Excitement has started to bubble as locals anticipate the commencement of the first phase of the Barkly West Waterfront Development.
Solomon Star got exclusive coverage in December 2018 of the then conceptual proposal of a multifaceted development proposed for Barkly West. The project has been described as a “dream” by some residents due to its large scale and plethora of investment and employment opportunities.
This dream has taken yet another step closer to reality as a formal agreement has been reached between the Dikgatlong Municipality and Promethean Property & SIZA Architects, the developers of the project. The local municipality along with the developers convened for months on end and came to an agreement that will benefit the investors of the project, as well as the people within the broader Dikgatlong region.
With the agreement for the land having been formally secured, readers and locals just had one question on their lips – when will it begin?
Owing to the massive scale of the project, the developers have taken the strategic stance to phase the development out over time.
The first phase will be comprised of the waterpark node of the development. This waterpark, as some would recall, is the developmental facet which sparked the most excitement in the hearts of the locals upon first hearing about the project.
The site for the park is on the “corner” of the river on the side which some residents may recall was the old Barkly West Resort. It is geographically located on the R31 road just below and to the left of the bridge preceding Barkly West. The region still possesses infrastructure like pools and a playground area, but due to a lack of maintenance, the resort has become obsolete and dilapidated. The developers are of the opinion that this is a prime and strategic location for the first phase of the project and that the resurgence of this resort will breathe new life into the river and the wider Dikgatlong region.
Phase 1 will harness a key focus in recreation and amusement, and with Barkly occupying a close proximity to numerous towns, soon enough, locals from Kimberley, Kathu and Kuruman will have to forgo the excuse that “there is never anything to do around here”.
The waterpark proposes an abundant array of recreational and amusement activities including a wave pool, extreme water slides, lazy pools, arcades and games and much more. One of the goals of the developers is to design an extreme water slide that exceeds the peak of the highest slide in Southern Africa, a title currently held by Ushaka Marine World, KZN. The park will also accommodate various retail stores and restaurant outlets. One should also not discount the fact that locals will be able to experience all of this with the Vaal river only a stone throw away.
The technical processes for phase 1 will ensue in the coming months, with various surveying, planning, environmental and geotechnical procedures in the works.
The developers are also determined to continue to engage with the local community in order to keep them updated and cultivate strategic partnerships that will ensure that the benefit of the project stems from the roots of the region before branching outward.
Various systems will be put in place in order to empower the community through avenues like skills development as the developers foresee the project employing over 5000 people during construction in addition to around 1000 permanent jobs post-construction. This figure for employment only takes into account direct jobs whereas many opportunities exist indirectly in sectors like local manufacturing and agriculture.
Even though this development is a business/investment venture, it can also be deemed a Municipal resurgence project considering the direct financial impact it will have on the local community.
It may be safe to say that in the near future, residents of the Northern Cape will have yet another attraction point that has the potential to become the beating heart of the Province.