Cato Manor Interactive Cultural Centre

Project Objectives
To preserve and enhance the rich and diverse cultural history of Cato Manor as an educational resource and enriching the cultural heritage of the entire KwaZulu-Natal Region.

To involve and organise the previously disadvantaged communities around technical and developmental issues and proposals, thus maximising their capacity and empowerment.

To promote the socio-economic opportunities presented by the area’s past and present context.

To find ways in which a sense of social cohesion and place can be promoted through the celebration of an area / community’s history.

Development Concept
Working with memory, in South Africa, is a significant part of the reconciliation process. This manifestation of history has the potential of providing economic and cultural sustainability within local communities by tapping into local and foreign tourism markets. The development will therefore be of a first world standard, the first in KZN.

  • Creating a sustainable model
  • Working with memory -Interpretation and exhibition
  • A business village within a cultural centre
  • Opportunities within a branded centre
  • An interactive exhibition area -new museum concept

A themed theatre for Cato Manor

The accessible location of the site will facilitate the development of a commercial node along the public road edge, adding value to the evolving central node within Cato Manor.

Controlled public access allows pedestrian movement through the site, along the river’s edge and through a memorial park. The cultural centre will cater for daily tourist and commuter movement, and will serve as a gateway to the eco and cultural tours through Cato Manor and surrounding areas.

An environmental awareness centre and nature trail, integrating the Memorial Park, Workers’ Village and exhibition area, will exhibit and initiate an environmental rehabilitation strategy for the area.

Site status
The site has been selected and the land has been secured – part is owned by the Ethekweni Municipality and part is to be donated by the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Initial geo-technical, environmental, flood line and site survey completed. The story-line has been completed. An architectural competition was held to select a project architect. Most of the project team has been appointed. Conceptual design is underway. A due diligence exercise to determine the final scope of the project is underway.

The ethekwini Municipality has spent approximately R2.7 million to date. Estimated project cost R 60 mill.

Job Creation
Construction phase – about 120 jobs. Operations phase – about 36 permanent staff and 272 manufacturing and retail jobs.

SMME’s :
Tourism Related – about 100 jobs
Professional/business – about 20 jobs
Entertainment – about 100 jobs
Arts and crafts – 60 jobs
Commerce / business – about 200 jobs.

The Memorial Park will serve as a recreational & social urban facility, for all people. A socio-cultural significant place, linking past, present and future.

Infrastructure for events such as flea markets, music and cultural festivals will be integrated into the open spaces