Community upliftment drives Renishaw Coastal Precinct’s ongoing success

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For the 1 300-ha, mixed-used Renishaw Coastal Precinct to thrive on the KZN mid-South Coast, it’s vital that everyone is benefitting from the development. This ethos has seen the precinct developers investing in local talent, with one woman showing how some quality skills training can lead to a successful business enterprise.

After passing Grade 11 at Sithuthukile High School, Maureen Mkhize from Mandawe found herself unable to further her studies because of financial difficulties. However, in 2017, the now 44-year-old entrepreneur embarked on a skills training programme run by Renishaw Hills – the inaugural development within Renishaw Coastal Precinct – and the Construction Education and Training Authority.

“When I started the programme I was taught how to make gabions, road caps, and v-drains with certificates to confirm I acquired these skills. Apart from the skills, I was taught how to register a company so that I can stand on my own,” explains Mkhize who, in addition to raising her own two sons, took over the care of her late sister’s two daughters.

Drawing on the skills she acquired through the programme, Mkhize established her own organisation, Venka Trading, which supplies gabion baskets for the construction of retaining walls, erosion control, and landscaping. The gabion baskets, which are made using wire mesh gabions with stone infill, have been used in construction of the 25-ha Renishaw Hills mature lifestyle estate – the inaugural development in what is one of the country’s largest developments of its kind, Renishaw Coastal Precinct.

The past two years, Mkhize has continued to expand her business, supplying gabion baskets around the KZN South Coast. This has been beneficial, not only to Mkhize, but others in her community: “My company has employed 27 people from my area, which is making a huge difference in these hard economic times. Through the programme, I was able to take my child through school and today he is a teacher because of the opportunity I got from Renishaw. My sister’s child is also working at Suncoast Casino because I was able to fund her studies using the stipend that I received while I was part of the programme.”

Renishaw Coastal Precinct is a community-centric development which is in the process of contributing 142ha of land to the local community through the KwaCele Tribal Council, with 10% of the development company set to be acquired by the council through a buy-out process – a solid commitment to inclusivity and sustainable growth. These significant contributions to local investment were recognised by President Cyril Ramaphosa when Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) introduced Renishaw Coastal Precinct to the 5th South African Investment Conference (SAIC) in April. The precinct pledged R500m towards the President’s R1.2bn investment target set in 2018.

Commenting on the contribution to local development, Mkhize said: “Renishaw will be very good for my community because many young people are unemployed in my area. Some have degrees but they cannot find employment. Through Renishaw, they will be able to get the skill that will help them to open their own business and be able to hire other people in the area. Most importantly they will be able to put food on the table.”

Some of the opportunities she said are emerging include skills development in construction and plumbing. As she explains: “Young people want to learn these skills but the problem is that nobody is really willing to help. Renishaw is giving community members an opportunity to have their own businesses and be employers. I am proof of that.”

Barto van der Merwe, Managing Director of Renishaw Property Developments said the recognition of Renishaw Coastal Precinct’s investment potential is evidenced by the President’s recognition and the escalation of home value by 50% in five years. However, he said it’s the knock-on effect for community growth, and examples like Maureen Mkhize, that made the development so impactful.

“We will continue to provide skills training, community upliftment, and job opportunities through Renishaw Coastal Precinct which is hinged on inclusivity and sustainability. We’re anticipating even more economic stimulus for surrounding communities as the development unfolds, with projects and collaborations in place to stimulate this growth.”

The 1 300-hectare Renishaw Coastal Precinct offers property developers significant opportunities. There are various other opportunities that are ready to be developed, with the medium-impact mixed-use site, the hospital, the school, and the first two medium-density residential sites being the most prominent. Investors looking to get in early can visit or call Barto van der Merwe on 087 135 5555.