A Chinese property developer has a lofty vision for a pokey suburb of Johannesburg.
The plan? To turn Modderfontein, a dull, soulless area of semi-industrial sprawl, into the "New York of Africa," with a financial district, 10 hotels, 10 shopping centers and an African culture theme park.
Hong Kong-listed Shanghai Zendai Property on Tuesday announced it is buying a 1,600-hectare (3,953 acre) tract of land, and will make an investment of 80 billion rand, or $7.8 billion, over the next 15 years to develop the area.
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"It will become the future capital of the whole of Africa," chairman Dai Zhikong told a press conference on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg. "This will be on par with cities like New York in America or Hong Kong in the Far East."
Shanghai Zendai is buying the land from AECI, a South African explosives and chemical group. The area currently houses an explosives factory, which opened in 1896 in connection with Johannesburg's gold mining boom.