Clairwood Logistics Park Given the Go Ahead
KwaZulu-Natal’s MEC of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Michael Mabuyakhulu, gave the project the go ahead.
The announcement came after his department found that the amended Environmental Impact Report (EIR) received from the Capital Property Fund in September 2014 complied with stringent regulations and adequately addressed concerns raised during an appeal. (Capital Properties has since merged with JSE listed Fortress Income Fund which will now develop the project).
It found that public participation process followed in the EIA process was more than compliant with EIA regulations and it outlined stringent parameters for development in response to objections raised. As a result, appeals lodged in response to the environmental authorisation granted in May 2015 were dismissed and the original decision was upheld.
The Clairwood Logistics Park will be located on the site of the former Clairwood Race Course which was purchased by the then Capital Property Fund in 2012 for R430 million. Fortress Income Fund (South Africa’s third largest property fund), intends on developing approximately 350 000 square metres of warehousing with the remainder becoming paved yards to service the facilities.
The development will also include an eight hectare wetland which will be fully rehabilitated.
The EA (environmental authorisation) released by the provincial government yesterday said:“The Clairwood Logistics Park will not only meet growing demand for A grade logistics and distribution facilities in the south of Durban, but also improve the livelihoods of surrounding communities through job creation,” said Mr Nico Prinsloo the Fortress Income Fund’s Development Manager.
The new facility is expected to create an estimated 18 900 jobs during the four year construction period and more than 4 600 permanent jobs after completion in December 2020. The development comes at a time when South Africa is facing significant job losses that will add to an already high unemployment rate as the economy slows.
The South Durban Basin, in which the Clairwood Logistics and Distribution Park falls, is a national economic hub which consists of an industrial area interspersed with a residential population. The basin is bordered by major transport linkages. Market research has indicated that both national and international businesses have a desperate need for modern logistics facilities in close proximity to both the existing port and the proposed Durban Dig Out Port.
The EA noted that, due to the previous lack of flat land for development that was large enough to accommodate modern logistics facilities, a clear need existed for a development of this nature. It explained that basic supply and demand market forces in co-operation with other macro factors had created quantifiable need for such a development.
The Clairwood Industrial Park and Logistics Centre will significantly increase the eThekwini municipal rates base in the area once fully developed whilst also significantly increasing Durban’s contribution to KwaZulu-Natal’s gross domestic product.
The R3,5bn to be invested in developing the site includes R110m that will be spent on extensive upgrades of roads and infrastructure surrounding the facility. “This will not only improve traffic flow into and out of the site but will ease overall traffic flow in the area and significantly improve road safety, especially for learners attending schools close to the site,” said Prinsloo.
To date, Fortress Income Fund has invested R3,8m in schools close to the Clairwood Logistics Park site through the Siyakha Education Trust.