infrastructure project portfolios and presenting a credible project pipeline with the detail needed for investors to make informed investment decisions.

“The District Development Model approach will ensure a better alignment of government structures to facilitate planning permits and other approvals required for development,” he said.

“We will do so without cutting corners or compromising on safety and quality. I am greatly encouraged to see the work that has gone into packaging the Eastern Seaboard Development to potential investors.”

Ramaphosa sees these developments as the key towards South Africa’s economic reconstruction and recovery and are expected to help boost the economy and create jobs.

Read: Ramaphosa accused of bypassing cabinet with aide appointments

Artmotion S.Africa

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