Named after a farm established when Voortrekkers defeated Zulu King Dingane, the area is now a home for commercial opportunities
Situated in the Upper Highway area of eThekwini Municipality, Assagay was formerly a small local authority on the outskirts of Durban and adjacent to its sister village of Hillcrest. More commonly spelt assagaai, the neighbourhood’s name has its origins in the Xhosa word for a traditional throwing spear.
The name for the village was taken from the farm Assagay Kraal, established by Voortrekkers in the 1830s after they had defeated the Zulu king Dingane. Today Assagay has access to both the M13 highway and the N3 national freeway, linking it directly with Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
Kassier Road links the area, via Old Main Road, to the central commercial area of Hillcrest. The suburb has become known as a middle-income residential area containing a mixture of individual houses, smallholdings and small townhouse complexes interspersed with commercial opportunities.
English is the first language for 80% of inhabitants followed by Zulu (7%). In September 2018, Tongaat Hulett announced the Ntshongweni Urban Development initiative would commerce in early 2019. The 2 000ha project has been touted as the next logical urban precinct expected to unlock economic activity in the outer west.
The site is bordered by KwaNdengezi and Dassenhoek to the south, Summerveld to the west and Assagay and Hillcrest to the north. Tongaat Hulett Developments managing director Michael Deighton says in the first phase of the multiple-phased development, the retail and urban core will anchor the development as a mixed-use urban precinct centred on a new regional retailing offering.
This will be followed by residential, logistics, recreational, warehousing and leisure components. Commencing with essential road upgrades to Kassier Road to accommodate future growth, Deighton expects this phase to generate 19 000 construction jobs.
“The N3 corridor is currently the country’s busiest transport route and will be upgraded in line with the aim of improving logistics and transport links. Linking into this strategic corridor, the urban development will create a benchmark for how integrated, inclusive South African urban precincts are developed,” Deighton says.
There are a variety of commercial properties currently on the rental market, including triple A-grade offices or medical suites near Busamed Hillcrest Private Hospital.
The 60m² facility is in an office park zoned for commercial and medical use for R173/m². A nearby open-plan unit measuring 100m² has five parking bays included in the R205/m² rent, and a wellmaintained workshop close to the M13 and N3 offers a large fenced yard ideal for storage and the 61m² facility for R139/m².
Earlier this year 2.4ha of developable land with a dam came to the market for R2.2 million. The owner was subdividing his existing main house and the balance of the vacant land that could then be used for agriculture or rezoned for residential development.
In terms of the eThekwini outer west council’s current spatial development plan, the plot would yield six sub-divisions or a security complex of six units. A farm property also came to the market earlier this year, offering investors a country retreat for R4.3m including a separate flatlet, two stables and a 100m² workshop.
Businesses include a saddlery and established honey brand
Assagay Garden Centre
The Assagay Garden Centre is a wholesale plants and flowers nursery open to the public, and offers wrought-iron garden decor, furniture, garden pots and water features. Patrons can also enjoy a coffee and cake in the on-site café.
Focusing on the green-consciousness, Second Treasures specialises in eco-chic deor by recycling, renovating and repurposing items into a new life. Owner Christi Sue Smith maximises natural materials and waste to emerge as a trusted wholesale supplier of quality decor. Most local artists from whom she sources products are sole breadwinners and the company aims to uplift them by teaching business skills and ethics.
Willow Way Manor
Capitalising on the natural beauty and greenery within Assagay, Willow Way Manor is a newly established farm-style venue aimed at the weddings and conferences markets. Facilities include a restaurant, guesthouse, spa, functions venue and picnic grounds.
Busamed Hillcrest Private Hospital
Representing a major private sector investment and development into Assagay, the Busamed Hillcrest Private Hospital provides quality healthcare driven by a strong customer-centric focus. The establishment boasts an extensive range of top medical facilities and offerings designed to meet the growing needs of its community.
Reflecting the neighbourhood’s long association with equestrian pursuits, Natal Saddlery offers patrons a one-stop shop for new and second-hand items. These include horse and rider essentials, horse feeds, on-site leather and tack repairs, saddle fitting and support, veterinary supplies and supplements, gifts and trinkets.
Established in 1924 by Jack Peel, Peel’s Honey is the oldest honey brand in South Africa. Peel kept bees as a hobby and began selling small quantities of honey, boosting his hives as demand increased. Today the company sources honey from more than 7 000 of its own hives in KwaZulu-Natal and Free State and from local bee keepers.
Reasons for investing in the area
The neighbourhood has easy access to both the N3 national freeway and the M13 highway, swiftly linking it to Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The logistics hub emerging in nearby Hammarsdale will also promote Assagay as an investment node. Lifestyle Assagay retains the country life environment with large properties, greenery and small holdings away from the bustle of a busy city. However, it remains easily accessible to shopping, entertainment, schools and social activities.
As an established market, the neighbourhood provides investors with an affluent consumer base seeking new and innovative products and services.
The reality in South Africa is that high unemployment levels provide a steady source of labour, particularly in the unskilled and semi-skilled arenas. The surrounding townships have public transport access into Assagay for work opportunities.