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KZN theme park, residential complex to create 16 000 jobs

by Gabi Khumalo
on 05 Jun 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The development of an internationally branded entertainment theme park and a residential complex in the Macambini area on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast is expected to create about 16 000 permanent jobs.

Briefing the media on Wednesday, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sibusiso Ndebele said an agreement was signed earlier this year following a visit to Dubai.

Following this agreement investor based in Dubai has committed to investing $2.5 billion in the project.

The money will be put towards developing 16 556 hectares of land in the North of UThukela River.

"Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, the investor dispatched a technical team to KwaZulu-Natal to conduct a project viability assessment.

"Earlier this year, I travelled to Dubai with an extended government delegation which included the Ilembe District Mayor as well as the Mandeni local municipality Mayor to meet the investor," Premier Ndebele explained.

He said the project is expected to create about 16 000 full time or 32 000 half day jobs per annum in the short term.

The impact on total output in the finance and business services sector is expected to be R11.6 billion, R73 billion and R118.3 billion over the short, medium and long term.

The development is expected to increase total output in the Agricultural sector by about R247 million per annum and R390 million per annum in the medium and long terms respectively.

"As a result the project will increase the range and scale of economic activities for the local communities as well as the greater North Coast and increase the demand for a range of products and services, thereby creating a better life for these communities," said Mr Ndebele.

Ruwaad group Chief Executive Officer, Hayan Merchant emphasised that the group's aim was to develop a uniquely African, world-class destination that has local, regional, national, continental and international appeal.

"The proposed development will strengthen the North Coast Priority Corridor between Durban and Richards Bay and act as a catalyst for further economic growth and job creation in surrounding areas," said Mr Merchant.

It is also envisaged that the development will bring about the improvement of infrastructure and services in the area, strengthening the local economy and stimulating increased investment across various industrial and commercial sectors.

Ruwaad is a subsidiary of the listed Dubai 9 group, a real estate, hospitality, tourism investment and development company that focuses on creating world class destinations, initially in the Middle East, Australia, Africa and Asia with a strong emphasis on entertainment, hospitality, business and residential and leisure lifestyle.

The group intends to develop an internationally branded entertainment theme park that will be complemented by numerous facilities focusing on residential, hospitality, leisure, medical, education, sport, health and retail.

The group has lucrative strategic alliances with organisations such as Paramount Pictures and Palazzo Versace.

Ruwaad is also planning a cultural and historical focus for the development, centred on a statue of King Shaka Zulu KaSenzangakhona.

It is envisaged that if the development gets the go-ahead, it will be implemented in a series of stages with the first stage, the theme park, which is expected to be completed in 2012. - BuaNews

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