Magazine article Geographical

The African Manhattan

Magazine article Geographical

The African Manhattan

Article excerpt

Construction has begun on South Africa's brand new 500million [pounds sterling], 1,600-hectare city, but some are expressing fear over a growing 'Chinese incursion' into the region

Modderfontein, a small Johannesburg suburb has been chosen as the location for a brand new smart city, complete with educational district, a new train station for the city, and a theme park. Once completed, the city--dubbed the 'African Manhattan' by some commentators --will be home to 100,000 people.

'South African lifestyles are changing,' says Anthony Diepenbroek, CEO of Zendai Development South Africa, a branch of Shanghai Zendai, the Chinese construction firm behind the project. Many households are facing challenges associated with urban sprawl. People wishing to own homes are finding that to afford a suitable home they are forced to live outside urban centres.'

The main downside to this commuting lifestyle is that numerous families are allocating an estimated 40 per cent of their monthly income to transport. In some cases, this challenge restricts the dream of home ownership for many families,' adds Diepenbroek. …

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