With access to the highway, Durban’s port and airport, this area attracts people drawn to its fabulous beach and the tourism potential that goes with it, including hotels and restaurants
The coastal town Amanzimtoti, 30km south of central Durban, is known for its beaches and tourism opportunities. The suburbs of Doonside and Seadoone, located on either side of the N2 highway, offer a wide range of commercial opportunities for businesses feeding the holiday and leisure market.
The Amanzimtoti River is a short river originating north-west of Adam’s Mission, from which the town secures its name. Legend has it that when King Shaka tasted the water, he declared it particularly sweet, hence the name coming from the Zulu for “the water is sweet”.
In 2011 eThekwini Municipality’s Amanzimtoti Revitalisation Strategic Plan report highlighted the demand for higher order commercial and services node in the area, indicating reflecting neighbourhoods like Seadoone and Doonside had not benefited from economic growth opportunities over the preceding 20 years.
Among the significant commercial investments is the community shopping centre Seadoone Mall. Anchored by national retailers, the centre underwent a revamp in 2016.
Opposite is the Seadoone Office Park development accommodating the Durban South Business Centre. That facility provides serviced virtual offices to small businesses and budding entrepreneurs by taking care of logistical requirements.
Another significant private investment is The View Boutique Hotel and Spa established in 2004. The five-star rated facility commands breathtaking views over the Indian Ocean and brought to the market 41 spacious hotel rooms and five honeymoon suites with their own spa baths.
Seeff South Coast commercial property agent Gavin Parkins says there are opportunities for growth and development in the region for investors willing to create their own markets. Currently, there is a range of commercial properties for sale and to rent in both Seadoone or Doonside.
One opportunity is the advertised sale of the Sandcastle Guest House, with the facility currently offering bed-and-breakfast accommodation as a potential entry for investors into the neighbourhood’s tourism market.
Also in Doonside is a plot measuring 1 764m² on the market for R2 million. The special zone 23 property is set on a main road along with various other commercial offerings and is suited for redevelopment into a tiered complex with shops, parking and offices.
In terms of office space, there is a 100m² office unit on the market for R1.2m currently housing two separate tenants. The property yields a 10.6% return on investment after expenses.
In Seadoone, a commercial investment property is on the market for R6.85m with the 374m² premises being sold as a going concern. The building consists of 20 fully furnished offices, reception, boardrooms and toilet facilities, kitchenettes and parking.
Currently, the business operates as a facility for letting office space and includes all the office requirements. Rental premises in the region range from R98/m² for an 82m² premises to R130/m² for premises half that size.
Two award-winners among businesses in the area
The View Boutique Hotel and Spa
A five-star rated boutique hotel, The View commands breath-taking vistas over the Indian Ocean from its position on top of the hill. The award-winning hotel promises patrons natural charm and timeless elegance amid opulent furnishings and majestic hand-carved furniture. AA Travel has awarded Giorgio’s restaurant the title Fabulous Food, and the establishment has also received Diamond Awards from Diner’s International.
The Coffee Theatre
Located in the Seadoone Mall shopping centre, The Coffee Theatre is a charming meeting place with cappuccinos and other luxury coffees, decadent cakes and a well-presented menu for breakfast, brunch and lunch.
The Periwinkle Florist
The award-winning Periwinkle Florist in Doonside provides the upper South Coast with quality floral arrangements for all occasions. The business provides professional, efficient and personal services with its delivery area stretching from Isipingo to Umkomaas. The outlet can arrange flower deliveries both nationally and internationally with clients ranging from large organisations to small businesses and individuals.
Go Bananaz Children’s Adventure Park
An outdoor adventure park and party venue, Go Bananaz in Doonside caters for children up to 12. The concept emerged from the shortage of clean, safe outdoor places for children to play. The business offers water slides, balance and coordination training on its air gym, jumping mats and a Ferris wheel.
Produce Direct Farmer’s Market
Produce Direct Farmer’s Market brings back a touch of yesteryear in its approach to supplying customers with quality meat, chicken and dairy products sourced directly from its selected farmers in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. The store promises its suppliers use ethical, traditional farming methods without harming the environment.
Advantages offered by the towns
This is an established neighbourhood with access to customers able to afford goods and services and sound tenant prospects.
A quiet environment, Seadoone and Doonside offer the opportunity to live and work within walking distance of the sea, and with breath-taking views across the Indian Ocean.
There is an abundance of employee potential from unskilled to semi-skilled and skilled labour. Poorer communities inland from Seadoone have residents seeking jobs, while the neighbourhood has its share of people wanting to work close to their homes.
Seadoone is inland from the N2, while Doonside is on the seaward side. Businesses are accessible to customers from outside the broader Amanzimtoti zone and have access to Durban harbour and King Shaka International Airport for imports and exports. Rail and taxi transport is also available.
As an established area, there is sound social infrastructure including schools, churches, shopping centres and entertainment. With the beach as a major attraction and source of business opportunities, this social infrastructure dovetails with the reasons for considering the area as an investment.