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KZN SPRING 2020

INVEST

Downtown

CONNECT COMMUNICATE COLLABORATE

How to make inner-city investment pay off

Conscience Mindful business is capitalism with conscience

Manufacturing Toyota’s billion bonanza to boost local suppliers

Coast of Dreams

PROPERTY SPECIAL

ISSUE 10

Books

Fred Khumalo’s journey back in time


TO THE PROVINCE

SECTORS AGRICULTURE/ BUSINESS SERVICES/ MANUFACTURING/ ENERGY AND WATER/ MINING AND BENEFICIATION/ TOURISM AND PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT

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KNOWLEDGE IS THE POWER

20% OF EMPLOYMENT

SELECT THE RIGHT PARTNER AND LOCATION

THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR CONTRIBUTES

Trade & Investment KwaZuluNatal is a South African trade and inward investment promotion agency (IPA), established to promote the province of KwaZulu-Natal as an investment destination and to facilitate trade by assisting local companies to access international markets.

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TIKZN

Trade & Investment House, 1 Arundel Close Kingsmead Office Park, Durban, 4001, South Africa +27 (0) 31 368 9600 info@tikzn.co.za

YOUR KNOWLEDGE PARTNER IN BUSINESS PUTTING KZN ON THE MAP Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal plays an instrumental role in promoting the province as the premier investment destination through promotion and packaging of investment opportunities, as well as providing professional expertise to potential international and local investors.

KWAZULU-NATAL INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES 2019 – 2021

SOUTH AFRICA KWAZULU-NATAL

29° 0’ 0” S, 31° 0’ 0” E

Tasked with sustainable growth in KwaZulu-Natal for the benefit of all its citizens, Trade & Investment KwaZuluNatal’s main responsibility is to enhance sector and industrial development through trade, investment and exports. The strategically-located province is a catalyst for global trade and a portal between KwaZulu-Natal and the world.

www.tikzn.co.za

GROWING THE PROVINCE THROUGH INVESTMENT With two of the hemisphere’s largest and busiest ports within its border, locally acclaimed attractions which enjoy an all-yearround idyllic climate, a magnificent coastline, heritage sites steeped in rich culture and the African township experience which has emerged strongly; KwaZulu-Natal’s tourism sector is the main contributor to the local economy. Not only is KwaZulu-Natal’s year-round sub-tropical climate a major attraction, but investment has come in a variety of guises, inclusive of Durban’s Point Waterfront Development, the Gateway Theatre of Shopping, the development of Umhlanga Ridge, La Lucia Office Park, Suncoast Casino, Sibaya Casino, the Liberty Midlands Mall and Dube TradePort, these are considered to be some of South Africa’s top 10 investment opportunities.

As the only facility in Africa that combines an international airport, a dedicated cargo terminal, warehousing, offices, retail, hotels and agriculture, Dube TradePort has stimulated growth and investments in surrounding areas. All these constitute investments of R1 billion or more, with investment opportunities such as the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone, offering potential investments in excess of R12 billion. The ideal position to be the trade gateway to Africa, KwaZuluNatal enjoys a large labour pool, competitive land and building costs, world-class transport and telecommunications infrastructure, and diverse cultures.

A WORLD-CLASS BUSINESS LOCATION A leader in export trade, KwaZulu-Natal engages with various stakeholders involved in international business relations, including intergovernmental agencies such as the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the Department of Trade and Industry, South African Missions Abroad, Foreign Investment Promotion and International Diplomatic Missions. Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal’s Destination Marketing Unit works closely with various National and Provincial Departments, ensuring KwaZulu-Natal is positioned for direct air access, which is critical in growing KwaZulu-Natal’s economy.

www.tikzn.co.za ISO 9001 Certified


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SPRING 2020

W H AT ’ S I N S I D E

INVEST

KZN

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COVER IMAGE: New property options at Seaton Bay up the KZN North Coast PICTURE: CHRIS ALLAN

Copyright: All material in this issue is subject to copyright and belongs to Famous Publishing unless otherwise indicated. No part of the material may be quoted, photocopied, reproduced or stored by an electronic system without prior written permission from Famous Publishing.

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44 - 06 Guest column

Journalist Dave Channing looks at vision promises for KZN

- 08 -

Property KZN’s economic weathervane Making the most of our property market

- 10 -

Buying flutter where the birds sing Property option for nature lovers

EDITOR Greg ArdŽ PRODUCTION EDITOR Lorna King DESIGNER Kyle Griffin ADVERTISING Gaylene Diedericks 081 707 6313 GENERAL MANAGER Doody Adams CONTRIBUTORS Shirley le Guern Matthew Hattingh Shelley Seid Illa Thompson

Disclaimer: While every effort is taken to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this publication, neither the authors nor the publisher will bear any responsibility for the consequences of any actions based on information contained herein. Neither do they endorse any products/services advertised herein. Material which appears under ‘Advertorial’ is paid for.

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- 12 Capital connections

KZN North Coast property prospects at an all-time high

- 15 -

The right block in Durban’s CBD Inner-city investor Kendal Coward

- 16 -

Being smart about property Andile Mnguni shares his view on property trends

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- 20 A rocky road for retailers

Expect a long and winding road

- 22 -

Go green, not new It’s time to recycle and upgrade buildings

- 26 A new vision for the west

All eyes are on Keystone

- 28 -

Toyota big spend still on track Planning for the future – new model on the way

Published by Famous Publishing, 52 Mahogany Road, Mahogany Ridge, Westmead, Durban, 3610. 031 714 4700 www.famouspublishing.co.za Printed by Novus Print (Pty)

- 34 Tiny living, big dreams

Downsizing takes on a whole new meaning

- 38 -

Every ecowarrior counts Christine Sole’s passion for conservation

- 40 -

Capitalism with conscience Has pandemic caused a business rethink?

- 44 Back in time

Author Fred Khumalo’s lastest book

- 46 -

No monkeying around with Mike Visionary Mike Dowsley retires

- 48 -

The language of hope

Melvin Peters – jazz pianist and educator


A D V E RTO R I A L

Growing wealth through PROPERTY Want to create wealth through residential property investment? Take these factors into account and plan the way forward

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he idea of investing in residential property is considered so intimidating by some, it’s often avoided entirely as a vehicle for wealth creation. The thought of finding the perfect property, applying for a sizeable loan, navigating taxes and transfer duties, and finding an acceptable tenant, is enough to make any aspiring new investor turn to easier options – with far lower barriers to entry and less commitment. If you are new to the residential property investment game, there are a number of factors to consider before making the leap. You have probably heard that property is all about “location, location, location” and this rings true. Finding the right property (perhaps try shopping for a home like an economist?) in the right area is key, as some areas are considered reliable options with fairly stable growth (think

leafy suburbs with secure neighbourhoods, great schools, good transport links, etc). Others may choose to be inherently more risky, with greater growth potential in the short term (think upand-coming, inner city apartments in areas currently undergoing rejuvenation). In addition to location, you also need to be sure you can afford to finance the property and that your current budget allows for what can be a very large upfront investment. You

want to try and get finance that requires as little of your own funds as possible, with loan repayments that will mostly be covered by the rental income. Who do you need in your property team? • Lawyer – to handle lease agreements. • Accountant – to manage your cash flow on the property and maximise your tax benefits. • Tradespeople – to maintain the property, such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc. Property investment

Authorised Financial Services Provider Registered Credit Provider Reg No NCRCP7 T&C apply

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differs from other investment vehicles in three key ways.  Firstly, it requires a much higher upfront investment, often requiring a down payment of over R100 000 for a deposit and conveyance fees.  Secondly, it is less liquid than other investment types, so you won’t be able to get out of your commitment as quickly or easily, and you’re usually in it for at least three to six months, with the possibility of no return on your investment before then.  And finally, property requires a level of management and oversight that other investments don’t need. In other words, you need to look after the property and ensure the tenant is happy. That being said, property does have many benefits over other forms of investment. You will likely be able to get a loan to invest in property, whereas you won’t get a loan to invest in shares on the stock market. Let’s say, for example, you have R100 000 to invest. You choose to buy a R1-million property using your money as a deposit. The home loan you need will be for the balance of R900 000. In this case, you will see growth and returns on a R1-million investment, instead of on just the R100 000, had you used that to buy shares. Essentially, you’re unlocking 10 times the value on your available investment funds. This is commonly referred to as gearing. Visit https://blog.absa.co.za/ category/money-matters/ residential-property-investment/ for a full article


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hose who stand for nothing fall for anything. Those words were apparently mouthed by Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States. Either him or a US clergyman Peter Marshall 200 years later, though it doesn’t matter who said it, I heard it while discussing another ruckus on the lively landscape that is South African politics. Another politician had hitched his morally bankrupt wagon to another cause that made politics more vile than it already is. The drama was the usual spectacle of protest, insult and divisive identity politics, and the merits of the debate were neither here nor there. What struck me was how easily distracted and inflamed we are. Each story in this magazine is in a way emblematic of what this publication stands for – hope over despair. KZN is home to innovation, thriving, mindful business, care, compassion, art, creativity, investment, problem-solving and prosperity. The response of the private sector, civil society and some sections of government (albeit a dismal few), show resilience and tenacity. Those so heavily invested in KZN as the place they earn a living and call home physically and emotionally, are desperate for peace and stability. This demands that those in government stop their self-service and genuinely process the notion of public service. Politics will always be about schmoozing and creeps who ingratiate themselves with the ruling elite for self-enrichment. I’m not naive enough to

ED’S LETTER

Probe the public PURSE

gregarde@gmail.com

believe that will disappear. But what is hopefully changing is our tolerance of this. The public reaction to Covid-linked corruption is an indication of the growing restlessness around accountability. The ruling party’s instinctive reaction to probity is not honesty, but a promising sign was the release of the names of the companies (and their directors) that benefitted from KZN’s R2-billion

spending on Covid. Five companies received over 40% of the total, according to the province’s procurement disclosure report. When I first saw the report I marvelled at it. For years myself and other journalists have begged for this sort of breakdown of the public purse, but have been blocked at every turn. Getting this information has been like drawing blood out of a stone. Now politicians, it seems, are being shamed into doing the right thing. Hallelujah! I salute the provincial government. I have a hunch the release of the report suited one or other faction in the ruling party – but who cares. All we want to know is who gets every bit of government work and at what price and how these companies are connected to politicians. I yearn for the day when all the self-styled “billionaire” blowhards who strut around giving donations in KZN are truly exposed for the grubby money sucking leeches they are. Their high life and largesse is at the expense of the poor. Their connivance with crooked politicians means roads aren’t built, water pipes leak, electricity supply is interrupted, sick people die in state hospitals, children don’t get an education, and the poor live in shacks. In a guest column in the pages that follow my colleague David Canning reflects on all the plans that have been hatched around growth in KZN in the last 20 years. None of these will come to anything if we tolerate crooks. If we stand for one thing it must be to out them. The rest will follow.

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are sure to attract foodies from far and wide to dine at some of Durban’s trendiest restaurants renowned for their unique mix of flavours and world-class service. Pick n Pay will take up half of the first floor, and the good news is this “next generation” supermarket design with an improved product range and

2SIX2

Carefully positioned in what has been dubbed “The Hub of eThekwini”, 2SIX2 promises to sustain property values and ensure business prosperity while creating a high quality of life in the area

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he official opening of 2SIX2 on FLORIDA ROAD which is set for May 2021 will mark a strategic milestone for the property industry in Durban. A first of its kind, 2SIX2 will not only feature 51 luxury residential apartments from the third floor upwards, but will also offer flexible offices and retail outlets plus entertainment units on the lower floors which will be open to both residents and the general public. Sales for this exciting project have gone exceptionally well and construction is underway with 85% of the residential apartments already sold. Biometric access control to the main lobby, an intercom system for each unit, covered balconies with private gardens, a communal swimming

pool and ocean views are just some of the features to be enjoyed by 2SIX2 residents. These lock-upand-go homes with modern designs and built-in luxuries are perfect for professional first-time owners, families, and real estate investors. Business as we know it is constantly changing, and 2SIX2 has an exciting and

innovative solution called Activated Workspace. Activated Workspace is a brand new flexible, coworking space looking to partner with businesses and individuals who’s need for office space has been redefined from a cost to a service. Activated Workspace will take care of everything while you focus on the demands of your business, productivity, and worklife balance. These fully serviced offices, boardrooms and hot desks fitted with highend furniture come with professional reception services, full IT support, refreshment areas and many other features to give your business the competitive advantage. The first two floors of retail and entertainment

These lock-upand-go homes with modern designs and built-in luxuries are perfect for professional first-time owners, families, and real estate investors better space allocation will attract consumers looking for a one-stop shopping experience that fits perfectly into their lifestyles. RG Management and Gough Cooper Property Group hope to bring significant value to eThekwini as South Africa’s playground and the city voted to have the best quality of living in South Africa for the third time in a row.


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G U E ST CO LU M N

Does KZN have too many visions and are they oriented around real growth? David Canning digs up the past

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t’s unusual for leaders to refer to their past promises and predictions. It is also rare for journalists to revisit their previous work. This is because public promises – especially those made at election times – frequently go unfulfilled. Journalistic scribblings are forgotten in the rush to publish fresh headlines. However, the year 2020 is rather special. A weekly column I wrote for The Mercury around the turn of the century was called Vision 2020. I then asked a series of leaders where the economy, especially in KwaZulu-Natal, should be in this momentous year, some two decades into the millennium. Articulated visions are important. Who, after all, would set off on a road trip without knowing their destination?

The real root of GROWTH

Moreover, to avoid getting lost, one should plan and know the route. South Africa, therefore, has evolved a number of official “Visions.” In the Mandela-era we had the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). This was succeeded by the National Development Plan (NDP), a vision for 2030. Both suffered from a lack of commitment or full political support, and the ANC has just drafted a new proposed road map. Today few seem to know where the country is headed, even putting aside the Covid-19 virus. Apart from dealing with day-to-day crises, the government certainly doesn’t seem to have had a coherent long-term vision. Ministers give contradictory signals at every turn and some even appear to undermine the president. Proverbs 29:18 states: Where there

ABOVE: RETIRED JOURNALIST DAVID CANNING LOOKS BACK AT PROMISES MADE 20 YEARS AGO TO GROW KZN’S ECONOMY.

is no vision, the people perish. This implies that visions have to make sense and have general and public acceptance. Otherwise there is no commitment to the vision. Does society truly want to remove corruption? If so, then why are so many people who are deeply involved, walking free, especially those in positions of power? Why are the majority of local authorities in trouble with the Auditor General? Do we really want a skilled, educated workforce? Then, why are so many schools dysfunctional? And why do so many graduates, educated at taxpayer expense, emigrate and take valuable skills to other economies? Why are home-grown inventions allowed to be bought by overseas enterprises and reimported as products at a high cost? The list goes on.


G U E ST CO LU M N

The Mercury’s Vision 2020 series focused mainly on KwaZulu-Natal and these ideas later morphed into a series called, High Road for KwaZuluNatal. It included a think tank comprised of a number of community, business and political leaders which met once a month. We were encouraged by a thengrowing economy and the prospect of hosting World Cup Soccer 2010. There were plans for an iconic stadium, a new international airport (with large-scale air export opportunities for agri-business), and a provincial-city infrastructure spending programme. The eThekwini Municipality had major plans to build low and medium cost housing, rescue and revamp derelict buildings, and attract new businesses to the CBD. There was even a mistaken belief that the government would back a plan to host the Olympics here. Some plans worked, others didn’t. We have an International Convention Centre (which needs more international business conferences), a graceful and iconic soccer stadium and a smart new (but under-utilised) airport. Most importantly, the airport was a catalyst contributing to fast growth in the northern node. The city’s visionary beachfront revamp and some

of its plans in the north have probably been its most successful projects. Thousands of people today enjoy the fruits of that beachfront vision of a magnificent boulevard which links the harbour all the way to Blue Lagoon. Durban is still a major tourist destination, though more for middleincome domestic tourists. High paying international visitors tend to

In the light of overspending, waste, nepotism, crime, corruption, and so on, the roots of our economy are withering from a lack of confidence prefer Cape Town, the Kruger Park and even Johannesburg. Other proposals failed or were mothballed – the plan for a fast rail link to Johannesburg, and its later extension into central Africa; or promises to de-bottleneck the port and to establish a large new dig-out port on the old airport site. However, like the government, the province and the cities have failed to draw the level of private investment

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envisioned. Business confidence has fallen dramatically owing to overregulation, crime and corruption issues. Today, although private businesses are usually far more efficient than State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), corporate profit is almost a dirty concept. Through ignorance, business is subjected to manipulation and seen as a mere adjunct to government – not as the very essential enabler of government itself. Private enterprise, which necessarily involves private risktaking, is actually the essential engine to regenerate the economy, uplift the community and create employment. Government revenues are mostly dependent on the private sector. It’s a little like a tree. The visible part of a tree presents a beautiful vision of life, attracting birds and releasing oxygen into the wider atmosphere. Yet without healthy roots a tree withers and collapses. Likewise, governments can create beautiful visions (that is why they employ so many spokesmen and public relations experts) but they cannot succeed or prosper in the long term without the root revenue provided by a healthy private sector. Governments do not create wealth – they consume it. They should never neglect their roots. In the light of over-spending, waste, nepotism, crime, corruption, and so on, the roots of our economy are withering from a lack of confidence. An economist recently stated that South Africa now has among the highest tax to GDP rates in the world. No wonder business confidence is at a record low as the economy is accorded “junk status”. The country needs to face its future by making honest and realistic adjustments to past policies which failed. According to an article in the Daily Maverick, the ANC’s latest proposed vision draws from both the RDP and the NDP. The proposals are detailed and some look promising. However, apparently they envisage the state playing an even bigger role in the economy. That could be like believing the tree will get bigger without paying sufficient attention to its root system. If so, we must hope and pray that past mistakes do not repeat themselves. David Canning is a lifelong journalist who worked in the financial field. He retired as editor of The Mercury in 2009 following which he served as a journalism trainer.

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P R O P E RT Y

PROPERTYKZN’s economic weathervane House prices have bumped up, showing rapid market recovery since the end of lockdown, but how long will the surge last and how does KZN fare?

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theory posited by some pundits is that people are being a lot more decisive about property now. They regard money markets as strange nebulous beasts and are drawn to brick and mortar investments in uncertain

times. Where they might have wavered before, they are now keen to put their money into property, especially the relative safety of estates. Mining the property data is challenging and inexact, but FNB property economist Siphamandla Mkhwanazi says house

prices grew 1,4% yearon-year in July, and the rebound activity reflects pent-up demand and delayed purchases, on the back of much lower transfer duties announced in the February 2020 Budget. And, record low mortgage rates have incentivised renters to


P R O P E RT Y

buy. “In other words, sales that would otherwise have taken place some time in the future are happening now.” Mkhwanazi says there are also early signs of behavioural shifts, as homeowners reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown. The pandemic has unlocked a raft of new housing demands from work spaces to home gyms and homeschooling. Mkhwanazi says all these factors would drive house prices in the short term, but there was still a great deal of uncertainty around the lasting impact of Covid on the economy which

might drive prices down. He predicts the pent-up demand is not likely to be sustained. But, national data may not necessarily reflect KZN conditions. Chris Tyson of Tyson Properties says he was “very surprised” by the market buoyancy. “With people spending more time at home, needs have changed. We’re finding people are looking at properties in a different light – they’re looking for a work-from-home area, while others are downsizing.” The under R1,5-million market is buoyant, Tyson says, because of lower interest rates and no transfer duties under R1-million. “It is now more economical to buy than to rent in this bracket so it’s an ideal time for a first time buyer to get into the property market.” For example, a 100% bond on a R1-million property would mean a R7 753 bond repayment a month, yet the same property would probably be rented out at R10 000 a month. Conveyancer Shahir Ramdass said Covid “showed that your home can be your castle, customised for work, pleasure and recreation”. “Property is a stable investment. Despite the pandemic, the certainties that do remain are the need for housing and for financial institutions to adapt and continue to do business – while there is vigorous activity in the residential front, commercial properties are certainly expected to be victims of a ‘purge’ as mobile offices become a reality and shopping centres are being outmanoeuvred by online platforms.”

ABOVE: ESTATE AGENT MICHELA SOUKOP.

ABOVE: CONVEYANCER SHAHIR RAMDASS.

ABOVE: PROPERTY ECONOMIST SIPHAMANDLA MKHWANAZI.

ABOVE: STEFAN BOTHA FROM RAINMAKER MARKETING.

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Michela Soukop said Soukop had a “phenomenal last three months”. “We have seen huge sales and have put it down to a drop in interest rates. It is a lot cheaper to buy than to rent. Across the board there are lots of buyers, bonds being granted and people with cash. We are finding the market fantastic.” Stefan Botha from Rainmaker Marketing – a specialised property marketing company – said during lockdown influential developers were at the forefront of market education and awareness that primed the market for

“The economy has taken a hit, but people see increased value in property” – Stefan Botha, Rainmaker Marketing the interest rate cuts. “The lockdown also definitely helped prioritise property decisions. People realised what they wanted. Within your means you want a secure lifestyle with access to space and amenities in communal areas. Everyone has done a reset. The equity market challenges made people more focused. The economy has taken a hit, but people see increased value in property.” Botha cited two examples of the market surge. In the first month out of lockdown Gold Coast Estate Sibaya did R75-million in sales, and Seaton on the North Coast sold R179-million in recent weeks and 95 sites in one weekend.

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P R O P E RT Y

Buying flutter where the birds SING For property buyers looking for a green offering designed around a wetlands ecosystem, Cotswold Fenns ticks all the boxes

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ll property developers like to crow about their offering, but Jacques van Rooyen’s chirp is arresting. The man sparkles when he talks about the birds, all 520 species of them that call Cotswold Fenns home. Van Rooyen is the son of residential property developer Nico van Rooyen and the son-in-law of industrial property developer Gavin Strydom – partners in Fenns, a 72-hectare project in a valley in Hillcrest, below the landmark Cotswold Downs Estate. At Cotswold Fenns, extraordinary emphasis has been placed on the green offering. According to Van Rooyen – the sales manager at Cotswold Fenns – they started with the wetlands and designed everything around that, bumping it up from the legally mandated three hectares that had to be preserved to 17 hectares. It is a place of tranquillity where bullfrogs croak and birds twitter from the branches of indigenous trees that seem to stalk lazily around dams, streams, beds of reeds and dirt roads.

“This place,” Van Rooyen gestures with a sweep of the hand, “is unique. We are creating a truly natureinspired lifestyle around a thriving wetland ecosystem. The Nkutu River runs through the estate, which has been built with sustainability and conservation as its pillars.” Van Rooyen says the designers went for big green spaces, creating

“We are creating a truly nature-inspired lifestyle around a thriving wetland ecosystem” 12km of walking and biking trails around the wetlands, which has a bird hide as its centrepiece. Beyond the preservation of green areas, Van Rooyen says there is a strong emphasis on energy conservation. It is no good waxing lyrical about a wetlands if it is surrounded by energy guzzlers. “We have to protect this. We have to have a long-term vision when it


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LEFT: A BIRD HIDE AT COTSWOLD FENNS. BELOW: A VIEW OF THE WETLANDS.

comes to how we live.” Each unit in Fenns has a heat pump, a water and cost saver, working in tandem with the geyser to ensure wastage in piping water from the geyser to the tap. It promises a 40% saving on water bills. The developers have also extended their water saving to the wider estate, innovating around the sewage system and grey water. “We can recycle 100% of the estate’s sewage water and grey water (from sinks and washing machines, for example).” The electric fence and 180 security zones have solar back-up. Phase 1 of Cotswold Fenns has 186 apartments in three-storey buildings around a recreational area with a pool,

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and is closest to the gatehouse where a 24-hectare lifestyle centre with a creche, gym and retail stores has already started being constructed. Phase 1 is sold out and 90m² units that came on to the market in 2016 for R1,1-million are being resold for R1,4-million. Van Rooyen says Phase 2, closer to the wetlands, will see an additional 101 units being released, varying from two or three-bedroom apartments starting from R1,18million. Monthly rates are R1 325 and the levy is R1 900. Van Rooyen says Fenns has attracted both families looking for a new home and investors looking to earn a rental income fuelled by growth in the area. “People at Cotswold Fenns thrive in the space and freedom here. We have focused on the wetlands and then safety, security and sustainability.”

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P R O P E RT Y

Capital CONNECTIONS

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f ever there was a vivid representation of the bounce in this market it would be the picture snapped last month of prospective buyers queuing in a line of cars that snaked down a dirt road near Sheffield Beach. They were there to buy one of the many plots staked out at Seaton, a development overlooking the Indian Ocean. According to the research arm of specialist property company Rainmaker Marketing, sales on the KZN North Coast are something to behold. These figures relate to the year before Covid lockdown, so April 2019 to March 2019, and are broken into various areas. • uMhlanga – 964 transfers: 71% were within Sectional Title

PICTURE: CHRIS ALLAN

We all know the KZN North Coast is booming, but stating the obvious is one thing, actually processing it is another developments and the average price was R2,498-million. The total value of all residential transfers was R2,906-billion (includes La Lucia, uMhlanga New Town Centre, Hawaan, Izinga, Sunningdale). • Sibaya – 266 transfers: 98% were within Sectional Title developments and the average price was R2,540-million. The total value of all residential transfers was R673-million.

• Ballito – 852 transfers: 53% were within Sectional Title developments and the average price was R1,674-million, with 40% of transfers being within estates. The average price was R3,5-million and the total value of transfers was R2,196-billion. • Salt Rock – 462 transfers: 23% were within Sectional Title developments and the average price was R1,819-million, with 54% of transfers being within estate developments. The average price was R4-million and the total value of all residential transfers was R1,394-billion. Cumulatively that is over 2 500 properties worth over R7-billion. Compare this with growing areas of Gauteng, although this is merely for the sake of comparison and critical factors


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are different, including that Gauteng areas have bigger populations. Midrand – 4 653 transfers: 58% were Sectional Title and the average price was R750 000, while 18% of the transfers were within estates where the average price was R1,997-million. The total value of transfers was R4,722-billion. Sandton – 5 624 transfers: 61% were Sectional Title and the average price was R1,3-million, while 24% of transfers were within estates and the average price was R3-million. The total value of all transfers in Sandton was R12,7-billion. Kristy Davidson, head of Market Research at Rainmaker, said the drive north was motivated by the obvious. EThekwini’s population was growing, there was demand for new gated estates on the North Coast, the King Shaka International Airport and Dube TradePort were a success, and proximity to this precinct was prized. There was semigration from Gauteng LEFT: CELEBRATING THE LAUNCH OF SALES AT SEATON ARE MELANIE CLARKSON, DAVID CAMERON, ANDREW SMITH AND PATRICK LAMBIE. PICTURE: SAMORA CHAPMAN BELOW: SPECTACULAR VIEWS FROM PRIME SITES AT SEATON.


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with Johannesburg business people choosing to live in KZN and commute to work weekly. The wealthy northern corridor is increasingly aspirational. Seaton recently did more than R179-million in sales for the first two segments of beautiful ocean-side land owned by developer Murray Collins. In one week one precinct on his Sheffield Beach property sold out, realising over R80-million in sales. There was a queue of more than 50 cars waiting for the gates to open for prospective buyers who had travelled from afar afield as Pretoria and the Free State, according to Seaton. The beachfront stands have resulted in sales of R100-million, and Seaton sites were priced between R3-million and R15-million. Seaton has more than a kilometre of beach frontage and buyer interest indicates the development will be the catalyst for the area that Collins predicted. “It confirms what we’ve instinctively known – if you have an exceptional product in a perfect location at the right price point, there will always be significant demand. Seaton is that.” Over the next five years Seaton should come to life offering residents a beach club house, a multi-sports facility, 26km of running and cycling trails, equestrian facility, wetlands and forest rehabilitation. “We couldn’t have known just how soon the future would be here,” says Collins, “but we knew what it would

P R O P E RT Y

ABOVE: TONGAAT HULETT’S BONGANI GUMEDE. BELOW: A PROSPECTIVE BUYER CONSIDERS HIS OPTIONS OF PLOTS TO BUY.

look like. Seaton will be the next wave, the springboard for a new, mindful way of living extraordinarily well on the North Coast of KZN.” Collins is among a group of private landowners in the areas who believe there will be a R70-billion investment in one of South Africa’s fastest growing residential nodes over the next 20 years. Tongaat Hulett’s Bongani Gumede said the KZN North Coast remained

the lead development region in a challenging economic environment. The resilience was derived from strategic alignment of planning and execution across all spheres of government and a partnership with the private sector. This created an environment conducive to sustainable investment and ensured integrated long-term planning. The plan, approved in October 2019, links four municipalities and integrated coastal and inland development. “It provides a more detailed investment platform and Tongaat

Seaton recently did more than R179-million in sales for the first two segments of beautiful ocean-side land Hulett’s property portfolio is strategically integrated to facilitate unlocking of stakeholder value in this partnership.” Gumede added that the next two decades would see the integration of the economic corridor from Durban to Ballito and ultimately Richards Bay, much like the corridor linking Durban to Pietermaritzburg. “The linkages are highly complementary in terms of economic market diversity, like Midrand (in Gauteng) feeds off Johannesburg and Pretoria.”

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INNER CITY

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The right block in Durban’s CBD Q

What spurred your interest in the area? I had just returned from the UK, and my original plan was to buy, renovate and flip property in the northern suburbs. But in 2004/2005 the property market was moving so fast I couldn’t find an undervalued property to invest in. Then I discovered the gold mine in Durban’s CBD with very low prices but with a big rental demand from tenants working in the CBD, mainly civil servants and officials at parastatals who wanted to be close to work. Why do you think there is such good value in Durban CBD? Durban has played second fiddle to Cape Town for too long. The tide is finally turning as the spotlight is now firmly on rejuvenating and upgrading Durban’s CBD, and property prices are still relatively “cheap” when factoring the rental yield. What do the sums look like? A lot of the properties offer investors a positive cash flow from day one, with rentals covering the bond, levy and rates. There is also no Transfer Duty as prices are below the R1-million threshold. For example, this allows an investor to spread risk by buying four properties at R250 000 each rather than a single property at

Inner-city investor Kendal Coward embarked on a journey 17 years ago in Durban’s CBD that has unlocked a treasure trove for him. KZN Invest spoke to him

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apartments. Prices for a bachelor flat start at R250 000 and rental from R3 500 with a yield of close to 17% (the yearly income divided by the cost of the property and multiplied by 100 – you want this yield to be as high as possible). One-bedroom units start at R300 000 and rent from R4 500. Capital growth is being driven by both investors and first-time buyers coming back to the city. These yields can be greatly increased by looking for “properties with a twist”. For example, converting larger one-anda-half bedrooms into a twobedroom unit or renting rooms out separately to individuals in a three or four-bedroom apartment. What do you look into when buying and what is a flashing red light? Do your due diligence. Check the financials and make sure the block is well managed. Check if the Body Corporate is active and on top of maintenance in the block. Check for visible security. Are there measures in place to control overcrowding (turnstiles or fingerprint access)? Check the type of tenants – see if they sub-let and if the building is mainly let to students. Check that the lifts work well. Take in the overall condition of the building, look at the paintwork, look for signs of spalling, check the condition of pipes and windows and common areas.

Q

R1-million in the more affluent suburbs. What is your day-today experience in this market? I have also been working at Remax Panache for 17 years, helping investors in this niche city market to buy or let property and to handle rents and monthly management. Right now I manage a large portfolio for various owners.

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What is the profile of your average tenant? Mostly officials. During the Covid-19 lockdown, these tenants proved to be most reliable as their jobs and salaries have been unaffected. What have the returns been in terms of income and capital appreciation? The most in-demand rental units are bachelor and one-bedroom

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P R O P E RT Y


P R O P E RT Y

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Being smart about PROPERTY KZN’s property prospects look good, but can they be improved? KZN Invest asked Andile Mnguni, a development executive at Tongaat Hulett and the treasurer of the South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners

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How can KZN’s property market be advanced to better harness

its advantage?

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Understanding the value of land, how it is unlocked and what it means to the economy is important. Understandably, much of the talk around land in South Africa relates to historical dispossession. Land is central to development. According to the 2016 Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) study, 70% of global wealth is held in real estate. In that context, prioritisation and positioning

People want clean and safe spaces to live and work and the private sector has mastered that space our land assets are critical. Look at the uMhlanga area. It contributes 10% to Durban’s rates base and it continues to grow. We need to invest key infrastructure into areas like this to drive private sector development. Business invests in good business, like precinct management, for example. People want clean and safe spaces to live and work and the private sector has mastered that space. We should explore partnerships and opportunities to extend that. LEFT: ANDILE MNGUNI – THE TREASURER OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTE OF BLACK PROPERTY PRACTITIONERS.

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What do you think are the key challenges facing the

property sector?

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Covid-19 has knocked the commercial market. A lot more people are working from home and we have the impact of the recession. People are holding back on big, longterm investments. We need to consider our policies in this light to ensure they are investment friendly.

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Is the property sector transforming at a rate that

builds meaningful inclusion?

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Some people define transformation as black and white quite naturally because of our history. I see transformation as improvement. Are we being strategic and making tactical decisions that will lead to

growth? Sort that out and the rest will resolve itself. We have to grow the economic pie rather than try and slice it up into smaller pieces. From an inclusion point of view there is a long way to go, although a lot has been done. Corporates are transforming. I see a lot of black people having meaningful positions in this sector and increasingly more women. We need a constant review of policies and incentives to help developers keen to invest in spaces that help entrepreneurs. Mnguni is a quantity surveyor with an MBA and serves on a host of property management associations around uMhlanga and the Gateway area. For more information on the South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners visit https://saibpp.co.za/

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A D V E RTO R I A L

Mini Factories A Boon For SMMES Dube TradePort’s mini factories offer prime location, security, warehousing and office space – everything the SMME needs to be successful

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ube TradePort Special Economic Zone is poised to introduce to Durban’s property market a R90-million mini factory development for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs)

“Whilst our precinct attracts big business investment, we identified an opportunity for SMMEs to also access our world-class infrastructure and support services” requiring manufacturing and office space. The 18-unit complex has sparked keen investor interest due, largely, to its proximity to Dube Cargo Terminal at King Shaka International Airport and

the seaports of Durban and Richards Bay, as well as the Provincial N2 and N3 road network to the hinterland.   Commenting, Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone, Chief Executive Officer, Hamish Erskine, said: “Whilst our precinct attracts big business investment, we identified an opportunity for SMMEs to also access our world-class infrastructure and support services – a great prospect for this burgeoning sector. “The precinct has developed rapidly, attracting private sector investment in excess of R3,2-billion and emerging as a global manufacturing and air logistics platform within southern Africa, which augurs well for SMMEs establishing here,”


A D V E RTO R I A L

Erskine explained. He added: “Priority sectors catered for in Dube TradeZone 1 – adjacent the mini factories – include medical and pharmaceuticals, electronics, clothing and textiles, aerospace and aviation, automotive and logistics and distribution. Dube TradeZone 2 will focus on a range of industry-types, including a pharmaceutical cluster, supply of common utilities, and services for key industries and those in the high-value manufacturing environment.” Business diversity here will stand participating BELOW & ABOVE RIGHT: DUBE TRADEPORT’S MINI FACTORIES OFFER PRIME LOCATION, SECURITY, WAREHOUSING AND OFFICE SPACE.

SMMEs in good stead, enabling them to benefit from globally integrated logistics and manufacturing infrastructure. Dube TradeZone 1 and Dube TradeZone 2 are positioned to afford enterprises the ability to develop global competitiveness and SMMEs here will have access to incentives, creating an appreciable competitive edge. Incentives include:  Reduced Corporate Income Tax – Section 12R: 15% corporate income tax for qualifying companies;  Building Allowance (12S): An accelerated depreciation allowance on capital structures (buildings, 10% per annum over 10 years). The special rate of capital (depreciation) allowances in lieu of normal allowances is available for the erection of or improvement to buildings and other fixed structures;  Employment Tax Incentives (ETI): Available to businesses with employees earning less than R60 000 per annum;  Customs Controlled Area: VAT and Customs relief. Import duty rebate and VAT exemption on imports, with the aim of exporting finished products;  12I Tax Allowance: For “Greenfield” and

“Brownfield” industrial projects to support capital investment and training; and  High-end Infrastructure: Funded through the Provincial Government and Special Economic Zone Fund. The units are all 249,63m² in size and include manufacturing and assembly warehousing, reception areas, storerooms,

“The mini factory complex launch is set to attract new tenants active in targeted sectors, aligned to our strategic Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment goals, who are export or import replacementorientated” kitchens, toilets and mezzanine office and openplan areas. Five dedicated parking bays and one shared paraplegic bay are included in rental costs. Easy truck access is enhanced by dedicated loading/delivery bays and a shared bay. Legislative requirements

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governing Special Economic Zones necessitate exceptional security standards, making Dube TradeZone 1 a highly secure business environment. Measures include access cards, armed patrols, guardhouses, CCTV, licence plate recognition and a constant security presence. Small-scale operators will therefore enjoy the advantage of operating 24 hours a day in a secure environment. “The mini factory complex launch is set to attract new tenants active in targeted sectors, aligned to our strategic BroadBased Black Economic Empowerment goals, who are export or import replacement-orientated, committed to localisation and introduction of new technology and dedicated to effective value chain development,” Erskine said. The precinct, winner of the United Nations Award for Excellence in Promoting Sustainable Investment in Special Economic Zones, and the 2019 World Free & Special Economic Zones Federation award for Best Practice in Free & Special Economic Zones, offers a world-class business environment, strategically positioned at the intersection of local and global intermodal transport routes.


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espite doomsday reports of more and more shops boarded up at the Pavilion, Gateway or your neighbourhood malls, there are not yet any meaningful statistics to quantify the shop vacancies as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown. StatsSA said that the 50,5% drop in retail sales during level five lockdown in April was the highest on record. Although retail sales spiked by 2,7% on the back of panic buying and stockpiling the month before, the downward curve has continued with a 13% year-on-year drop in retail sales in May and an 8,5% dip in June. John Loos, property sector strategist at FNB Commercial Property Finance, confirmed that there had been a significant impact on the size of the tenant population as well as its payment performance. Quoting figures from the TPN Credit Bureau, he said 77% of commercial tenants were in good standing with their landlords during the first quarter of 2020. With the largest drops coming from retail, data suggested this could drop to 45% by the end of the third quarter. “Preliminary monthly figures show some sort of stabilisation but no improvement in retail. There is no convincing rise yet,” he said. Broll, which manages local centres such as Umlazi Mega City, the Springfield Value Centre, Musgrave Centre and Davenport Centre, said that, nationally, non-payment had increased during lockdown but this had already shown signs of returning to normal. For now, arrears have been sectioned off and payment plans arranged.

R E TA I L

Nevertheless, Loos and some analysts believe that a true retail recovery could take more than two years, adding that the retail sector’s biggest problem in the short term centred on the financial health of the consumer. “It helps that lockdown is easing and that retailers are trading again. The problem is that many people have lost income and jobs and consumer purchasing power has taken a huge knock. You can’t just open the economy and expect to get back to business as usual. New businesses have to replace those that have closed. There is going to be a protracted process before you get to the levels prior to the Covid-19 lockdown.” Loos said the 2008/9 economic crisis provided some guidance as to how this may pan out. The vacancy rate bottomed out in 2008 and then continued to rise until 2012 when it finally began to stabilise. Hardest hit by lockdown are the bigger regional and city malls. Smaller convenience centres fared better while shopping

A rocky road for RETAILERS The road to retail recovery will be a long and winding one – and not many commercial property landlords predict a meaningful upswing anytime soon, writes Shirley le Guern


R E TA I L

centres in rural and agricultural centres were only marginally affected. This was because essential items such as food made up a larger percentage of turnover in smaller shopping malls whereas larger malls relied on non-essentials like fashion, entertainment and restaurants. In poorer rural centres, where most income came from social grants that weren’t halted during the shutdown of the economy, the impact was limited, he said. “Even after lockdown, when people are financially pressured, they will postpone non-essential

“I would expect retailers that are under sales pressure to close less lucrative outlets, consolidate, cut down on space or use space more effectively and go online” purchases such as clothing and furniture and cut down on non-essentials like entertainment and eating out.” Landlords are also likely to

feel the pinch as larger retail chains downsize or close poorly performing stores. “I would expect retailers that are under sales pressure to close less lucrative outlets, consolidate, cut down on space or use space more effectively and go online,” Loos added. But smaller shops – often paying high rents to subsidise anchor tenants that attract footfall to larger malls – don’t have that luxury. In an Investec podcast, retail analyst David Smith said he expected a retail hangover of at least 18 months. In a market like South Africa where the big

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retailers dominated, Covid-19 accelerated the demise of smaller players and businesses without an online presence. “We have … one of the most concentrated retail markets in the world. But if you only have big players around, it limits people’s ability to create new enterprises and compete effectively because you’re competing with somebody who’s got more cash and more scale and has the ability to leverage online data or online delivery platforms ... it’s going to be very, very tough for the small guys for some time.” The biggest change, Loos suggests, will be the relationship between landlord and tenant. “My perception is that maybe the hard-nosed landlord pushing the contract to the letter to tenants will tone down a bit. Landlords have realised that they need to keep tenants and give them some leeway. You might have to renegotiate rentals. The relationship will have to become more co-operative and collaborative. Landlords and tenants will have to see what they can do for each other. You can’t have empty shopping centres. It’s not good for anyone.” That said, Loos added that he expected to see a decline in rentals and retail property values – one that was long overdue. “Retail property has been due for a correction. Levels pre-lockdown reflected a much stronger economy a decade ago. They hadn’t adjusted downwards to reflect a weaker set of economic fundamentals. Operating costs have escalated massively since the consumer boom during the nineties. But that’s all gone. So, we can expect a sizeable downward adjustment that has been needed for some time,” he said.

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hy are we contributing to urban sprawl and growing carbon emissions by new builds when we could revitalise older properties? These buildings might be showing their ages and not meet today’s building performance standards, but they are often strategically located and can be adapted to suit modern business needs. The latest green building success story for Durban is the transformation of an old Frame textile mill in New Germany, a sad reminder of the demise of South Africa’s once prosperous textile industry. Leon Buhr, founder and managing director of leading belt manufacturer, Equator – The Belt Factory, spotted its potential two years ago. This tired old building recently received a five-star certification from the Green Building Council of South Africa – and is only the fourth company to obtain a rating for

“There is heritage in those areas and, if no one invests in them, they will continue to degrade. It just makes sense to relook those older buildings and to make the most of them” an industrial building in South Africa. The rating, which compares with international certifications, focuses on energy use and water efficiencies, waste management and peoples’ working environments – all factors that were not priorities when the factory was built in 1967. Another example of just what can be achieved is the landmark Lion Match factory that was closed because it was too close to residential areas. Bought by developers JT Ross, it was transformed into an iconic office park that combines elements of old and new architecture while including environmentally friendly landscaping and modern technology such as energy-saving lighting and air-conditioning. Then there’s the old Dunlop head office and truck and bus tyre

U R B A N R E G E N E R AT I O N

Go green, not NEW Much is made of recycling paper, plastic and glass, so why not buildings, asks Shirley le Guern manufacturing facility in Sydney Road. Because the site is historically significant, JT Ross took a similar approach, transforming the 1947 multi-storey office block, tyre store and warehouse into a modern day logistics park that is close to the harbour. It has had a positive knock-on effect in the previously dishevelled neighbourhood. Yet, despite these successes, the majority of Durban’s green buildings are newly built to the north of the city, leaving older run-down industrial areas to the south and inland to continue their downward spiral. South Africa is lagging first world economies where rejuvenation and reuse of existing buildings is now outstripping new builds. A few years ago, the Preservation

Green Lab at America’s National Trust for Historic Preservation published a study that confirmed that reusing and retrofitting existing buildings almost always produced greater environmental savings than demolishing them and building new. Andre Harms, founder and director of green building and sustainability consultants, Ecolution, which assisted Equator to achieve its rating, says that the starting point from the earliest stages in the redesign of the facility was not only to make the building as efficient as possible from an energy and water usage point of view, but to also develop a sustainability strategy to impact on the firm’s operations and products. A green building itself has measurable advantages. According


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Certified green buildings showed a 34% higher capital value per square metre, more resilient capital growth and a higher net operating income

ABOVE: THE 1967 LANDMARK LION MATCH FACTORY WAS TRANSFORMED INTO AN ICONIC OFFICE PARK, LEFT, AND BOILER ROOM, TOP.

to the latest MSCI South Africa Green Annual Property Index, released in June 2020, during the year ending December 2019, income return on certified green offices improved. Certified green buildings showed a 34% higher capital value per square metre, more resilient capital growth and a higher net operating income compared to non-certified buildings. But, Harms says, this value cannot be restricted to rands and cents. “In

my view, it is extremely important to reuse what we have and not always look to shiny new buildings like we see in uMhlanga and Sandton. From an embodied materials and energy perspective, it is far better to use what we have than to start from scratch. From a quantum perspective, there is much more existing building stock than room for new builds. In the coming years, especially in Europe, America and Asia, we will run out of space.


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“Although this does not apply as much in South Africa, we need to realise there is value in those areas and those buildings. There is heritage in those areas and, if no one invests in them, they will continue to degrade. It just makes sense to relook those older buildings and to make the most of them.” Up until recently, properties built for manufacturing close to the harbour in areas such as Clairwood, Jacobs and Mobeni have been turned down by property developers as both unsuitable and too expensive for repurposing. For the most part, demand is for logistics facilities and warehousing close to the port and existing buildings do not have space to park large trucks off road or enable them to turn in yards. Harms says a superficial financial assessment may simply be an easy excuse not to take on a large project that will take longer to accomplish than a new building in a new industrial park. “We have to develop an evaluations system and take more than just monetary value into account. It should include the environment and the embodied energy of materials. There is much more at stake. We have to rethink value and look wider and deeper.” This applies not only to the private sector. In Durban there are many under-utilised and dilapidated structures close to the congested port. “Government has a big role to play when it comes to cataloguing

U R B A N R E G E N E R AT I O N

ABOVE: BUILT IN 1947, THE DUNLOP HEAD OFFICE IN SYDNEY ROAD HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED INTO A BUSY LOGISTICS PARK CLOSE TO THE HARBOUR, TOP.

Up until recently, properties built for manufacturing close to the harbour in areas such as Clairwood, Jacobs and Mobeni have been turned down by property developers as both unsuitable and too expensive for repurposing

infrastructure, identifying derelict buildings and starting to refurbish them and even making them available to the private market in an affordable way that encourages reuse of old buildings.” This may not only mean retrofitting older structures but also completely repurposing them in much the same way as Equator transformed the former Frame mill. The good news is that the call to refurbish is not falling on deaf ears. Harms has seen an increase in requests for proposals to help companies attain green building certification. “But I would like to see an even greater uptake, a culture shift that takes us away from new and shiny and makes us look at what we’ve got. This goes hand in hand with carbon commitments by South Africa’s major cities.”

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A D V E RTO R I A L

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A balanced LIFE C athkin Estates offers an active, nature-rich lifestyle in an unbeatable location, situated in the picturesque and tranquil Champagne Valley in Central Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal. Nestled against the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site, less than 1% of Cathkin Estates reserve has been set aside for development, the remaining land covering nearly 1 000 hectares of grasslands, indigenous forests, and clear mountain streams. The Estate is also home to an abundance of protected animal and plant species, making it the largest private nature reserve in the Drakensberg. Freehold properties are a scarce commodity in the Champagne Valley, and opportunities to become a part of Cathkin Estates are limited. Today, with plots in Villages 1 to 3 sold out, only 14 developer plots in Village 5 are currently for sale in this mature development, ranging from R220 000 to R425 000. In 2019 however, the developers of Cathkin Estates paved the way for an even easier journey towards calling this lifestyle sanctuary your home, with the development of contemporary Ecobuild Homes. ECOBUILD HOMES With Ecobuild Homes, for the first time since its inception, Cathkin Estates is now offering a range of architectural designs available as turnkey products or completed homes. Currently the prices for the completed homes range between R2,9-million to R3,1-million, transfer duty included. The Ecobuild Homes boast contemporary designs that make the most of natural light and views, while being eco-friendly, secure, and easy to maintain without compromising on aesthetic appeal, following the global trend towards low impact, easy-living designs. AN UNBEATABLE LIFESTYLE The ability to work from anywhere, anytime, to achieve a healthy worklife balance, was trending even before the coronavirus pandemic forced many

Owning a contemporary home in Cathkin Estates is the investment opportunity of a lifetime

to work from home. And what better location could there be to pursue that elusive, healthy work-life balance than at Cathkin Estates? Situated two hours drive from Durban and three-and-a-half hours from Gauteng, the paradise that is Cathkin Estates is quick and easy to reach if you are looking to spend more time away from city life. Each home on the Estate has exquisite, unobstructed views of the Berg, while the Estate offers a variety of services as well as an array of

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activities to choose from. There are numerous hiking, running and biking trails on the Estate, the dams and rivers are great for fishing, and a picnic at the waterfall is an enticing adventure for all ages. Of course, bird and game watching from your own veranda is a given, but if you are looking for an outing, there is plenty on offer in Champagne Valley. From zip-lining to white water rafting, horseback trail riding, mountain bike trail riding, quad bike riding, golf on championship courses, delectable foods from a great bakery, a variety of restaurants, and craft beer – what more could you ask for? Whether you want an adventure weekend getaway with your family or a quiet, nature-rich location to unwind – Cathkin Estates is the address in the Drakensberg you want to own. ZACHARY BRAKE: + 27 82 886 5241; zach@kaikoura.co.za ECOBUILD HOMES: www.cathkinecobuilds.co.za


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assive N3 road upgrades are due to be announced and the “back of port” investment has received a shot in the arm via an agreement between the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) and eThekwini Municipality to build a new off-ramp from the N3 to accommodate it. Catalysed by the focus on the Hammarsdale and Cato Ridge area, the significant base of existing manufacturing and logistics companies are looking to work co-operatively and productively with government and community stakeholders. Home to about 160 000 people, the 160 larger firms operating here alone employ 16 000 people – or half the total employment in eThekwini’s five most westerly wards: 1, 4, 5, 6 and 91. The manufacturing sector – specifically in clothing and textiles – remains a hub of both technical textiles manufacture as well as labour intensive sewing operations. There is also a diverse range of manufacturing firms: chemicals, concrete, fencing, food, packaging and roofing whose products are both consumed locally and exported. Some companies from the area wanted to develop a more co-ordinated and co-operative approach to the challenges they jointly face, which is why the Hammarsdale Cato Ridge Development Programme (HCRDP) was established on behalf of firms. The programme was initiated by some unrest caused by the Hammarsdale interchange development in

A new vision for the WEST All eyes are on the N3 and surrounding area with visible investment in logistics operations from Keystone West towards Pietermaritzburg, writes business consultant John White

2019, and firms expressed the need to get to the root of the issues. Firms developed four initial objectives for the HCRDP: Education – supporting institutions so youth can reach their full potential and be stronger employee candidates. Work – upskilling and integrating local SMMEs, unemployed people and co-operatives into firms’ value chains. Infrastructure and safety – working with government institutions to address associated challenges that affect both firms and the community. Environment – rehabilitating and protecting the environment through communityinitiated and supported interventions.


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LEFT: MR PRICE WAS KEYSTONE’S FIRST CUSTOMER WITH A R500-MILLION, 56 000M² BUILDING, WHAT IS NOW THE RETAILER’S NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTRE. BOTTOM LEFT: AN AERIAL VIEW OF THE N3 AT KEYSTONE PARK. BELOW: BUSINESS CONSULTANT JOHN WHITE.

eThekwini Municipality is planning new infrastructure and looking to open up new parcels of land for development in the area There are some notable community development initiatives underway in the area delivered by DoMore Foundation, the Unlimited Child, and the MRP Foundation amongst others. eThekwini Municipality is also planning new infrastructure and looking to open up new parcels of land for development in the area. Five of the 10 priority investment areas in eThekwini’s Municipal Spatial Development Framework 2020-2021 are located in these five wards. The HCRDP aims to galvanise all companies

behind these and other initiatives and jointly address shared challenges. Firms have a lot to learn from each other, let alone global best practices. Working together is so much more impactful and cost-effective. It is also essential to proactively engage with government and the community and the HCRDP will co-ordinate this. Just the N3 upgrades, taking place over nearly a decade, will have massive implications for companies and the community.

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www.bridgebetterbusiness.com/ hcrdp


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ot exactly everything keeps going right, Toyota, but under the circumstances it’s far from shabby. Certainly, Andrew Kirby, chief executive of the auto giant’s South African arm, believes there is cause for optimism. Covid-19 might have put the brakes on fleet sales to car rental companies and for five months stalled purchases from the hospitality and tourism sector, but in June and July, Toyota SA managed “quite encouraging” sales of 80% on the corresponding period last year. Kirby was speaking to KZN Invest on trading conditions, Toyota SA’s prospects in Africa, and about progress with setting up a production line for a new model in Durban, which he confirmed was on track and represented an investment of about R2,4-billion. This covered tooling at its Prospecton, Durban plant, including presses, welding, component manufacturer, paint and assembly processes. And it was in addition to funding to equip

In the early stages it was very difficult to get tooling, but since then we have caught up. It really forced us to be more self-reliant supplier companies, a parts warehouse in Gauteng and other facilities. “We are on schedule to launch at the end of 2021,” he said, but cautioned that uncertainty over international travel remained a “risk area”, with advanced technology automation experts scheduled to fly in from Japan late in 2020 to assist with the new model. Lockdown had proved a challenge, but also a blessing in disguise. “In the early stages it was very difficult to get tooling, but since then we have caught up. It really forced us to be more self-reliant. We have been able to strengthen our skills base,” said Kirby. He mentioned the installing of robots and other automation equipment as an area where Toyota SA leaned heavily on overseas experts, but this year had been forced to look to itself with some success.

M OTO R I N G M A N U FA C T U R I N G

Toyota big spend still ON TRACK The pandemic has made Toyota SA a little more self-reliant, with preparations to build a new model on track. Matthew Hattingh reports


M OTO R I N G M A N U FA C T U R I N G

The new model of vehicle would add 500 jobs to Toyota SA’s Prospecton workforce, plus 1 000 in the supply chain, with a “large portion” of these at component manufacturers in KwaZulu-Natal. “Because this is a new model it provides a good opportunity for additional business (with supplier companies), which is very much needed.” Toyota SA would be purchasing an additional R2-billion a year in parts from its local suppliers. “If you look at it over a model’s life-cycle, that’s R15-billion,” he said, adding that this would have a multiplier effect on the wider KwaZulu-Natal economy.

The new model would add 500 jobs to Toyota SA’s Prospecton workforce, plus 1 000 in the supply chain “We are introducing three new tier-one suppliers for this model. One of them is a black, womanowned supplier,” said Kirby, promising more details on this KZN business later in the year. Toyota was already manufacturing the Quest, a 10th generation Corolla, in

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South Africa, in addition to the Hiace Quantum minibus, Hilux bakkie and Fortuner SUV. It has yet to disclose details of the new model, but it won’t be a sedan. The model would be available with the option of a hybrid power plant – the first locally-built Toyota to be equipped with this superfrugal technology. (Mercedes-Benz in East London holds the distinction of building the country’s first hybrids, part of its C-Class range.) Toyota already offered South Africans its fully imported Lexus in the hybrid form (which accounted for 36% of local sales of this premium-segment model). Local car aficionados will be familiar with Toyota’s Prius, the world’s


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M OTO R I N G M A N U FA C T U R I N G

LEFT: ANDREW KIRBY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF TOYOTA SA.

top-selling hybrid, now in its fourth generation – available as an import. Toyota’s hybrid system combines an internal combustion engine with electric power and a planetary gear set. It is a fascinating piece of kit and a vast subject in its own right. It brings its different power sources and battery pack into play in various combinations to match driving conditions while saving fuel. Kirby said there was a move worldwide to hybrids, but he was reluctant to guess what share of the new model would leave Prospecton under hybrid power. “This product will be the cornerstone of our hybrid strategy. We anticipate a much higher uptake (of hybrids than previously), and are very confident hybrid vehicles will grow in the next five years. “We do think it will accelerate when people experience the vehicle,” he said, describing its torque

There is a move worldwide to hybrids, “This product will be the cornerstone of our hybrid strategy. We anticipate a much higher uptake (of hybrids than previously), and are very confident hybrid vehicles will grow in the next five years” characteristics and fuel consumption as “appealing”, and confirming the model would be more affordable than the Prius or Lexus. In Europe and elsewhere authorities were increasingly encouraging a move to hybrids, including through state fleet purchases, and Kirby sees

signs of a similar rising tide in South Africa. “The government and cities also want to have more eco-friendly vehicles and we expect demand from that side as well.” The hybrid system would be imported for the new model, although some of its ancillaries would be made by local suppliers, he said. As it was, Toyota SA imports its engines. Significant volumes were needed to be competitive with engine manufacture, Kirby said. “We are not going to localise engine components. But we are looking at this for the future. It’s still a challenging area for us, to find an appropriate return on investment.” As ever, exports, particularly to Africa, remained the key to Toyota SA achieving bigger volumes. “We export around 40% of volume and would like to increase this to 60%, as it was in the past.” Covid-19 had made matters worse and Kirby anticipated a 40% fall in sales into Africa for 2020 compared with last year, with the continent’s hard-hit tourism industry a big factor. The African market had shrunk since 2012, said Kirby, citing a “multitude of reasons’’. These included: falling prices for the commodity exports that underpin many African economies; changes to tax and other regulations; and a flood of second-hand vehicles from affluent countries which were depressing new sales. But these were structural problems rather than a reflection on the Toyota brand, which enjoyed a strong market share. And Kirby sees big opportunities arising from the African Auto Pact and African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which should stimulate vehicle manufacture as export tariffs were removed or cut. “We are already far down the road so far as expanding and supporting manufacturing in Africa,” he said, mentioning Kenya where Toyota began assembling the Hilux from knock-down kits in October last year. Other plants in other African countries were “in the pipeline” too, with Toyota SA set to supply kits. “We certainly think that Africa is going to be a big opportunity in the future. But it’s taking longer than we like.”

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A D V E RTO R I A L

Where the brightest stars SHINE Nothing prepares students for the real world better than engaging with real world experts

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nd no one facilitates this better than Vega School. Vega School held its first Virtual Portfolio Day in August, allowing students the chance to present their work to top brand building agencies from around the world. For those that don’t know it, Vega School (named after the brightest star in the constellation, Lyra) is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (IIE). Vega was started 21 years ago and deliver globally recognised degrees in graphic design, digital design, copywriting, strategy, brand management, interior design, photography, game

TOP: THE ROOM FILLED WITH INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS AND SENIOR STUDENTS. ABOVE: IIE VEGA CAMPUS HEAD NARETHA PRETORIUS.

design and more. Vega enjoys influential international alliances with Fontys Academy for Creative Industries in Holland, Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach University of Art and Design in Germany,

Lillebaelt Academy in Denmark, Sup de Pub, with campuses in France, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and USA. Vega also has a strong affiliation with The One Club in New York. The work of Vega students receives recognition and awards each year at international advertising and design festivals like the Loeries and the Design Indaba. Every year before the pandemic Vega hosted its annual Portfolio Day, inviting industry mentors to view the work of students. This year the event went online and it was a soaring success. Third year and IIE-Vega graduates from various disciplines participated, from Business, Management and

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Strategy, and Graphic and Digital Design to Copywriting. They introduced themselves to the mentors and presented their portfolio of work to about 60 industry experts in various virtual meeting rooms. It was a lively format – a cross between speed dating and Dragon’s Den and students got a real sense of what industry standards are, receiving honest and constructive feedback from top placed potential employers in South Africa, London, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Ireland and Canada. The event, said Vega campus head Naretha Pretorius, was “part of Vega’s commitment to grooming its students and supporting the continuous development of our industry”. “It helps our students to become industry confident. It was inspired by the International Portfolio Night originated by McCann. We have been running our own Portfolio Night at Vega School in Durban for several years. It is immensely valuable to our students, industry partners and ourselves.” Senior Copywriting Lecturer Siobhan Gunning saw this year’s Virtual Portfolio Day as an opportunity to go international and secured creative directors and exVega lecturers from around the country and the world. “While there is nothing to beat a physical encounter, being able to get international luminaries such as Naresh Ramchandani from Pentagram and Gemma Lord from IDEO, both from the UK, was an exceptional coup for us! This event is a campus initiative, it is not part of the curriculum, and I am so proud of our campus for dreaming big and pulling this off.” www.vegaschool.com


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A D V E RTO R I A L

Skills DEVELOPMENT

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any companies continue to view their B-BBEE rating as a competitive advantage. However, with the pressure of a shrinking economy, they are looking to optimise the value of their compliance spend, especially for Skills Development. To meet this requirement, EduPower Skills Academy has developed an innovative solution that not only gives customer-centric companies the opportunity to sponsor learnerships, but to deploy their candidates on campaigns to help build customer retention and loyalty. “Learnerships are a holistic solution for Skills Development as they can deliver maximum points while also actively improving employment prospects for our youth and the unemployed,” says Rajan Naidoo, Director of EduPower. “Through our unique infrastructure and focus on practical experience, we have developed a learnership programme that provides our B-BBEE sponsors a self-funded cost recovery model as well as a 12-month screening process off which they can build an effective talent pipeline.” This is achieved through the work experience component of EduPower’s flagship Contact Centre learnership, which is focused on Business

Optimising B-BBEE Skills Development spend by deploying learners on customer campaigns is not only good for business, but also good for South Africa’s youth

Process Outsourcing (BPO). One of the few sectors that continues to show strong growth, the high demand for entry-level BPO agents provides excellent career opportunities for EduPower’s learners. “To develop the skills

needed to succeed in the BPO sector, we have a customised 500-seat contact centre where our learners work a regular week and receive ongoing mentoring as they work on live campaigns, not simulations. This accelerates their skills

and confidence to ensure that after the 12-month programme, they have the option to seek employment through their B-BBEE sponsor or our network of partner companies,” Naidoo explains. During their learnerships, EduPower’s candidates are exposed to a wide range of BPO services including customer service, lead generation, quality assurance and promotional campaigns. Past campaigns have included both marketing and financial services applications such as database scrubbing, data enrichment through surveys, as well as cross selling and up-selling. “Our client base includes multinationals and large corporates through to smaller, family owned entities. Operating in diverse sectors including FMCG, telecommunications, financial services, airline, manufacturing, engineering and construction, these companies have successfully deployed their learners as an extension of their customer care team and they have enjoyed great results. “It really is a win-win. Our clients maximise the value they get from their learnerships and it provides invaluable training for young people who struggle to access the labour market, building the skills they need to become call centre agents,” Naidoo concludes. www.edupower.co.za


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MICRO LIVING

Tiny living, big DREAMS Living small is the route to freedom and happiness, according to advocates of the Tiny House movement. As Shelley Seid writes, it’s a philosophy that champions minimalism, living a simpler life in a smaller space

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he Tiny House movement has been around since the 1970s but really took off a decade ago, and is now a fast-growing lifestyle trend, as reflected in television shows like Tiny House Nation, Tiny House Big Living, and Tiny House Hunters. A Tiny House is generally no bigger than 40m², often built on trailers, with effective and efficient use of space – but there is more to the lifestyle than small spaces. Downsizing and simplifying can bring with it financial freedom, a shared community experience, and the opportunity for environmental selfsufficiency. While big in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand, the trend of having a big life in a tiny space is new to South Africa. But, that’s about to change – a group of like-minded friends with “a passion for the planet” have founded a tiny home manufacturing business which they called Wanderlust Co. Matt and Kendal Bower, directors at Wanderlust Co,

decided to walk the very small talk and 10 months ago moved into their own tiny home to show that tiny home living is for everyone. Matt is an avid fisherman, and owner of an event infrastructure company, and Kendal works as sales support for a uniform business. KZN Invest spoke to the couple about their big tiny dreams: What prompted your foray into this lifestyle and business? Kendal: The idea to start a Tiny Home manufacturing business in South Africa came to Matt while on leave from work due to

LEFT: THE TEAM BEHIND THE TINY HOMES: MEGAN JEANNES, RYAN GRUNDER, KENDAL BOWER, MATT BOWER, AND DAYNE FROST.

a concussion. I certainly would not argue the fact that he was concussed at the time – I thought he was absolutely out of his mind when I arrived home one afternoon to him standing in our entranceway with a great big smile on his face and exclaimed, “I have a great idea for us!” His idea was that the two of us would build South Africa’s


MICRO LIVING

first licensed Tiny Home on wheels and live in it – a huge move for us both! Matt: Within a couple of weeks we had embarked on an expedited process of registering a new business and partnering with longstanding friends – young professionals in their respective fields – and together we have developed our business and generated the Tiny Homes following we have today. What is the appeal? Matt: The advantages

include lower household expenses, lower use of energy and a decluttered lifestyle, but the biggest attraction for us is the opportunity to focus on the elements in life that really matter. For us, it’s about maximising quality of life. Describe the lifestyle that’s on offer. Kendal: We secured a prime location for our Wanderlust Tiny Home on the North Coast of KZN in Salt Rock, close to all amenities and convenient

for both of us as it is close to work. We offer plots available to rent in our tiny gated community, which is secure, pet friendly and with plenty of space for a garden and outdoor living. How easy has it been living in your Tiny Home? Matt: We have been here for 10 months and have loved living in this space. Our home is 20m², and at the outset we had to go through our belongings carefully. It was a lesson to see how many unnecessary items we had accumulated. Since living in our Tiny House we have found that we have far more storage than we actually need – even taking my fishing, tackle rods, etc into account. One of the major design factors we considered when building the home was to make sure it was eco-friendly and that the majority of the items are South African sourced. How did you go about designing the units? Kendal: It has always been our intention to draw inspiration from various parts of South Africa in the course of designing our

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units. Our first four units are called the Sabi, Maluti, Sheffield and J-Bay homes. Each of the homes have key elements which reflect the aesthetics of these particular areas. They are between 15 and 30m², and built on to flatbed trailers so they can be towed from one destination to another. Where are they made? Kendal: Our homes are proudly made in South Africa. Our warehouse is based in Tongaat and all materials are sourced locally aside from certain off-grid functionality items. What is the range of prices and finishes? Matt: Our prices range from R350 000 to R650 000 for on-grid options and can be specced to the client’s request. Each one is custommade and can sleep up to six people. All the homes are timber frame constructed on to our custom-designed heavy-duty trailers. How well suited is South Africa to accommodate this type of living? Matt: We have the most ideal areas in South Africa which are so well suited to this type of living – in fact, people should not be living any other way. Wanderlust Co offers costeffective solutions to those who are looking to live an environmentally conscious lifestyle and still have all the comfort one would have with a full-size home. What reaction have you had? Matt: We are still a very young company and have been pushing to get our brand out, but we have received interest from local estates. They have expressed an interest in incorporating Tiny Home living into their blueprints and we hope to see this becoming a reality in the near future, not only in KZN but across the entire country.

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CO N S E R V AT I O N

Every eco warrior COUNTS Christine Prescott Sole is an environmental educator and part-time journalist who recently wrote a story about an African Crowned Eagle taking up residence in the suburbs – which became a bit of a rallying call to protect local wildlife

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he article I wrote recently for a local newspaper about the return of eagles to the city had the most encouraging and heartwarming response. It reached social media platforms, garnering great enthusiasm for the hopes that many of us have for preserving wildlife in Durban. Soon afterwards there was a public outcry after someone shot dead one of these remarkable raptors. The outrage – far and wide – resulted in a bounty being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter. A clear indication of how keen people are to protect threatened

Our very existence on the planet is made possible by the free “goods and services” nature provides – oxygen, clean air, water, food and so on species and to generally preserve the extraordinary range of wildlife in the many parks and natural areas within the city precinct. South Africa is one of the world’s “biodiversity hotspots”, based on the wealth of flora and fauna species the country has. There are three zones in South Africa and KZN is one of them. Our biodiversity is threatened by human activity and habitation. The diverse array of living things and ecosystems that draws visitors from around the globe and the country, contributes to the local economy and general human well-being. At a

basic level, our very existence on the planet is made possible by the free “goods and services” nature provides – oxygen, clean air, water, food and so on. Besides our impressive biodiversity, the city is fortunate to have many

rare or endangered species – from the magnificent Large Spotted Genet (a fine rat catcher if ever there was one) to the shy and threatened migrant visitor, the Spotted Ground Thrush and the flagship species of the Durban Botanic Gardens, the


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LEFT: AFRICAN CROWNED EAGLE. PICTURE: TIM MCCLURG BELOW LEFT: CHRISTINE SOLE – AN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR WITH A PASSION FOR PROTECTING OUR WILDLIFE.

of trees on municipal-owned land like grass verges. And D’MOSS is a unique and innovative Durban Metropolitan Open Space System that was established decades ago to create “corridors of nature” throughout the city to support our indigenous plants, insect and animal life. We have a plethora of local organisations that promote education and conservation. For example, Birdlife Port Natal, the KZN branch of the Botanical Society of South Africa, CREW (for the care of endangered wild plants), and CROW, a haven to rehabilitate birds and animals. It’s time to take up the spade and the fork! We are losing species of plants, animals and insects to extinction at a faster rate than ever before in the history of human existence. In addition, recent research points

South Africa is one of the world’s “biodiversity hotspots”, based on the wealth of flora and fauna species the country has. There are three zones in South Africa and KZN is one of them

Encephalartos woodii, a thoroughly handsome cycad. These plant and animal species, whose habitats and survival are so under threat, need champions now, more than ever. So where does this all leave us, urban Durbanites and the

general KZN populace? It may seem like a big ask but we already have some of the most advanced mechanisms to support nature in place, and it’s up to us to use them. For instance, legislation exists to prevent the wanton chopping down

to the vital roles that biodiversity and public “green” spaces play in our lives and their importance in the health and well-being of humanity, especially in the time of the coronavirus. According to a recent article published by the Project for Public Spaces “many activities will be safer outdoors than indoors” with the forecast of the ongoing Covid-19 global pandemic. So, KZN citizens, become a green, game-changer – create your own garden haven for wildlife and plants, transform that nearby grass verge or traffic island into a pocket of biodiversity, or think big and take on a local shopping centre precinct. It’s a now or never time, and it’s right here.

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V E G A TA L K S

Capitalism with CONSCIENCE The pandemic promised a global reset, but has it shifted firms into gear, aligning them around the people they are meant to serve, rather than simply profit from?

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his was the essence of a recent session of Vega Virtual Talks, a collaboration between KZN Invest and Vega School, an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (IIE). The discussion was moderated by IIE Vega Durban campus head Naretha Pretorius, and included Tiekie Barnard, founder and CEO of Shift, a social impact consulting firm; David Grier, a trustee of the Cipla Foundation; and Moky Makura, who previously handled African communications for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Makura now heads up Africa No Filter, a donor collaborative focused on shifting the African narrative, Barnard is a Vega and Harvard graduate, and Grier is alternatively described as a social alchemist, extreme adventurer and social entrepreneur, being the first person to have run the Great Wall of China in both directions – more than 4 000km each way – to raise money for charity. Barnard, who works in seven African countries, described social impact as the effect companies had on the communities they operated in. She works with firms and academic institutes to develop shared value, which aims at shifting a business mindset beyond profit, to one creating economic and social value simultaneously.

“There had never been a clearer illustration than Covid-19 of how the health of business depends on the health of society and vice versa.” Barnard said scholars advised business to focus on the needs of its stakeholders, creating policies and practices to enhance competitiveness rather than simply serve shareholders. “That is social impact. The place you have to start when you want to shift to a strategy that focuses on social impact is

It is about profit with purpose. Answering only to shareholders doesn’t work. We are moving to stakeholder capitalism” people – your biggest asset.” Barnard said the process was both internal and external. “It is about profit with purpose. Answering only to shareholders doesn’t work. We are moving to stakeholder capitalism.” The United Nations sustainable development goals were oriented around sustainability. Barnard said 16 of the 17 were social and environmental, and that companies ought to look at what was impeding achieving these. Governments, firms, academics and civil society had ABOVE LEFT: TIEKIE BARNARD, FOUNDER AND CEO OF SHIFT.


V E G A TA L K S

to collaborate. Covid-19 has shown the power in collective action. It has also exposed huge power gaps in society. “There is an enormous amount of work to be done, in spite of all the philanthropy,” Barnard said. It was a time like no other for companies that were socially focused to shine. They were more resilient because inclusivity and innovation were part of their ecosystem. David Grier said the stress arising out of the pandemic and its economic consequences would echo for years to come. “How we come out will depend on our ability to build a cohesive and sustainable society. The pandemic is pulling back the curtain on many things that have been hidden, exposing governments and their corruption, and the same failures in the corporate world have been exposed.” Corporate social investment should be meaningful rather than something in a silo or was done by a non-governmental agency protecting its turf. “Sometimes it is easier to find funding than to solve systemic issues.” He said, for example, that South Africa has 60% youth unemployment. In addition, the state safety net was increasingly threadbare and corporates realised they needed to do more to protect their workers. The speed of the country’s economic recovery was largely dependent on the country solving its health and education crises. Social innovation ought to be aimed around sustainable progress and business ought to harness its entrepreneurial problem-solving capacity to solve problems rather than simply make money. A key component of successful social innovation was boardroom decisions that are in sync with community needs. The sustainability of projects, he added, was often addressed by corporates admitting their shortcomings and collaborating

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LEFT: DAVID GRIER, A TRUSTEE OF THE CIPLA FOUNDATION. BOTTOM: MOKY MAKURA, HEADS UP AFRICA NO FILTER.

Corporate social investment should be meaningful rather than something in a silo or was done by a non-governmental agency protecting its turf. “Sometimes it is easier to find funding than to solve systemic issues”

A key component of successful social innovation was boardroom decisions that are in sync with community needs

with people whose strengths “fill the gaps in our weakness”. Grier said there were astounding initiatives in South Africa that were succeeding and were often overlooked. He cited work Cipla was doing with retired nurses who had addressed primary healthcare needs for 50 000 patients in two years. The “entreprenurses” did medical consults out of refurbished shipping containers and charged R250 a visit, including medication. Makura said in 2015, the UN development goals were determined by 150 countries that developed 72 indicators to track the fulfilment of those goals. A huge challenge in meeting these goals was a $4-billion funding gap. But beyond the money, the private sector has much to offer by way of skills to innovate and eliminate inefficiencies. Meaningful co-operation saw problem-solving at scale, with genuine social impact. Makura said the corporate challenge was to make social impact intrinsic to what it did, rather than through a foundation. Government’s challenge was to create an enabling environment and charities, and had to properly assess community needs. This would avoid situations where mosquito nets are being used as fishing nets. Barnard said accountability was integral to lasting social impact, while Grier pointed out that it required more people of conscience to stand up for what was right, be they in government, corporates or charities. Makura concluded that more people should articulate the Africans aspiration in the hope it will trigger innovation so the “continent is no longer seen as one that lacks agency and needs help”.

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BUY LOCAL INVEST LOCAL Let’s come together and heal as a nation. Let’s focus on renewing, restoring and rebuilding successful partnerships and investment opportunities so we can get back to promoting our city as the ideal destination for business and pleasure to the rest of the world. Your support coupled with our world-class infrastructure, innovative business environment and ever evolving investment opportunities, means we can get back to ‘connecting continents’ in no time.

Tel: +27 31 311 4227 Email: invest@durban.gov.za web: invest.durban

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The city of Durban (eThekwini Municipality) is South Africa’s second most important economic region

Extensive first-world road, rail, sea and air

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Dube TradePort and King Shaka International Airport - 60year Master Plan - driving growth of aerotropolis, or airport city

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Rated in top 5 ‘Quality of Living’ cities in Africa and Middle East by Mercer Consulting in 2015

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BOOKS

Back in TIME

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he Longest March is a novel based on a real – if little known – historical event that took place in 1899, just before the start of the Anglo Boer War, when 7 000 Zulu mineworkers walked from the goldmines in Johannesburg back to Natal. The journey took 10 days and covered a distance of 500 kilometres. Those who joined the march had little choice –

Fred Khumalo – writer, columnist, son of KwaZulu-Natal, and lover of crime fiction – speaks to Shelley Seid about his latest work, The Longest March

“The writer-activist can, by weaving a fictional story around a factual but little-known historical event, insert chunks of what might be called ‘hidden history’ into the public domain” they found themselves stranded in Johannesburg, the mines closed and the threat of war imminent. John Marwick, an official from Natal Native Affairs, organised safe passage and accompanied the marchers. It was a trip fraught with danger – the terrain was perilous; there was a constant threat of wild animals; it was October, the

Have you always been a reader? My mother was a domestic worker and when I was young she would bring books home. I couldn’t read English so I would look at the pictures. I loved comics, like Asterix and later, in high school, I fell in love with crime writer James Hadley Chase.

month of spring rains; and the marchers had to sleep outdoors. Against all odds, they made it home with no fatalities. “I did not know about this incredible march until I heard Jenny Crwys-Williams discussing it on the radio,” says Khumalo. “I got hold of Jenny and she hooked me up with Elsabé Brink who had converted her PhD on the subject into a non-fiction book. It’s out of print now but she was gracious enough to photocopy it for me. I read it and thought, ‘There is a story in here somewhere’.” Khumalo is not new to historical fiction. His award-winning historical novel, Dancing the Death Drill, highlights yet another overlooked incident, the sinking of the SS Mendi off the coast of England in 1917 where 618 black South African troops drowned. In an article in the Johannesburg Review of Books, Khumalo makes the point that historical fiction can be a powerful tool in the hands of a writer who is also an activist, “which I count myself to be. The writer-activist can, by weaving a fictional story around a factual but littleknown historical event, insert chunks of what might be called ‘hidden history’ into the LEFT: DURBAN BORN FRED KHUMALO IS A WELL-KNOWN AUTHOR WITH NEARLY A DOZEN BOOKS TO HIS NAME.

What books influenced you? The one book that stood out and that I constantly re-read is Cry the Beloved Country. It spoke to me. What is your favourite genre? I enjoy reading crime fiction. I’ve

read hundreds of crime novels but I’ve always been scared to write one myself because the standards are so high, and there is so much research involved. I’ve decided to take on the challenge and am in the middle of writing a crime novel set in contemporary Johannesburg.


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READ, SAID FRED

public domain.” Khumalo really enjoyed the months of research he did for The Longest March. “I kept discovering fascinating snippets of history – like crime boss Nongoloza who was active in this period and who’s legacy is seen in many of today’s prison gangs; I also got caught up with the history of King Cetshwayo and the Battle of Isandlwana. In fact, my main character, Nduku, ran away from the battle.” The book turns around Nduku, the reluctant hero, his fiancée Philippa, a Coloured woman who passes for white, and his best friend, Xhawulengweni, a giant of a man and a criminal who “when you see him, you will readily believe that he eats oven-baked bricks for breakfast. And washes them down with lead soup”. Through the course of the march a secret triangulated relationship emerges – the two men had been lovers in the past and Xhawulengweni is determined to resurrect their romance. Khumalo chose to introduce issues of homosexuality and homophobia into this story to take on the myth that homosexuality is a “white thing”. “That people are unwilling to speak of it does not mean it did not happen. Many men with families in rural areas would take up with a young boy in order to cope with their sexual needs. The boy would literally take on the role of a young wife, and get treats and money from their ‘husbands’. “I heard these stories from

What are you reading currently? I’m reading a book called My Patients were Zulus by Dr James McCord, an American medical missionary who founded the famous McCord’s Hospital in

my own grandfather who worked on the mines, and I wanted to explore that.” In October last year, 120 years after the event, Khumalo retraced the steps of the 7 000 Zulu mineworkers. It began as a challenge from a friend but became a way to honour the marchers, bring the history to life and thrust the story “back into the public domain”. Had he done the march before writing the book, it may have been a different story. “I relied on my imagination while I wrote. I didn’t realise the extent of the pain and agony these people must have gone through. They were carrying

Khumalo chose to introduce issues of homosexuality and homophobia into this story to take on the myth that homosexuality is a “white thing” all their belongings, unlike me. They slept in the open. I slept in a BnB every night.” Khumalo is currently busy with his latest projects. One is his first foray into crime fiction, the second is another historical novel; a sequel, in fact, to The Longest March that focuses on the Bambatha rebellion. “Nduku and Philippa are married and teaching at a mission house in Pietermaritzburg when the rebellion takes place. I’m now actively looking to fill the gaps in how our history is told.”

Fred Khumalo has written hundreds of columns, a plethora of essays and almost a dozen books. If you’ve not read his books, this is where he recommends you begin.

“The Longest March will give the reader a sense of black people’s involvement in the Anglo Boer War and how it touched their lives. It also raises many of the social issues we are grappling with today – discrimination around gender, race and sexuality.”

“I was approached by Xoliswa NduneniNgema to help her tell her story, Heart of a Strong Woman, a Memoir. She was the first wife of playwright Mbongeni Ngema, and together they developed and produced the hit, Sarafina!. However, their marriage was unable to withstand Mbongeni’s cheating and abuse. When the marriage ended, Xoliswa continued her personal growth and is today a powerful, successful woman. This is her journey.”

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Durban. I’m also reading Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians. Do your children read? They are great readers; they introduced me to Kevin Kwan!

“Touch my Blood is my autobiography. In essence it is about who I am and where I came from. It deals with my baptism of fire as a young journalist in the killing fields of Natal in 1987, and the book deals with the issues of the time, the horrors I witnessed and how I survived.”

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Issue 10

SPRING 2020

PROFILE


PROFILE

Issue 10

SPRING 2020

47

No monkeying AROUND

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A visionary who led a team of almost 2 000 people for nearly two decades is about to retire. Suncoast CEO Mike Dowsley spoke to KZN Invest

here’s a monkey on the couch in Mike Dowsley’s office deep in the bowels of Durban’s entertainment mecca. The soft toy and the office say a lot about Dowsley, a modest and engaging man at the forefront of hospitality in eThekwini. The office is not a show off place. It is neat and simple and has a couch atop of which sits Curious George. In October, Dowsley, 57, will retire, ending 17 years at the helm of the casino and a 32-year career in corporate, including stints as a director of two companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Dowsley oversaw the R1,6-billion upgrade to the casino, which is a place he takes pride in describing as one of the city’s most loved. Before Covid about 800 000 people visited Suncoast every month. The casino employs 1 400 people alone, and its restaurants, bars, shops, theatre and cinemas create work for hundreds more. It is also the biggest contributor to annual gambling taxes in KZN and in VAT and corporate taxes. Describing Dowsley is useful in movie terms. He’s more like Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman than Robert de Niro in Casino. Dowsley

didn’t work himself up from card dealer to pit boss, and though keenly attuned to the numbers of the lucrative business, realises the ecosystem of an entertainment destination must work in sync to be successful. Movies hype the gangster element of a business that is so highly monitored, the offices of the regulator are inside the casino. The showbiz element is exciting, but Dowsley is energised by people. He talks with warmth

“People who make mistakes and disagree respectfully will grow and learn to take care of the monkey themselves” and affection. He prizes personal development because he has worked for companies that invested in him. He was raised in Johannesburg and has commerce and law degrees from Wits University, in part sponsored by the mining company Goldfields, a company that gave the ambitious youngster intensive management training and saw him appointed as human resource director at the age of 35.

He left to become operations director of the fledgling Incredible Connection. Five years later he worked with a coach for over nine months to find his next career challenge at Tsogo Sun. “This job was the perfect fit for me. I’m a firm believer in what you speak and believe manifesting.” Dowsley relished getting the best out of people. In his business it has been integral: The casino brings in the majority of Suncoast’s revenue but only a fraction of visitors go there for gambling alone. Research puts addictive gamblers at 1%, but most people want a flutter – rolling dice, playing slots or the card tables – escapism and extravaganza. The experience has to be “transformational not transactional”. Dowsley’s joy has been in motivating people to provide that. He tried to create a platform for success, and as he grew in the job he worried less about staff coming to him with problems. It wasn’t up to him to solve them. He had to empower them to solve problems themselves. The process taught him humility, interdependence and vulnerability. “Those things invite knowledge, reliance and create trust. If they passed me the monkey I gave them Curious George. I was able to build a great team with complementary skills. People who make mistakes and disagree respectfully will grow and learn to take care of the monkey themselves.” As a young man Dowsley set a goal to retire at 53 after his son and daughter got the best education he could give them. Four years after his goal date, he doesn’t know what he will do now. But as he doesn’t want to irritate his wife Gail, he probably won’t stop working or coaching.

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Issue 10

SPRING 2020

MUSIC

The language of HOPE Melvin Peters is the Music Director at St Paul’s Church Durban and a respected jazz pianist and educator. Illa Thompson asked him about the arts recovering after lockdown

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How were you able to reach out to others during the pandemic? Through my music. Music can inspire hope in times of fear and uncertainty. I recorded hymns that have been well received all over the world. The pandemic has highlighted so many issues, which remind us of how fragile life is. There is a need to embrace life but accept that certain things cannot be changed. The challenge is to focus on the things that really matter, whatever they may be. What do you think the future of live music will be going forward? While the future does look quite bleak right now, there will always be the light at the end of the tunnel. Live performances will resume albeit with health protocols in place. Artists would love nothing better than to strut their stuff in front of an audience, even if it means having a smaller number to perform to. Online platforms became the norm during lockdown, but there is no substitute for a live audience. You work between the worlds of jazz and church music. How did that happen? In my formative years, I realised the connection and synergy between both. The genres lend themselves to personal expression and improvisation. I can express myself and communicate

to market themselves differently to attract a wider audience. Durban is certainly not short of jazz talent. The challenge forward is to package this to grow audience support. You are an organ impresario. How did that happen? I grew to love the organ at the age of 11. But, throughout my career, I have tried to personalise music, to make it more accessible to people outside church circles. I play the organ in

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Q

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I have always been proud of the variety of jazz that emanates from our city different contexts to enable audiences to experience something fresh – to push the boundaries and change the narrative musically. Of all the places you could live, why choose KZN? Durban has always been my home. I have had many opportunities to travel abroad, however, there is something fascinating about being in this province that inevitably draws me back. My collaboration with musicians outside of KZN – in the US, UK and various parts of Europe – has been greatly rewarding and I would like to extend that.

Q ABOVE: “MUSIC CAN INSPIRE HOPE IN TIMES OF FEAR AND UNCERTAINTY,” SAYS MELVIN PETERS, MUSIC DIRECTOR AT ST PAUL’S CHURCH DURBAN.

my deepest thoughts and feelings, and in the process, spread some joy and love. How does jazz fare in Durban? Jazz thrives in Durban despite various challenges. I have always been proud of the variety of jazz

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that emanates from our city. There is a rich jazz tradition nurtured and developed by musicians over many decades. Our audiences are not always consistent, despite the good quality on offer, resulting in musicians needing

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KZN Invest 10  

KZN INVEST is a business and lifestyle publication that critically unpacks accomplishment and critical challenges in KwaZulu-Natal. The maga...

KZN Invest 10  

KZN INVEST is a business and lifestyle publication that critically unpacks accomplishment and critical challenges in KwaZulu-Natal. The maga...