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Westville North: A hive of busy activity

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Rodger Sishi Road, once known as Blair Atholl Road, has changed over the years, and today is marked by business energy

Whether recognised by the old name Blair Atholl Road (as many of the signboards still reflect), in honour of the Scottish town, or by the new name Rodger Sishi Road to commemorate the late ANC councillor, teacher and businessman Rodger Dinga Sishi, this Westville North road reflects the changing dynamics of 21st century living.

About 11km long, Rodger Sishi Road can be traced from the traffic lights under the M13 bridge separating central Westville from Westville North towards Otto Volek Road in New Germany.
That journey passes through the neighbourhoods within Westville North named Grayleigh and Chiltern Hills, twisting and turning past residential homes, large properties converted into business premises and various commercial enterprises. These include Norfolk House, the Crossways Dental and Medical Centre (and associated Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Centre), the Shell garage that houses a traditional garage repair and servicing centre on the lower level, the strip mall Westville North Centre anchored by the Blair Atholl KwikSpar, Engen House anchored by Food Lover’s Market, the Caltex garage and the newly developed 166 Rodger Sishi Road complex where currently only two of the three office units have signboards reflecting their occupants.
The Crossways Dental and Medical Centre provides essential services in the heart of a residential area. It is an example of where indigenous vegetation takes centre stage in beautifying the property. Picture: Terry Haywood Photography

The section of the Westville North Centre accommodating the butchery, another dentist and several other small businesses is a mixed-use building with residential flats on the first floor. Already a leafy road, the verges have sections where care has been taken to plant indigenous vegetation, with the largest example being a feature garden opposite Norfolk House developed and maintained by the Westville Conservancy Project initiative.
There are currently limited opportunities for acquisition and investment along Rodger Sishi Road, but the area has witnessed a fair amount of activity in recent years. A 120m² office, set in a beautiful garden complete with large koi fish ponds, recently secured more than R70/m², while another office in the Engen House development secured R170/m² for a 110m² retail unit space.
The business premises for NDA Consulting Engineers is an example of how residential houses have been acquired for conversion into commercial space. Picture: Terry Haywood Photography

Several years ago 237 Rodger Sishi Road came on the market as vacant land with an asking price of R45 million excluding VAT. Recognised as among the last remaining vacant land areas in the area, the plot measured 26 842m² and had the potential for development into three platforms. Di Pereira, SERR Synergy regional manager KwaZulu-Natal marketing, says the company was looking for premises in 2015 and the plot was available.
She says the three years in which the company has rented the premises have matched their expectations. The neighbourhood is accessible from the M19 highway and N2/N3 national freeways, and the Food Lover’s Market, Westville North library and the Caltex garage are within walking distance. “The property was available and it has proved to be the right decision. We are very happy,” she says.

Evolving neighbourhood is good for property investment
One section of the Westville North Centre strip mall development includes a mixed-use building where small businesses operate on the street level and flats occupy the first floor. Picture: Terry Haywood Photography

Evolving neighbourhood
Changing social and economic environments have adjusted how neighbourhoods are evolving. This translates into how properties are put on to the market and how their owners conceive their sales – properties are sold for upgrading as residential properties or as potential business environments.
Redevelopment opportunities – older houses for sale that can be converted 
Westville North is an established older neighbourhood caught between commercial development and modern 21st-century living. That means the large residential properties of only a generation ago are now redundant and have potential for conversion into commercial properties that suit smaller businesses.
Neighbourhood watch
The road has two distinct neighbourhood watches in the Chiltern Hills West Neighbourhood Watch and the Grayleigh Neighbourhood Watch. The private community establishments provide security for both residents and the businesses that have put down roots in the area.
Businesses operating in Rodger Sishi Road
The newly built 166 Rodger Sishi Road has added more business premises to the neighbourhood. Picture: Terry Haywood Photography

Pamper Rooms
Established by Angie Zuidewind, Pamper Rooms offer services for every skin, body and make-up requirement. The company also offers its clients a wide range of quality maintenance products for use at home between their visits to the salon. Accommodated in a former house, the business offers its clients four treatments rooms and staff members who are highly qualified therapists.
Westville North Butchery
This local halaal butchery has provided its clients with carefully sourced and expertly crafted freshly butchered meats. Founder Taahir Abdul Ganev aimed to introduce to his clients a better way of buying meat, but with the same values, skills and passion that had been passed down to him through the generations – the opportunity to give customers the chance to savour the flavour of freshly butchered meat.
Atasca Westville
The Atasca brand is now a franchise opportunity, but the Westville outlet was one of the original outlets for this popular Portuguese eatery. Now under new management – and thus a dream outlet for its franchisee and former employee – the Rodger Sishi Road outlet in Westville North embraces how tomatoes and potatoes, seafood and chilli have engulfed local demand for Portuguese food in KwaZulu-Natal.
Quantum Project Solutions
Businessman Mogesh Moodley founded Quantum International/ Quantum Project Solutions in 1994 and the company is now a Level One black economic empowerment contributor. Quantum Project Solutions has a track record in private and commercial developments and offers expert knowledge in construction and delivery, providing services associated with construction, project inception, feasibility, procurement and completion.
Westville Unleashed
Local dog walker and pet food and accessories business Westville Unleashed transcends modern 21st society and the more sedate environment inhabited by our forefathers. The owner-managed outlet provides local residents with both the community security of a neighbourhood business and the food and accessories essential to ensuring the furry family members are well housed.

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