Hong Kong contractor joins forces with Vinci to build $2.5bn prefab town in South Africa

A joint venture between a Hong Kong-based contractor and France’s Vinci has begun a $2.5bn project to build a new town in South Africa’s Gauteng province.

The company, China Minsheng Drawin Technology Group, or CMIG Drawin for short, intends to make this scheme, its first in Africa, into a showpiece for its brand of sustainable offsite construction.

The project, which broke ground on Tuesday, 10 October, is called the John Dude New City. It will include 18,000 affordable homes for sale or lease, together with schools, shopping malls and a hospital.

Jun Yin, the chief executive of CMIG Drawin, said that the move would further the company’s mission of building partnerships in BRICS countries (that is, Brazil, Russia, India China and South Africa). He added that 95% of the workers who carry out the scheme would be hired locally.

Yin said: "We feel extremely honoured to be able to participate in South Africa’s project to build more affordable housing. This feeds into our mission to build partnerships with BRICS countries, and is an affirmation of CMIG Drawin’s leading technology, which will be adopted in more projects in South Africa and in other overseas markets."

Work on the scheme is expected to be complete in 10 years.

South Africa’s Gauteng province in the former Transvaal contains the country’s largest city, Johannesburg, its administrative capital, Pretoria, and other large industrial areas such as Midrand and Vanderbijlpark. It has a population of nearly 13.2 million, making it the most populous province in South Africa.

Image: Spectators at the opening ceremony take their first look at the housing planned for John Dude (Supplied photo)

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