- Mike Nkuna is building a $275.6 million smart city.
- Phase one has been completed.
- The new development will incorporate commercial, industrial, retail, residential, and hotel land use.
Mike Nkuna is a South African businessman, he is the founder of Masingita group of companies that owns so many subsidiary companies. He has also acquired franchises in various retail filling stations including Exel Garage, Shell Garage, Sasol Garage, and BP Garage.
Growing up, he was his father’s herd boy, shepherding his father’s cattle and livestock. He obtained his primary and probably his secondary school in Limpopo before relocating to Gauteng Province. He began working in his father’s butchery in 1979 to support his family.
After three years of working at his father’s butcher shop, Nkuna decided to branch out and start a small housing building company at a time when the government was subsidizing black people’s housing. Nkuna’s first big break came in 1983. Soweto’s municipality was trying to sell a piece of property they offered to Nkuna. After securing a loan from Pem Bank, he purchased the plot for R100 000 with the intention of developing it.
British Petroleum proposed to buy the site from him and build a filling station on it after he purchased it. Nkuna, on the other hand, declined and instead asked BP to assist him in developing the property into a modest convenience retail center that would feature, among other things, a BP filling station. BP loved the concept and provided him with a zero-interest loan to help him develop the property.
kuna approached Shell with his narrative idea to see what kind of deal they could offer him at the same time. Shell outperformed BP’s offer, much to his surprise. In a game of one-upmanship, kuna returned to BP with Shell’s offer, causing BP to increase its offer.
In 2020, Nkuna was awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree by the University of Johannesburg for his outstanding contributions as one of the most successful commercial and retail property developers in South Africa.
This successful businessman has now set his eyes on developing a $275.6 million smart city in Limpopo, South Africa. Phase one of the project has been completed with the construction of a 20-square-meter shopping mall.
The name of the city is Nkuna Smart City and upon completion, the mega-smart city project will create 8,250 construction jobs and 6,230 permanent direct jobs.
Stan Mathabatha, the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition authorized $2.8 million in grant financing for the smart city. The new development will incorporate commercial, industrial, retail, residential, and hotel land use.
South Africa’s Deputy Trade Minister, Nomalungelo Gina, added that the construction of the new city was a direct reaction to president Cyril Ramaphosa’s demand for new construction and the drive for post-apartheid smart cities.