Traffic takes backseat in exclusive Steyn City
Fin24

Traffic takes backseat in exclusive Steyn City

2015-03-05 15:06

Johannesburg – Cars take a backseat in the sprawling estate of Steyn City Lifestyle Resort, which was officially unveiled to media on Thursday.

Watch: The grand tour of Steyn City

South African billionaire Douw Steyn’s dream to turn the vacant land bordering two townships north of Fourways in Johannesburg into a place of luxurious freedom has become a reality, nearly 15 years after he approached Giuseppe Plumari, who had this land on his property portfolio.

List: 10 things you didn't know about Steyn City

Plumari, now the CEO of Steyn City Properties, told media that cars weren’t a factor in their central planning of the estate. “The roads belong to the pedestrians,” he told media in an upmarket coffee shop on the estate. “We have evolved into what we are today, but effectively the roads have been taken over by cars. We are little islands among a sea of traffic.”

Read: Steyn City to invest another R50bn for next phase to create a new way of living

“We got huge inspiration from cities of old,” he said. “There they have communities of pedestrian living. Having observed these cities, it became evident that the biggest attraction was the human scale of the developments.”

This open style of living will allow residents to interact with their neighbours and enjoy the numerous open spaces, paved boulevards, running and cycle tracks, skate park, outdoor gym areas and The Club at the Jack Nicklaus designed golf course.

A city like no other

Steyn City is six times the size of Sandton City, four times the size of Monaco and two and a half tims the size of Central Park in New York.

The estate will officially open next week for business, where people can buy ready-made houses and flats or land to build on.

The 810ha estate will have two city centres that will be open to the public and will rival some of the biggest shopping centres in Johannesburg.

“There is no development on the continent that I know of, that compares in size and infrastructure to Steyn City,” said Plumari.

“This will allow residents to enjoy an unparalleled array of leisure activities and create a unique quality of life that has long been out of the reach of most South Africans, due to high walls, the need to commute and security concerns.

“Douw Steyn’s name is carved in stone here and I think I’ve left a footprint,” said Plumari.

Watch the full interview with Plumari:

He begins the interview by answering a question about how Steyn and Nelson Mandela's friendship had influenced a commitment to help the poor in neighbouring townships.

Engaging with the poor

Steyn City has come under criticism in the past for creating an opulent estate on the doorstep of communities living in poverty in badly maintained townships, where people battle with jobs and the expense of travelling long distances to work.

“We are close to less fortunate communities than us such as Diepsloot and Cosmo City, where we have created 11 500 jobs and opportunities to needy people of their communities on their doorstep,” said Plumari. “It is so expensive for them to get to work so for them to come to work in Steyn City will give them much relief on their income.

“We invested huge money on public infrastructure outside Steyn City such as on the William Nicole Drive,” he said.

Steyn, an ANC benefactor, made a deal with the government to relocated 20 000 residents from Zevenfontein to Cosmo City in order to obtain land that was not part of the existing property portfolio.

Bafana Mokwena was one of those who agreed to relocate. But he sought a meeting with the leaders of Steyn City to ask what they were going to do for him.

They had been looking for someone to head up the Skills Centre, a development centre to train the community in various skills. Mokwena jumped at the opportunity and now heads up the centre, which trains 40 workers per month.

“Giuseppe emphasised that Douw was passionate about opening this centre,” Mokwena said. “Douw and Madiba [Nelson Mandela] had a friendship that dated a long time back,” he said. “Today the skills centre is a reflection of that friendship.

“We have a commitment to help our people,” he said. “We upgraded the R511 with dedicated pedestrian lanes. There were many accidents before this as many labourers use this road. Now they are safe when they come to work. We will supply water from Steyn City to Diepsloot. I applaud Steyn City’s upliftment programme for job creation.

“You must remember that one breadwinner feeds five to six people in a household,” he said. “It is important to have such developments. We applaud Mr Steyn for reinvesting in South Africa. Not many people who have made it, would invest such money.

“I am a successful businessman – not like Douw, but in my own right – thanks to the opportunity I was given to work here,” he said. “This is the beginning of many opportunities as we are entering our second phase.

“It’s the future for more models to be developed within our areas,” he said.

Take a visual tour of the estate:

* Steyn City paid for the travel costs for the tour.


Comments
  • Sven Albin - 2015-03-05 15:13

    The Albin think this Village will be one major magnet for violent crime. Would not live there if you paid, going to get assault.

      John Darnielle - 2015-03-05 16:01

      The John think you must learn the English.

      Josiah Skewa - 2015-03-05 17:09

      Armed guards and well built walls. No nonsense, rubbish will be taken out like the trash it is.

      MM - 2015-03-06 10:31

      very positive initiative, i'd buy into the city

      John Sput - 2015-03-06 18:50

      Hahahah - the second John think the first John must teach the Albin the Eeeeeenglish.

  • karen.r.tannahill - 2015-03-05 15:23

    All very well for the people living there, but traffic certainly hasn't taken a back seat for the areas surrounding it....complete didaster

      Werner Michael Strydom - 2015-03-05 19:56

      Traffic on Cedar Road will only increase in volume now, and once the upgrade of Cedar Road starts, it will be an unmitigated nightmare. I sincerely doubt the upgrade will cope with the ever-inflating population density of Fourways. I'm making plans to move away before I lose all sanity.

  • Lynette Sirakis - 2015-03-05 15:27

    If it's open to the public - what will keep the crime out ?

  • Scala Coetzee - 2015-03-05 15:28

    And your neighbours are living in poverty just like Europe kings and Queens in their castles surrounded by poor people Bit sick I think

  • Alexander Jonathan van Zetten - 2015-03-05 15:43

    We have endured 2 years of misery with the roadworks on William Nicol to provide access to Steyn's monument to himself. Steyn has failed to provide policing at the busy Uranium/Mulbarton road intersection having removed the traffic lights. The taxi drivers go beserk. Amazing how the road upgrades end at Steyn's access road leaving the residents of Diepsloot to contend with the old inadequate narrow road. We now have to endure 2 years of misery on Cedar road to upgrade Steyn'saccess to the other side of his estate. The area is already overdeveloped and the last thing we need is this carbuncle on the former greenbelt. Steyn is not building the project for the public benefit, but to line his own pocket. Let's hope it fails.

  • konstabel.koekemoer - 2015-03-05 15:57

    Another expensive golf estate, I would not be in a rush to invest as it may still turn out to be a white elephant. You don't want to own a house in a underdeveloped estate with huge security and maintenance costs.

  • Jonathan Stoner - 2015-03-05 15:59

    This fake little existence is going to cause the mother of all gridlocks every single day. Cedar and William Nicol are already a nightmare without another 10000 cars fed into their rush hour on a daily basis

  • Zoltan Pepper - 2015-03-05 16:33

    Steyn City. The presumption and inflated self-importance of Douw Steyn beggars belief.

      chrisX - 2015-03-06 14:46

      Not quite as bad as that guy who named his church after himself but close ;)

  • Derek Chapman - 2015-03-05 16:38

    Makes one sick thinking that such wealth is developed on an area adjacent to two areas of extreme poverty. I hate capitalists

  • Etienne Rossouw - 2015-03-05 16:39

    So now you have Dainfern, then you will have Steyn city, a few kilometers up you have Diepsloot. Throw in the current free for all in South Africa & it starts more & more to look like one of those apocalyptic type movies where the rich as one comment read live in their bubble the poor on the outskirts, so how long before also a previous comment it all comes tumbling down. Real investment would have been to rather build a new Diepsloot hospital but in Douw's world that would not have been a good return on investment.

  • Josiah Skewa - 2015-03-05 16:54

    I love the exclusivity of this. I believe that if I lived here I would be amongst equals, as wealthy and successful as I am, away from the riff raff and lower classes. I will be buying.

      Graeme Kemm - 2015-03-06 12:51

      you already living in a bubble so just change location. PRICK!

      Josiah Skewa - 2015-03-06 15:12

      Sorry to read of your jealous streak, Graeme. I tell you what, allow your anger at me to inspire you to work harder and get some wealth, maybe we can be neighbours. See you at the 19th when you can afford it.

      Nichola Smith - 2015-03-06 18:37

      I'm a single woman who likes to jog, cycle, sit in a park and read a book ... "on my own". Where in this godforsaken country can I do this and feel safe and proud of my surroundings, Steyn City??? I'm definitely going to enquire. Days are gone that you do not live in a lifestyle estate. You will not be able to sell a freestanding house in time to come,

  • andri.hugo.3 - 2015-03-05 18:20

    That's a lie! I turn off William Nicol into SC every morning. There is no taxi rank and the pedestrians run across the road to use the eastern pedestrian entrance. Pure PR BS!!!

  • Ian Jarman - 2015-03-05 18:55

    How did these developments get the go ahead before the completion of Madupi and the Eskom upgrade plan bloody bribery..... That's why we have load shedding

      chrisX - 2015-03-06 14:52

      Didnt a sewerage main pipe explode in that neighbourhood recently? The entire tuscan-townhouse belt is going to end up knee deep in its own excrement one of these days. Developers keep building, council does ab-so-lute-ly nothing to the infrastructure...

  • Zama David - 2015-03-05 20:14

    This guy is an ANC man! Iam not supprised why they moved out so fast to cosmo city to partially finished houses. Iam one of those who stayed @ Zevenfontein

  • Greg Bremner - 2015-03-06 03:58

    Only if you like golf !!

      Nichola Smith - 2015-03-06 18:40

      It's a place for the Boere and their BEE pals.

  • Alan Borcher - 2015-03-06 04:48

    Dedicated to the poor.....and how much will it cost to buy one of these exclusive houses. Haven't read so much crap in a long time. Just the name puts me off for a start.

  • Leon Janse van Rensburg - 2015-03-06 12:18

    Just a pity that it's got such a common name

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