www.iafrica.com on 2010-05-06"color:#ffffff" href="http://www.iafrica.com/" target="_blank">www.iafrica.com on 2010-05-06" />
SA border towns booming

Increasing cross-border trade and traffic between South Africa and Mozambique via the Maputo Corridor is creating positive spin-offs for the property market in neighbouring towns such as Nelspruit, Komatipoort and Malelane.

The Nkomazi municipality, which incorporates the eastern Lowveld region of Mpumalanga and is bordered by the Kruger National Park, Mozambique and Swaziland, includes towns such as Komatipoort, Marloth Park, Hectorspruit and Malelane. The Maputo Corridor runs through Gauteng and Mpumalanga — some of South Africa’s most productive and industrialised regions — across the border at Komatipoort to the deep-water port of Maputo. Infrastructural development is a key focus in order to stimulate growth and development in the region of the Maputo Corridor, which provides a cost effective transportation link.

Increased traffic

"Since the upgrading of the road between Johannesburg and Maputo in 2000, and with increased international investment in Mozambique, traffic between South Africa and Mozambique has increased," says Gerhard van Niekerk, area principal for Pam Golding Properties in the Nkomazi area. "This is coupled with a surge in the number of South Africans with specific expertise, for example engineers and craftsmen who are employed in Mozambique by both South African and international companies — many of which have been involved in the upgrading or building of infrastructure."

Van Niekerk, who is based in Nelspruit, says in recent years this increase in cross-border trade has had an impact on residential sales in Nelspruit, where Mozambicans have bought apartments near the Riverside Mall and the Ennotweni Casino as well as in White River.

Moz expats boosting property

The border town Komatipoort and nearby Marloth Park is an increasingly popular residential area due to the housing market being boosted by Mozambican expats who live in these South African towns — where their children attend schools — and commute daily to places of work in Mozambique. While popular schools include Lowveld High in Nelspruit, Penryn College, located between Nelspruit and White River, and Uplands College outside White River, the situation is changing as there is a growing number of international schools in Mozambique.

There are also a number of Mozambicans living in Komatipoort who conduct businesses from the South African side of the border. In addition, many Mozambicans cross the border to nearby Malelane, Nelspruit and White River to shop, obtain medical attention or visit the Kruger National Park.

Malelane's spectacular views

Van Niekerk says houses in Komatipoort sold to Mozambicans range from R500 000 to R1.5-million while others rent homes mainly in the price range from R3000 to R8000 per month and some make use of guesthouses as a stop-over. In Marloth Park the price of homes ranges from approximately R500 000 to R3.9-million.

Malelane is a major town and ideally situated just 10 kilometres from the Kruger National Park gate. The town's huge attraction is its spectacular views over the Crocodile River and the park itself. "Where else can you live in a town with a view over a river and the Kruger National Park on the other side? Residents can sit on their verandas and look at herds of 100 or more buffalo within 20 metres of their doorsteps and watch lions and leopard hunting antelope.

Homes in Fish Eagle Bend most popular

Properties on the river in Malelane range from around R2-million up to R20-million. The most popular are homes in Fish Eagle Bend — priced mainly between R850 000 and R1.1-million and sought after among couples with a small family.

In Malelane the areas adjacent to the N4 have been zoned for commercial and industrial use, adding to the diversity of the area and its economic appeal for entrepreneurs.

Mpumalanga a popular tourist destination

With its abundance of scenic beauty and wildlife, with over 70 game parks, Mpumalanga is a very popular tourist destination for domestic and overseas visitors. It also has a rich cultural heritage with towns such as Barberton — which falls within the Mjindi municipal district — providing a fascinating history with its "Barber’s Reef" of gold and volcanic rocks.

Homes in Barberton are priced mainly from R875 000 to R3-million while lucrative cattle farms can be bought from about R4.5-million to R10-million and range in size from 550 to 840 hectares.

Article from: www.iafrica.com