By Angela L. Braden
A Chinese firm has purchased land in South Africa to build what they are calling the “New York City of Africa.” They expect the $84 billion project to take 20 years to be fully-developed. But when it is complete, the development will have 50,000 housing units that will house up to 200,000 residents.
The hub, which will be in Eastern Johannesburg, will also have a medical center, hospital, sports stadium, educational facilities, and a financial district. The Chinese investment firm is saying that the hub will be “the future capital of all of Africa.” They expect the hub, which has yet to be named, to bring 100,000 jobs to the area. They desire the hub to be similar to what New York is to America and what Hong Kong is to the Far East.
Sources say that work has already begun. Roads are being laid and housing units are already being constructed.
The chief operating officer of the South African project said that the project was initially met with “skepticism.” However, he believes that “hope and imagination” will take hold and show how this project can lead to great success and prosperity for Africa.
Shanghai Zendai, the Chinese firm financing the project, is a Hong Kong investment company, mostly managing residential developments in the Asian region of the world. The South African project is the first investment the firm has taken on in the great continent of Africa. The Chinese firm purchased the property from AECI, a South African chemicals company. AECI was seeking to dispose of “surplus land holdings.” The purchase is said to be one of the largest financial investments from a foreign company in South African history.
The firm says that they are hoping that the hub will be a place for other Chinese investors to do business in Sub-Saharan Africa. The COO says that “depending on what our clients and developers want, the sky is the limit.”