Jul 29, 2011
Ekurhuleni unveils ‘aerotropolis’ growth and development visionBack
DURBAN|Ekurhuleni|Africa|South Africa|OR Tambo International Airport|Ground-to-air Shipping Network|Transport|John Kasarda|Mondli Gungubele
© Reuse this
“We have made the decision that, for Ekurhuleni to become a preferred destination for growth and development, we need to adopt a particular strategy which is appropriate for the city. We are, therefore, pursuing the aerotropolis model, which talks to exploring economic opportunities around an airport city,” says Gungubele.
The concept calls for the city’s layout, infrastructure and economy to be centred around a major airport so as to take full advantage of the business spin-offs associated with such proximity – OR Tambo already provides a ground-to-air shipping network and accessibility.
Gungubele explains that a third of international trade is through goods and services and, by 2029, air passengers will double, while air cargo should triple.
“We are host to 1.5-billion kilometres of optic fibre, which has the potential to connect Ekurhuleni and offer a multi- plicity of services that will reduce the cost of business, which will enable entrepreneurs to connect with the city and the world.”
Gungubele adds that, because an aerotropolis relies on efficiency in logistics, the primary infrastructure required is logistics related.
“Having an airport to connect with the world, we thought that, for us, the best dream to follow is that of an aerotropolis economy, which is the growth path chosen by Ekurhuleni.”
To make it a success, the metro is conducting a feasibility study to inform strategy by the end of the year and will be rolling out optic fibre worth R40-million to actualise services.
Gungubele says that the city will be signing a memorandum of understanding with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) to turn the metro’s lakes into areas of interest to provide job creation oppor- tunities.
Samsa is mandated to promote South Africa’s maritime interests and development and position the country as an international maritime centre, while ensuring maritime safety, health and environmental protection. This mandate is extended to include inland waterways accessible to the public.
He notes that Ekurhuleni has also opted to follow a programme of township economic development in trying to support established and emerging small and medium-sized enterprises.
“There is a lot of potential in our townships and it must be possible to identify different types of entrepreneurs and support them in terms of developing their skills and marketing their products.”
He confirms that the establishment of an aerotropolis calls for the growth of light manufacturing, and the city is in the process of engaging Airports Company South Africa, the Department of Transport and the provincial government to form partnerships in this regard.
Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise strategy and entrepreneurship director Professor John Kasarda, who is assisting the City of Ekurhuleni in implementing its aerotropolis, says that airport terminals have become sophisticated revenue-generating engines featuring brand boutiques, speciality retail and upscale restaurants, along with entertainment and cultural attractions.
“The new way of doing business is changed by connectivity through aviation, speed and agility, which translate into jobs and opportunities, tax revenues and competitiveness in the new speed-driven economy.”
He warns that cities do not compete but regions do.
Kasarda elaborates that Durban is considering implementing an aerotropolis, which will augur well with the Dube TradePort, and adds that it is pertinent for countries with airports of all sizes and ages to implement the concept.
He urges the City of Ekurhuleni to leverage its unique resource, OR Tambo International Airport, as an engine to connect to the world in a speed-driven economy.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other News This Week News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...