By Annisa Essack
The upgrading of Kassier Road has started the construction of Westown in Shongweni.
Westown is the first development activity within the Shongweni Urban Development, an eThekwini project of over 2 000 hectares. It is a mixed-use precinct of urban and green spaces built around the retail high street of Westown Square.
Westown is strategically located in Shongweni, KwaZulu-outer-west Natal’s region, and is perfectly positioned for an integrated urban environment between Durban and Pietermaritzburg on the country’s main economic arterial, the N3.
Westown is being developed by Durban-based Fundamentum Property Group. The first phase of construction, which will start in September, will include bulk and internal infrastructure (water, wastewater, electricity, and roads), as well as the development of Westown Square, a retail high-street offering with open and convenient spaces that provide access to shopping, dining, commercial, and recreational opportunities.
The Westown catalytic project has the backing of all three branches of government, as well as leadership from surrounding communities and local businesses and stakeholders like the Durban Shongweni Club and Polo Club, The Mushroom Farm, Shongweni Farmer’s Market, and Denny Mushroom Farm. eThekwini Municipality and landowners Tongaat Hulett are also important partners in the development of Westown.
“Westown is a place – the new City of the West. A ground-breaking, locally driven initiative that connects people with spaces and experiences, bringing new opportunities to live, work and thrive. Now that the first tender for the upgrade of Kassier Road has been awarded to a stellar local development team, including contractors Stefanutti Stocks and engineering consultants SMEC South Africa, we are eager to get moving“, comments Fundamentum CEO, Carlos Correia.
Westown’s development will begin in September with the construction of the R1.3 billion Westown Square, the development’s 45 000m2 retail heart. This will take place alongside the road upgrade and the remaining infrastructure components, such as water, wastewater, and access roads, which are all scheduled to be completed by September 2024.
Westown will be the new economic hub for Durban’s Outer West, attracting R15 billion in new investment over the next ten to fifteen years. Westown focuses on innovation, creating a legacy of multidisciplinary planning, engineering, architecture, and place-making that will unlock the region’s investment potential. It is based on urban sustainability and the use of open space and ecological assets.
Fundamentum is proud to announce the establishment of the Westown Foundation as part of their commitment to local sustainability, participation, and empowerment. The Westown Foundation will facilitate and amplify local socioeconomic opportunities created by the development of Westown.
The initial focus, in collaboration with contractors Stefanutti Stocks, is the creation of a new on-site training centre that will provide skills development and training in construction and building-related trades.
These skills will be applied on-site as Westown develops, facilitating opportunities beyond the training centre and ensuring a legacy of skill transfer and local social upliftment and empowerment.
It offers a brand-new destination for living, working, shopping, doing business, and engaging in recreational activities within a managed urban environment, complete with all the amenities and facilities that go with it. Westown will be developed by Fundamentum, which will build its own commercial and industrial real estate portfolio, as well as medium and high-density residential complexes and other commercial, distribution, and warehouse construction by developers and investors.