Property Developments


Client: Ithala Bank
Value: R106 million                           Size: 9550m2

Existing derelict structure

Existing derelict structure



This development will see the completion of an incomplete eyesore on Durban`s Point to a new prestigious office block for Ithala Bank.

Only the 8 storey concrete frame was ever built with no finishes having started before the original developer went insolvent. Ithala Development Finance Corporation, a parastatal financial institution, now owns the property by default. The building has been standing exposed to the aggressive climatic conditions of Durban for almost 8 years. In that period the building has deteriorated significantly & now requires strengthening before any building works can commence. The building was originally designed as a residential scheme, but now requires modification to accommodate an office scheme. As a result, the neighbouring site had to be procured to provide the requisite number of parking bays to allow for an office development. The City has been very supportive of the re-development, as this project is being viewed as the catalyst to reinstall investor confidence in the Durban Point Waterfront precinct.


Key Projects have been instrumental in finding innovative solutions to save the existing structure and ensure the developments feasibility. Our construction background allows us to propose workable solutions to the remedial works required for the structure. Our man on the job Wayne Jordaan outlines some fo the technical challenges faced by the team:

The existing structure was a ‘very sick structure’ – in the words of WSP, the structural engineers appointed to remedy the structure. The existing structure was originally built by incompetent, untrained & inexperienced personnel who incidentally were responsible for the Tongaat Maal tragedy.

The structure, both vertically & horizontally was out of alignment, resulting in all externally facing concrete elements having to be chopped back or built out in order to align the structure to take a new plumb façade.

The structure was tested rigorously to assure its strength. Cores were crushed to establish concrete strengths of all existing concrete elements. Load tests were done on all levels where directed by the engineer.

Large portions of concrete slab on each level were chopped out & recast, not only because of weak concrete, but also in areas of suspect reinforcing quantities within the slab.

Fortunately, the columns were able to accommodate all loads, both new & old. Some areas required additional piles to be sunk below the existing building to accommodate new columns.

Due to the change in usage, an additional 2,600m2 ‘underslung’ concrete slab was installed below the double volume first floor in order to create the required amount of parking.

With Wayne`s hands on project management approach the project has progressed successfully under trying technical obstacles and is on budget and programme.