Tongaat Hulett has won acclaim for transforming the landscape north of Durban by creating South Africa’s largest mixed-use integrated human settlement project.
Tongaat Hulett Developments was recognised as Visionary Client of the Year at the annual Consulting Engineers South Africa’s Cesa Aon Engineering Excellence Awards.
Nominated by consulting engineering firm SMEC, the award acknowledges organisations that inspire competitors and partners to strive for even higher standards of engineering excellence.
Tongaat Huletts’ nomination is all the more notable for its single-minded focus on local social imperatives, which in this case was demonstrated in the Cornubia development that lies between Durban and King Shaka International Airport.
"It is evident that Cornubia has, and will continue to, redefined the manner in which development is carried out throughout eThekwini, the province and South Africa," said Kresen Manicum, SMEC’s regional manager in KwaZulu-Natal, who nominated the property developer for the award.
"This achievement has been grounded on a strong vision which has continually focused on value creation for all stakeholders through an all-inclusive approach to growth and development."
A joint venture between the eThekwini Municipality and Tongaat Hulett, Cornubia embodies the partners’ commitment to responsible development in a manner that addresses both economic and social needs in equal parts. Once completed, Cornubia is expected to comprise industrial and commercial facilities integrated with around 25 000 homes accommodating up to 120 000 people in dwellings ranging from high-density, multistorey buildings to freestanding homes.
The addition of these units will go a long way to reducing the housing backlog within the greater eThekwini region.
Sithembiso Mthembu, head of development execution for Tongaat Hulett Developments, said the company was humbled by the accolade even though this recognition was for what the company regarded as "business as usual".
"It makes us very mindful of the fact that we have a major social impact and responsibility" Mthembu said.
Mthembu praised the city for its foresight and vision in ensuring that Cornubia was adopted by the cabinet as a national priority project.
"The visionary nature and positive impact further suggests that planning is never isolated to the confines of our land area, but rather takes into account the planning and framework for the region as a whole, thereby contributing positively to it.
"Sound, longterm, collaborative planning has great potential to significantly transform land use in a way that promotes economic development, social integration and cohesion in KwaZulu-Natal.
"This planning is underpinned by hands-on experience of implementation across a wide portfolio of developments," said Mthembu.