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Sandwiched between Dainfern Golf Estate and Diepsloot in Fourways, Steyn City is the brainchild of insurance magnate and self-made billionaire, Douw Steyn. What was once barren land (that included a disused mine quarry) is now a 2000 acre city within a city. Four times the size of Monaco, it is the largest mixed-use development in the country and will eventually be home to 10 000 residents. 

Whilst some critics have argued that city infrastructure should be spent on developing the urban core and overcoming spatial inequalities of the past, Steyn City claims to eventually provide up to 11 000 jobs for local communities, upon its completion. Investors have ploughed R6.5 billion into the project to date, with a further R50 billion projected. This will fund the construction of a primary & high school, two shopping precincts, a business park, medical centre and retirement home.   

Pam Golding Property Group are jointly marketing residential properties in the Estate and CEO Andrew Golding explains the appeal of the venture. “Steyn City is a completely new lifestyle concept. In recent years, we have seen that many people want to return back to a more traditional village form of living, but with all the conveniences of a modern lifestyle”. 

This shift in the status quo is highlighted by the fact that a perimeter ring road was built, from which an 18km promenade meanders through the residence. Theoretically, residents could walk from one end of the estate to the other, without having to worry about motorized traffic. There will be no boundary walls between properties and 100 000 trees have been planted, creating the carefree neighbourhood feel of decades past. Unlike the majority of estates in South Africa, residents will be able to build their homes according to their preferences (from a selection of architectural styles). 

The first phase of Steyn City was launched with 93 apartments & 19 clusters, with a further 45 clusters to be built off plan. Six show homes have been completed and 220 freehold stands have been released. 

An argument that property prices will exclude the middle class are strongly countered by property developer, Guiseppe Plumari. “Whether you buy a R1.65 million apartment or build a R50 million stand-alone house, everyone has access to the same facilities”. And it is these facilities that are drawing prospective buyers in their numbers. The development boasts an 18 Hole Jack Nicklaus design golf course, wooded parklands, a mountain bike track, clubhouse, gym, equestrian centre, spa and 100km of jogging trails. 

The challenges and successes of Steyn City will be the same as those faced by estates across the country. Criticism will abound that it is exclusionary, but when starter homes are neighbours to opulent mansions of the mega-rich, then a more diverse socio-economic hub is hard to find. As the high pressured and fast-paced nature of Johannesburg only increases with time, it’s clear that the premium paid for amenities, convenience and peace of mind is still worth its weight in gold.  


Author Gated Estates
Published 11 Nov 2015 / Views -
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