Durban: A Picturesque Port Town With Economic Appeal

Durban, South Africa could easily be mistaken for paradise. With an inviting subtropical climate, endless expanses of sandy beaches, and a melting pot of races and background, even a casual observer could see why the city has been ranked as the South African city with the highest quality of life for the past four years (and counting).

Yet Durban is much more than a pretty face. Situated on the east coast of South Africa, the tourist hotspot is also home to the country’s largest container handling port, making the city a key contributor to the South African economy. Currently, top global brands are competing for a stake in South Africa, and Durban is an excellent gateway for these companies looking to solidify their presence in the African market.

Durban’s Busy Port Is Vital to South African Development

In addition to being the largest container port, Durban also handles the third-largest bulk and break-bulk volume in South Africa. Despite the port’s current success, data shows that it still isn’t operating at full potential, meaning there is excellent opportunity for growth.

In a 2018 report from PwC, the auditing firm claims that the Port of Durban is inclined to “become increasingly sophisticated due to [its] air links, proximity to highway networks and the internet as well as their access to a large hinterland.” The report even likened the port to other major ports worldwide, such as New York and Los Angeles for North America.

South Africa has pursued favorable trade agreements and important economic partnerships with various countries, including the United States and China. With growing ties to many countries, ports like Durban are as important as ever in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). As South Africa attracts more trade partnerships, ports like Durban will become an increasingly important source of revenue and employment.

Come for the Beaches, Stay for the Food

Tourism is also an important economic contributor in Durban. The city’s coastal appeal is only the start—Durban is home to a number of historical, cultural, and natural attractions, and is known for its delicious cuisine.

In 2018, Durban hosted Africa’s greatest horse race, the Vodacom Durban July (VDJ), investing millions of rand (over 10 million dollars) to support crowds of more than 50,000 people. Events like these are becoming more commonplace as Durban seeks to make it easier for domestic and international tourists to visit. A new Durban direct flight from London is the perfect example of how the city continues to deepen ties with international countries.

Durban’s Property Market Continues to Appreciate

You can’t blame people for wanting a piece of Durban’s rich economy and picturesque beaches. According to a local real estate agency, buyers are particularly drawn to areas such as Durban North, Berea, and Hillcrest. Ongoing developments and investments, continued economic growth, and a “complete restructuring” of the waterfront all point to Durban being an excellent location for real estate investors looking to capitalize on the growing South African economy.

It also comes as no surprise that many global brands have established branches in this booming port town. Unilever, PwC, Deloitte, Toyota, and Novartis all have a presence in Durban, and we expect that many companies will soon follow suit. Compared to South African cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town, Durban is relatively affordable, which makes it a great choice for businesses seeking to expand their presence in SA.

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