NORTH Durban is set for a major change after a recent agreement between the eThekwini Municipality and Main Street 57, majority owners of brickmaker Corobrik, to incentivise the Brickworks Development in the Avoca Development Node.
Deputy Mayor Belinda Scott said the roughly 350-hectare node has a potential capital investment value of R10 billion.
She added that the Brickworks development would significantly contribute towards reducing unemployment, with the creation of an estimated 23,000 construction jobs and 13,500 permanent jobs.
“The location of the Brickworks development, along with the other developments in the Avoca Node, such as Caneridge and Rohill (Northfields), will create much needed employment opportunities for the surrounding communities like the Mt Moriah, Duffs Road, Inanda and KwaMashu residential areas. It is one of the few remaining large infill sites in the area.”
She said the Investec Property had committed to ensuring that all contractors during the construction phase of the development would be required to create opportunities for local enterprises wherever possible. This was to ensure that the Brickworks development contributes meaningfully towards job creation and socio-economic transformation.
Investec is another major Corobrik shareholder. Its property company intends developing this site in three phases of approximately 30 hectares of developable land in each phase. The proposed development will require an investment of over R1 billion in infrastructure development and will take over 15 years to develop.
“In order to incentivise the Brickworks development and realise the anticipated socio-economic benefits resulting from the development, including the increased rates income for the city once the development is undertaken, a rates rebate has been agreed upon for the development period.”
A five-year rates rebate is being proposed for each of the three phases of the development. Although there will be an anticipated rates rebate of R34 million over the 15-year period, it is estimated that rates income for this site will increase from its current R3,4 million per annum to an estimated R190 million per annum post full development, in addition to the other socio-economic benefits to be realised.
“The intention is for the rebate to cease on an incremental basis as an Occupation Certificate is issued for any completed top structure development, on a site by site basis.”
Scott said this was part of the city’s strategy to create a “conducive environment for investment” forms part its rates and economic development incentive policies.
Investec Property Joint Chief Executive David Rosmarin said: “Through our partnership with Corobrik, who for more than 100 years have provided eThekwini with bricks to build some of the most iconic buildings in the city, we were able to identify this unique development opportunity.”