The City of Cape Town has given the go-ahead for the construction of a R4 billion mixed-use development to be occupied primarily by global retail giant Amazon, with some 19 000 jobs promised to those responsible for carrying out the project. 

Executive mayor Dan Plato said in a statement on Monday 19 April that the 15-hectare parcel of land in the River Club has been approved for development by the Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust, with development promising to provide “a significant boost to the Cape Town economy as the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown [continues]”.

Amazon’s Cape Town headquarter development approved 

Plato said that the 150 000 square metre mixed-use space will be divided into commercial and housing uses across two precincts, and said that heritage considerations have been accounted for. 

“The city has carefully and thoroughly considered all of the submissions and concerns during the appeal process. We are acutely aware of the need to balance investment and job creation, along with heritage and planning considerations,” he said. 

“It is clear that this development offers many economic, social and environmental benefits for the area. We are committed to driving investment to revitalise the economy, which is slowly recovering following the impact of COVID-19,” said Plato.

Mixed-use development to include low income housing 

The proposed development will contain the following:

  • 59 600 SQM office space;
  • 20 700 SQM retail space;
  • 8 200 SQM hotel;
  • 4,100 SQM gym;
  • Restaurants, conferencing, school and events space

The developers of the project have pledged to assign 20% of the residential floor space to affordable housing opportunities. A total of 31 900 SQM of the development is intended for residential purposes.

DA welcome job creation 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomed the announcement, saying that the potential job creation is vital.

“The DA welcomes the announcement that Amazon will establish its South African headquarters in the City of Cape Town. This project has the potential to create up 19 000 jobs – 5 239 during the construction phase alone – and will inject an estimated R4 billion into the local economy,” they said. 

The DA said that the announcement highlights the City of Cape Town’s success in “setting itself at the forefront of investment and economic development in the country, while keeping local concerns front of mind”. 

“The extended COVID-19 lockdown has caused devastation on the South African economy, with Cape Town not escaping this economic fall-out. This development that will serve to revitalise the local economy and increase the trust already placed in the competence of the Western Cape government, once again proving that the DA does it better.”

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Presh JM Reporter

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