An artist’s impression of the finished city (Zendai)

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Shanghai Zendai completes first phase of Africa’s “new capital”

30 September 2015 | By David Rogers | 0 Comments

Chinese developer Shanghai Zendai has finished the first phase of a $6.4bn, 1,600ha new city in Modderfontein, north-east of Johannesburg.

The Hong Kong-listed firm said it had completed the first of three phases of The Centenary, a luxury apartment development.

Some 150 apartments have been built, and Zendai said it has received 250 applications from potential buyers.

Anthony Diepenbroek, the chief executive of Shanghai Zendai South Africa (SZSA), told reporters at a press conference to launch the project that it would not be affected by the slowdown in Chinese growth.

The complete city is expected to take between 15 and 40 years to complete. Diepenbroek said that when fully built out, it would create 23,000 jobs and contribute $300m a year in taxes to the South African state

“No, not at all,” he said, according to Reuters. “We also raised local financing. It’s going to be a function of the local economy.”

He added: “This is the beginning and we are excited. Our goal with The Centenary is to provide unique, high quality residential living spaces which sets the standard for Modderfontein New Town in terms of convenience, connectivity, sustainability and luxury.”

Wenhui Du, the chief operating officer of ZDSA, added that the company had conducted three years of feasibility studies and was confident about its choice.

He said Modderfontein New Town would initially cater for buyers in a high income bracket, but it would later produce property for middle and low income class people.

An artist’s impression of the luxury Centenary development when all three phases are complete (Zendai)

The amount of investment projected for the new town, $6.4bn, is smaller than ZDSA was quoting earlier this year.

In January, it suggested the town would become the “capital of Africa”, and would attract $8bn in investment.

The complete city is expected to take between 15 and 40 years to complete. Diepenbroek said that when fully built out, it would create 23,000 jobs and contribute $300m a year in taxes to the South African state.

According to Diepenbroek, the construction of a Gautrain station to serve the Centenary will begin in the early months of 2017 and be operational in 2018.