22 Feb 2024

KZN economy bolstered by construction of Takealot distribution centre

Takealot Group’s investment in The Brickworks industrial development gears the greater KwaZulu-Natal region up to be a focal point for economic growth.

Investec Property has announced the construction of a state-of-the-art distribution centre for Takealot in KwaZulu-Natal, located within The Brickworks - a 157-hectare business and logistics park being developed by Investec Property at the region’s old Corobrik factory site. As South Africa’s largest eCommerce provider, Takealot Group’s investment into a new Distribution Centre at The Brickworks is poised to create thousands of jobs. 

The Brickworks development has received enthusiastic support from eThekwini as it is geared to transform the region into a leading logistics hub for Africa and will play a key role in optimising the supply chain potential of the province. The site has been strategically designed to unlock greater efficiencies, fuelling a more connected economy for the country and driving direct growth for KZN. 

The Brickworks, situated on one of the last remaining infill portions of land in the rapidly expanding northern corridor of the greater eThekwini metropolitan area, will be one of SA’s strongholds of logistics and an area of exponential future growth for the country. It is anticipated that in excess of 20,000 jobs will be created through Phase I, II and III of The Brickworks, according to independent development researcher, analyst and facilitator, Dr Jeffery McCarthy.

“A collaborative partnership through eThekwini’s innovative City ‘One Stop’ Catalytic Project Unit has helped us unlock this strategic site,” says Investec Property’s joint-CEO, David Rosmarin. “The Brickworks’ prime location will enable it to boost the flow of Southern African trade through the region.”

The first phase of the Takealot Distribution Centre development will encompass approximately 43,000 square metres, with an additional 20,000 square metres reserved for future expansion. The distribution centre is being constructed with environmental and energy-saving technologies which include solar power generation and light sensors for daylight harvesting, water-saving sanitary ware, and reflective roof sheeting to optimally manage the warehouse temperature. Translucent panels installed on the sides of the building will also allow for natural light to enter the warehouse and reduce the need for artificial lighting. In addition, the construction of an underground attenuation tank will provide a long-term solution to reduce the impact of flooding during periods of heavy rainfall. 

Commenting on the Takealot Group’s commitment to KZN, Executive Chairperson Mamongae Mahlare says, “As a proudly South African business, our investment into KZN reflects our vision of enabling the economy, by enabling our fellow South Africans through job creation and market access for SMEs. The new facility will also bolster Same-Day and Next-Day Delivery and Collect capabilities for Takealot shoppers living in and around the KZN region. We believe the socio-economic impact will be significant in boosting the potential of the province and its people.” 

The Brickworks tenants are safeguarded by an integrated security ecosystem which comprises intelligence, layering of security infrastructure barriers, the latest technology and on-ground manpower. “A highly skilled security management team has structured operations into various optimal and effective transversal units, while the precinct’s Commanding Officers have SAPS and military experience,” Rosmarin explains. Urban management principles such as crime prevention through environmental design, optimisation of municipal services and disaster management measures also play a vital role.

“We have made significant progress over the past two years and the Takealot Group has walked with us for a large part of the journey. This leading edge and technologically advanced distribution centre, designed specifically for the leading e-commerce provider reflects our confidence in a vision to enable efficiencies in supply chains that are next level,” continues Rosmarin. Users for over sixty percent of Phase I of The Brickworks have been secured by Investec Property and negotiations are underway for a large portion of the balance. 

At the Takealot development launch today, eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality Mayor, Cllr Mxolisi Kaunda, emphasised the project’s national impact, saying, “The Brickworks is one of our most pivotal logistics and distribution hubs for South Africa. This is a story of value creation and commitment to future value creation from two of our country’s top companies. Seeing proudly South African brands choosing to create and operate from this connected space gives us cause to celebrate. It confirms to us that the business and logistics park will be an economic enabler, not only for our region but for the broader South African market.”  

According to the Catalytic Projects Unit, The Brickworks and the proposed Caneridge residential development, along with Northfields being developed by JT Ross, form part of 350-hectare Avoca Nodal Development, a Catalytic project within eThekwini. In partnership with the municipality, these three precincts will receive funding for portions of the bulk infrastructure for the development of this node. The R10,1 billion investment by the private sector in Ward 110 is expected to provide 51,500 construction job opportunities and 19,000 opportunities in operations over the next 15 years.

The construction of the KZN Takealot Distribution Centre is planned for completion in July 2024, with operation commencing by October 2024.