Work on “capital of Africa” gets underway

Construction has begun on a major property development near Johannesburg, South Africa, which its Chinese developer has claimed will be the "capital of Africa".

The new city development on a 1,600-hectare site at Modderfontein is situated between Johannesburg’s financial hub of Sandton and South Africa’s main international airport, OR Tambo.

Dai Zhikang, chairman of Hong Kong-listed conglomerate Shanghai Zendai, which is behind the scheme, has said the city would attract $8bn worth of investment over the next 10 to 15 years, and will include offices, a light industry park, housing for 100,000 people, schools and entertainment centres.

"It will become the future capital of the whole of Africa," Dai has said. "This will be on par with cities like New York in America or Hong Kong in the Far East."

Construction of the first 300 residential units got underway on 9 January, local media reported.

In 2013 Shanghai Zendai acquired the land from chemicals and explosives company AECI for a reported one billion rand ($86.7m at today’s exchange rate), one of Africa’s biggest property deals.

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