Civil Designer Showcase

Developments in Saldanha Bay

AFTER a sixteen year track record in the field of Municipal Engineering, Martiens Victor is still going stronger than ever. Martiens graduated with his Civil Engineering qualification at the University of Stellenbosch. He worked for various civil companies and then joined the King Williams Town Municipality as the Municipal Engineer before moving to the Saldanha Bay Municipality where he is still active.

The last ten years at Saldanha Bay Municipality's Civil Engineering division has indeed been eventful. The division relies on local software package Civil Designer to complete the numerous high level infrastructural design projects currently in progress. One of the successful developments is the Shelley Point Golf Estate located 150km north of Cape Town between Saldanha and Port Owen on the West Coast.

"Shelley Point Golf Estate is a private town run by a Home Owners Association which is responsible for all services, private open spaces, gardens, parks and boardwalks. You enter Shelley Point through a single Cape Dutch style entrance gate that has 24-hour security control. The building adheres to a strict architectural theme in keeping with the West Coast character as contained in its architectural guidelines. Developers also maintained an environmentally friendly design approach by installing all services such as electricity and telephone cables underground so that the peninsula could remain unspoilt," explains Victor.

All the natural elements of the area have been included into the building of the estate. The estate features a nine-hole golf course which is surrounded by beautiful gardens of indigenous South African West Coast vegetation. The final 100 erven development phase is currently in progress and the future small craft harbour and high density residential development with more than 800 lock-up-and-go apartments is in its final stage of planning.

Another major development is the Langebaan Country Estate. "The Country Estate was launched in November 2002 with 6 phases planned for the 450 hectare development. The 18 hole golf course is in the process of being redesigned and rebuilt by the Black Night Golf Development Group of Gary Player and recently gained momentum in its third phase," notes Victor.

Erven stands on the estate average 750m˛ with current facilities for an 18-hole golf course, bowling green, tennis court, restaurant & bar, pro shop and conference facility. According to Victor, Langebaan Country Estate adopts an environmentally friendly approach. Situated within the Cape’s West Coast Biosphere, the estate forms part of a sensitive, fragile area that requires special management.
  In order to achieve environmental objectives, the developers worked with independent Environmental Control Officers. "The 457 ha development initially planned for the construction of an entire residential area. This plan was disregarded due to the high density of the houses resulting in only a third of the houses being constructed. Today, only 25% of the estate area is made up of plots and only 50% of each plot may be built on, bringing the feeling of the estate in line with the open spaces, blue skies and big sunsets that the area offers," he says.

The monetary economic injection in the Saldanha Bay area has resulted in the construction of numerous industrial erven. One of these developments is a new shopping mall under construction in the Langebaan area and a second shopping mall to be developed by Retail Africa and recently approved in the area of Vredenburg.

The existing Pick 'n Pay mall is currently in the process of being revamped with the addition of extra trading space and the creation of additional parking spaces. Other initiatives include a 300 unit Old Age Home in Jacobsbaai as well as new RDP housing developments in the areas of Saldanha, Langebaan and Hopefield. The RDP subsidy housing schemes has recently come under the spotlight with 5000 homes proposed by 2008 - 2010.

According to Victor, an average of between 140 and 150 private development building projects are in progress in the Langebaan area alone, making this a mini boom town for infrastructural development assignments. Langebaan initiatives include plans for more than 600 subsidised homes in the area of Hopefield and 246 houses in Langebaan town in an attempt to alleviate the housing shortage currently experienced by residents. Other developments include the proposed new private hospital which will open its doors in 2008 as well as the recently opened private school.

With so many infrastructural projects in the pipeline for the West Coast Peninsula, Langebaan and Hopefield areas, the Saldanha Bay Municipality looks set to be busy for a very long time. Albert Einstein once said: "The only source of knowledge is experience", and with sixteen years of experience in the business, Martiens Victor has certainly become a wealth of knowledge.

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