Steyn City – A Privately Funded and Owned City In Gauteng

Douw Steyn, the billionaire entrepreneur (Auto & General, Dial Direct), is building a 700 ha city on the outskirts of Johannesburg called Steyn City.

Steyn City will have “a capacity of some 11 000 residential units with the full spectrum of supportive land uses to establish a secure and balanced lifestyle. The existing project is not only unique due to its sheer size, but the impressive contribution that it will make towards regional bulk services upgrading to provincial and metropolitan roads, municipal sewers and bulk water supply. These bulk upgradings will help to unlock services for many other developments in the sub-region including Diepsloot East, Tanganani, Riversands and the City of Joburg’s own Ga Noka (Diepsloot Ext 8 ) development on the Northern Metro Farm.

The project includes a championship Golf Course (currently in construction), some 260 Ha of landscaped parkland incorporating pedestrian routes and bridle trails, and a mix of supportive uses including two private schools, office developments, convenience shopping, a retirement village and a private hospital.”

Basically, Steyn City will be Melrose Arch transformed into the Incredible Hulk, on steroids.

The government approved the project, but according to sources, Steyn was given the go ahead on condition he extended a dual-carriage highway onto William Nicol that runs past the estate. Steyn is funding this highway privately, similar to what Monte Casino did with the William Nicol/Witkoppen interchange.

Of course, this is another example that blows the theory that major infrastructure can only be built by government or through public private partnerships right out the water.

Furthermore, the investment this capitalist makes in Steyn City will completely transform the available bulk infrastructure for the township communities nearest to it, while also bringing not insignificant job opportunities to the people of Diepsloot.

If this project is successful, which I think it will be, Douw Steyn will be something resembling the modern monarchical ruler. He will be the landlord and owner of Steyn City. And as Hans Hermann Hoppe teaches in Democracy: The God That Failed, privately owned cities are much more prosperous than democratic welfare states.


About Chris Becker

Chris Becker is Market Strategist and Economist at ETM Analytics. Becker is Co-Founder of the Mises Institute South Africa. Visit his personal blog Follow him on twitter @chrislbecker.
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  • Gareth

    I can’t wait to see how this pans out. It reminded me a bit of Walt Disney as mentioned in this article:

    Slouching Towards Statism

  • Lorraine

    Can’t wait to see Steyn City,thumbs up!

  • lehlogonolo

    Auto and General is a very nice building we love it…

  • Thomas

    steny city is going to be one of the best in south africa