Hardie Minute

Large-scale developments in the Fisantekraal area will see the City of Cape Town expand in the east.

The R7 billion Cape Winelands Airport is one of several significant drivers that will foster the development in the City of Cape Town’s North West border.

The Fisantekraal area, which is now mostly farmland bordering Paarl, is on its way to becoming an urban growth node. Several large-scale multi-million rand developments are setting the stage for it to become a sizeable urban centre over the next few years.

Aside from the Cape Winelands Airport, the area is set to benefit from extending a major highway, the establishment of a private university, and a housing project that could eventually include 16 000 homes.

Though these projects were developed independently of each other, in combination, they are fostering the development of the area.

The coming “Airport City”

On its own the Cape Winelands Airport will be a massive project. It will see the old Fisantekraal Airport that now only caters for small planes, developed into the region’s second international airport after Cape Town International Airport.

Though it is often compared to Lanseria International Airport in Johannesburg, once completed, the new-look airport in the cape will be able to accommodate long-range wide-body planes like the Airbus A380. Given Lanseria’s current runway length of 2 918 m, such large planes cannot land there.

The ability to facilitate these types of large planes on a scheduled route at a second airport in the cape could boost the province’s tourism sector, which still has not seen its international arrival numbers recovered to pre-pandemic.

The Cape Winelands Airport is setting itself up to be more than just an airport, as it will see it offer more than aviation facilities but also a wide range of commercial, retail and leisure facilities.

Cape Winelands Airport MD Deon Cloete says there are plans to set up a cargo processing facility, warehousing and logistics facilities, a space for light manufacturing and industrial processing, and food processing.

The proximity of the railway network to the airport could also set it up to get cargo directly from the Port of Cape Town and the Freeport Saldanha, an industrial development zone.

The airport will also have hotels, event and conference venues, and commercial office and retail spaces. There are also plans to set up VIP amenities and services.

The way Cloete sees it, he wants the airport to be a destination in itself, as it will also have facilities like an aviation museum and an open-air plaza.

“The plaza is a place where we can do events like Saturday markets and music concerts.”

Given the wide range of activities taking place there, Cloete wants it to be seen as an “Airport City.”

The new-look Cape Winelands Airport’s first phase will likely open in 2027 – if everything goes to plan. It is currently in the environmental impact assessment phase, and once that is complete, construction will begin.

A New Green City

In addition to Cape Winelands Airport, the creation of the R100 million Greenville Garden City housing project is also driving development in the area.

The project, which started in 2016 and is backed by Garden Cities, could eventually see the creation of 16 000 homes catering to varying economic levels, including bonded housing.

The plan is to eventually have 12 primary and high schools, an integrated transport hub and a large number of community facilities.

Apart from Greenville, there are plans to establish the luxury Bella Vita Lifestyle and Golf Estate, which could have 3 000 residential units, a business centre, sports facilities, and community facilities.

And a new university

The area will also get a new university with JSE-listed higher education group STADIO Holdings planning to open its new R45 million campus in 2026.

After STADIO has received municipal approval, the plan is to start construction this year, complete construction in 2025 and then start admitting students the following year.

Infrastructure upgrades

The City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government have not been blind to the area’s emerging infrastructure needs.

Fisantekraal is set to get a boost with the planned extension of the R300 Kuils River Freeway, which connects Mitchells Plain in the south of the city with the N2 in Kuils River, and the N1 at Bellville in the north.

This will see the R300 extended from where it currently ends at the N1 to Wellington Road, the arterial road that connects it to Fisantekraal.

The area will also benefit from upgrading and extending several roads, like Lucullus Road to Lichtenburg Road, in nearby Joostenbergvlakte.

This means that once the airport’s upgrades are complete, the area’s road infrastructure will be able to cope with an increase in expected traffic.

When it comes to water, the City of Cape Town completed the R53 million Spes Bona reservoir in 2018. The new 35-million-litre Spes Bona reservoir is next to the old 15-million-litre reservoir and will feed Fisantekraal, which includes the Greenville Garden Cities housing development.

Cape Business News – “Cape Winelands Airport to be the centre of new growth node for the city”. Web blog post. 10 March 2024