Due to various factors, Lephalale (Ellisras) has transformed from a quiet coal-mining town in Limpopo into one of the fastest-growing towns in South Africa. It is described today as the future of power generation in the country and the new mining capital of the world – a property investment paradise. The Medupi Power Station, which is the fourth-largest power station in the world, is one of the biggest contributors to Lephalale’s sudden development and growth.
The town council’s income from revenue, including rates and taxes, has more than doubled as a result of Medupi. The growing trend of mining companies rushing to develop mineral deposits means Lephalale will need up to 20 000 new houses within the next 10 to 15 years to accommodate its growing population.
According to President Jacob Zuma, the government is planning the development and integration of road, rail and water infrastructure in Limpopo. With the focus now on this province and the minerals it has to offer, investment in the development of coal, chrome and platinum mines will make Lephalale one of the fastest-expanding nodes in the country. Lephalale is home to up to 45% of South Africa’s coal reserves, which is another major driving factor of the economic boom. Apart from Medupi, it is also home to the Grootegeluk Coal Mine, as well as the Matimba Power station (the largest dry-cooled power station in the world). Another confirmation of the prosperity of this town is the success of the R170 million Lephalale Mall, constructed in November 2012, which was a massive boost for local business and employment.
According to Laphalale Executive Mayor Moloko Maeko, this town is undergoing change not only in shape and size, but also in character. With the improvement and growth of the infrastructure in Lephalale, an influx of contractors, consultants and job-seekers has occurred. This has naturally resulted in a much higher demand for accommodation, a substantial increase in property prices, and a rental market that has established Lephalale as the town with the highest rental returns in South Africa. Currently Lephalale is home to about 45 000 people, with an expected increase to 100 000 in 2016 and 200 000 by 2030. This is a great prospect for real estate in the area, since a substantial expansion in the number of houses being built is required. However, mining and power generation are not the only assets this town is known for. With its location in the north-west part of Limpopo Province, it is also regarded as the gateway to Botswana and other Southern African countries.
Lephalale is surrounded by game farms hosting the big five and is famous among tourists for its breathtaking beauty. Other popular attractions are geological sites, rock art and the Mogol Club Golf Course, which is rated one of the best in the region.
A wonderful opportunity in Lephalale that investors should take serious note of is the Onverwacht area that hosts 4 bedroom homes, close to the Lephalale Mall and golf course. These homes offer a 13.9% ROI and are cash-flow positive from month one.