This road is named after the former head of the ANC Youth League, and links a diverse set of areas
Formerly Ridge Road and divided into North Ridge, Ridge and South Ridge roads, Peter Mokaba Ridge is today a 2.75km stretch of busy infrastructure running across Durban’s Berea.
The road separates the neighbourhoods of Berea and Overport, and has long been a mix of residential, commercial and social infrastructure. The new name honours former ANC Youth League president and deputy minister in Nelson Mandela’s cabinet, Peter Mokaba.
Now called The Atrium at Overport City, the Overport City Shopping Centre has been an anchor on Peter Mokaba Ridge since the 1970s. It was built as a mixed-use property with 16000m² of retail space and 8000m² of office space. In 2011 Terrafirmanet Investments announced its R100million revamp.
Terrafirmanet Investments project co-ordinator Frank Reardon said the refurbishment would convert the centre into a flagship establishment for the greater Berea catchment area, and reposition it into a modern mall better serving the neighbourhood’s demographics. The anchor tenant was upgraded from a Shoprite to a Checkers store occupying 4000m² .
Among the first major corporate commercial spaces developed along Peter Mokaba Ridge was the head office for automotive component group T&H Holdings. American automotive giant Federal Mogul wholly acquired the company in 1998, and today the building functions as an oncology centre.
Rawson Property Group Berea sales partner Mahomed Jooma says the returns on commercial rentals on the Berea are substantial and climbing, and offer investors an outstanding alternative to the already popular residential rental market.
“Combine some Berea commercial property investments with several residential investments in the Durban central area and you can create a profitable, diverse investment portfolio within a few square kilometres.”
A block containing eight upmarket residential units on the road came on to the auction market last year. Offering a property investor 956m² of gross lettable area, the property promised the potential for student accommodation, medical offices or an office park.
Within walking distance of The Atrium at Overport City, another office block came to the market in March for R10m and promised investors an opportunity for developing around 12 offices. Also in March, in a neighbouring street, a prime commercial property came to the market for R1.895m.
The single-storey building houses five offices, a reception area, kitchen, bathrooms and a wrap-around enclosed balcony. In February a 450m² office space came up for rent along Peter Mokaba Ridge at R120/m² . The building has substantial parking and rental opportunities.
Area is home to the continent’s largest disaster response NGO
Inscape Education Group
Previously Inscape Design College, this is a higher education institution offering contact learning on campuses in Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria and Joburg. It also offers distance learning online, and in 2018 established a campus in Dubai. Inscape is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution.
A multi-disciplinary professional services consultancy, VNA is involved in South Africa’s – and Africa’s – built-environment service delivery. The company is recognised for its skills in the development of road infrastructure as well as for construction project management, construction management engineering and specialised pavement services.
Y Ismail Consulting Group
The Y Ismail Group offers professional services including audit, accounting, tax, advisory, wealth management and property related issues. The company helps clients in enhancing their wealth while being compliant in all aspects of their business.
Gift of the Givers
Foundation Founded in 1992 by Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, Gift of the Givers is the largest disaster response non-governmental organisation on the African continent. The NGO has delivered life-saving aid via search-and-rescue teams, medical personnel, equipment, supplies, medicines, vaccines, food and water to millions of people in 43 countries. To date the organisation has disbursed R2.1billion, with the recent flooding in KwaZuluNatal the latest projects receiving help.
Coastlands Musgrave Hotel
Part of the Coastlands Hotels & Resorts Group, the four-star boutique hotel commands breathtaking views across Durban harbour and out to sea. The hospitality group specialises in three-star and four-star hotels, restaurants and conference venues.
Established with sound infrastructure
The 2.75km road runs the length of the Berea, an established neighbourhood with affluent clientele and a sound market for new and existing businesses.
While a busy road, Peter Mokaba Ridge is essentially a dual carriageway in both directions and is sufficiently wide to accommodate pavement parking. The infrastructure is in a good condition and congestion is generally not an issue for patrons frequenting the area.
Heart of good residential
As an established residential neighbourhood shifting focus along some of its streets, investors and business owners looking to Peter Mokaba Ridge for commercial premises will have an opportunity to live and work within a short distance. It is also known for its excellent government and private schools as well as tertiary education colleges.
Access to Peter Mokaba Ridge flows directly off the national N3 freeway at Tollgate Bridge and is an integral part of the grid network crossing the Berea. If off-street parking is unavailable, there is, typically, parking available beside the pavement.
Older houses and properties in need of maintenance and repairs have regularly come to the market, with some being rezoned commercial properties. This allows investors and developers to retain the essence of Berea’s Victorian architecture while converting the space in line with modern demands. Sadly there have also been numerous cases where the old buildings have been torn down and wholly replaced, despite no approval granted by the heritage council Amafa.