Businesses in the area where the Hammarsdale Cato Ridge Development Association operate were among the first hit by unrest, but they have bounced back remarkably.
The association says many retailers, wholesalers, a number of warehouses and some factories came under attack. Organised looters brazenly parking on the national road to load up and trade in stolen goods. The impact of jobs lost and investment foregone is not easily measured.
But, the association says only one firm is definitely not rebuilding, while many affected firms are using the repairs as an opportunity to upgrade. Most firms are using the crisis to drive necessary change.
The association says Durban’s Outer West simply has too much promise to overlook it as an investment destination. Government may want Gqeberha to be the main container port (at nearly double the distance to Gauteng), but the market wants Durban and Cato Ridge as the natural inland container port.
Plans for this are advanced and ground will break in months, not years. The association says it will save importers and exporters here significant time and money by aligning their container needs and stopping the ferrying of empty containers.
Rob McInerney, Principal and Broker at Share-List says zoned industrial land prices range from around R300/m² to R1650/m². The opportunities for development or truck staging are vast. Rentals range from around R40/m² to R90/m² so there is something for everyone, from small business to multi-national investors.
Road upgrades are either in full swing or on the cards.
While local police were found wanting during the unrest, the association says there are plans for a significantly beefed-up armed response unit to service the region. “Firms are also looking to drive a change in the hearts and minds of the community. Nearly a decade of anti-business sentiment has ingrained a deep distrust. This is being countered through engaging community leaders, via social and print media that shares all that business means and does for the community.”
The association says the government too is being engaged productively. That the state has limited resources, but the potholes can be fixed and plans approved quicker, verges cut and rubbish collected more regularly. Truly working together, the positive momentum is being accelerated.
HAMMARSDALE & CATO RIDGE CONTINUE TO GROW
Hammarsdale, including Keystone Park, Cato Ridge and surrounding areas, are continuing to grow, with the most visible growth in Keystone Park where the new PEPKOR Distribution Centre is fast heading towards completion.
Rob McInerney from Share-List Property, who specialise in the area, believes that the following factors are contributing to the attraction of these areas along the N3 Corridor:
- Great access to the N3 with the Hammarsdale Interchange already complete, and a second interchange under construction at Dardanelles, with a third one planned for Cato Ridge.
- Close proximity to the proposed Cato Ridge Dry Port/Intermodal Hub.
- Close enough to Durban and the port.
- Plenty of land available which has already been zoned for industrial and logistics purposes in sizes varying from 3 000m² to 300ha.
- Land prices ranging from as low as R350/m² to some of the more exclusive sites situated within precincts, going for up to R1 650/m².
- Ready availability of semi-skilled staff.
- Electricity supply directly from Eskom resulting in cost savings up to and as high as 25%.
- Reasonable rentals in the older area of Hammarsdale, where a number of the old textile plants have been converted to multi-user industrial parks.
These factors make it an ideal area for logistics, truck staging and industrial uses. It is no wonder that the area is attracting large national and international companies in addition to SME’s. With the wide range of available options in the area, there are optimum solutions for all companies.
FOR MORE INFO:
- Rob McInerney
- 084 370 8733
MAKING HAMMARSDALE BETTER
Formed in January 2021, the Hammarsdale Cato Ridge Development Association (HCRDA) is a voluntary association of Outer West businesses and stakeholders working together to advance Hammarsdale and Cato Ridge to make it a better place to work and live, thereby supporting growth, employment and transformation. It currently has 36 members, representing 7 000 formal private-sector jobs.
The HCRDA focuses on leveraging the scale and expertise of members to effectively address commonly experienced challenges. Current focus areas are Human Resources, Supply Chain, Infrastructure, Safety and the Environment.
Members are: Bakers Transport, Big Build, Blaze Braai Products, Buckman Laboratories, Catchway Properties (Hammarsdale Industrial Park), Cato Pallet, Cato Ridge Electrical Construction, Cobro Concrete, Cretemix, Crusader Logistics, Deratek Packaging, DoMore Foundation, Fibertex Nonwovens, Geo Plastics Sales Plumbing Sales, Gforce Employment Solutions, Global Safety Textiles, Inno Textiles, Kerry Ingredients, LAD Security Services, Malda Pack, RCL Foods, Robertson & Poole Construction, RP Steel, Safal Steel, SAPY, Scott Bader, Sequence Logistics, SRF Flexipak, Stimela Consulting, United Distribution and Transport Services, USE-IT, and Value Logistics.
The HCRDA is a Not-for-Profit Company overseen by an Executive Committee comprising senior managers of member companies.
FOR MORE INFO:
- (031) 942 3656