Growthpoint Properties, Regional Head, Greg Worst is a true ambassador for development in KwaZulu-Natal. During his interview, he shares his inspired perspective for the #KZNComeback series, which encapsulates the changes taking place in KwaZulu-Natal.
Greg talks through the setbacks in recent years, and despite this, KwaZulu-Natal is on a massive expansion and development drive that can’t be ignored.
In his 20-year career with Growthpoint Properties, Greg shares that a common denominator has been the massive belief that they, as an organisation, have in KZN. Growthpoint’s acquisitions in the region, over the years, and of recent are proof enough of their firm stance that KZN is a highly attractive investment node.
The JSE-listed Growthpoint Properties just recently acquired a 13 870 m2 prime logistics property in Keystone Park in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal, for R136-million, furthering the rebalancing of its sizable industrial property portfolio. Growthpoint also recently started the R180-million development of Phase 2 of Trade Park, a prime industrial park in the Mount Edgecombe industrial precinct in KwaZulu-Natal, north of Durban.
The company’s property portfolio in KZN is worth more than R7bn and includes office parks, healthcare and retail facilities.
Growthpoint Properties recently developed about 30 000m² of offices in Parkside and Ridgeside within Umhlanga and the demand is phenomenal. The vacancy level across a total of more than 90 000m² of offices is less than 4%, indicating high demand and has created investor confidence.
According to Greg, the high demand is driving expansion and these large cash injections are a good indicator of positive change. On the industrial side, the N3 West Corridor leading inland indicates a great deal of further growth. In this region, Growthpoint Properties recently completed the turnkey Baker’s facility operation, while they also recently acquired a property in Hammersdale.
KwaZulu-Natal is a growth node, and has enticed Growthpoint Properties to spend approximately R1 billion to R2 billion in the industrial sector over the next 5 years, be it in the north or west of the province. Greg says busy port terminals and busy roads with trucks are a good indication that logistics and warehouses are to come and that the jobs will follow. Growthpoint Properties created a healthcare fund and owns Gateway Hospital and Hillcrest Private Hospital, the demand for this kind of offering is also high. He says another R150 million will be invested into Hillcrest Hospital and they are already in discussions around a similar facility near Cornubia.
As a proud KwaZulu-Natal resident, every three months or so Greg and his family venture from their home in Assegai to spend a week on holiday in Umdloti, where it feels as though he has gone overseas. In his inspiring #KZNComeback video, Greg expresses his deep pride and admiration for his home province, sharing that the natural beauty of the Drakensberg mountains and the unsurpassed coastline to the vibrant urban centres of Durban and Pietermaritzburg, the diverse range of attractions and opportunities available are what make KwaZulu-Natal such a special place.
One of the key themes that emerges is the importance of development and job creation in the province. There are specific ways in which the local council is supporting development projects, such as through infrastructure investments.
This kind of proactive approach to economic growth is a testament to the forward-thinking leadership that is helping to shape KwaZulu-Natal’s future. Greg emphasises the importance of environmental sustainability, saying the beauty and diversity of the region’s natural landscape offers a wealth of opportunities for outdoor recreation and exploration.
Exuding a deep sense of gratitude and pride for his home province, Greg recognises the challenges that KwaZulu-Natal faces, but also sees the tremendous potential for growth and development that exists. As he says KwaZulu-Natal truly is a place to be proud of, and a place that offers some of the best opportunities and experiences in South Africa.
The eThekwini Municipality is rolling out a large-scale spatial transformation projects in partnership with the private sector and based on key national routes.
Keystone Logistic Park Development, Shongweni Retail and Residential Development, Oceans uMhlanga, Whetstone Business Park Development and Avoca Nodal (Brickworks) Development are some of the catalytic projects due for implementation in the short term.
Additional Catalytic Projects in Durban include:
Dube Trade Port
M4 and uMhlanga North Corridor
Cornubia Mixed-use Development
Virginia Site Re-Development
Sibaya Casino, Retirement Village, and Advetech University
Midway Crossing Shopping and Community Service Centre
Point Waterfront Development
Centrum Site Development
Durban Film City
Warwick Precinct Transport Hub
Cato Ridge Multi Modal Development
Automotive Supplier Park
The total investment value of these catalytic projects over 60 years is R217 billion. According to eThekwini Municipality, the private sector investment value of the completed projects is R21.2 billion. Meanwhile direct and indirect jobs created on an ongoing implementation is 143 300.
View the full video and see how Growthpoint Properties creates job and investment opportunities that will benefit the region and the community – ultimately paving the way for KZN’s comeback.