New distribution centre reflects KZN’s potential, says Takealot

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 22 Feb 2024
Takealot Group has created 20 000 direct jobs and over 13 000 indirect employment opportunities since inception.
Takealot Group has created 20 000 direct jobs and over 13 000 indirect employment opportunities since inception.

E-commerce giant Takealot has invested in the construction of what it says is a “state-of-the-art distribution centre” at The Brickworks development in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

As South Africa’s largest e-commerce provider, Takealot Group says the new distribution centre is poised to create thousands of jobs for the province.

Investec Property, a subsidiary of Investec Bank, is redeveloping an old brick manufacturing site into an industrial park called The Brickworks. Located between Riverhorse Valley and Umhlanga within the eThekwini metropolitan area, the development is situated within a 157-hectare business and logistics park.

The first phase of the Takealot Distribution Centre development will encompass approximately 43 000 square metres, with an additional 20 000 square metres reserved for future expansion.

According to the company, the distribution centre is being constructed with environmental and energy-saving technologies, which include solar power generation and light sensors for daylight harvesting, water-saving sanitary ware, and reflective roof sheeting to optimally manage the warehouse temperature.

Translucent panels installed on the sides of the building will allow for natural light to enter the warehouse and reduce the need for artificial lighting. In addition, the construction of an underground attenuation tank will provide a long-term solution to reduce the impact of flooding during periods of heavy rainfall, it says.

Speaking at the unveiling of the Takealot development today, Takealot Group executive chairperson Mamongae Mahlare commented: “As a proudly South African business, our investment in KZN reflects our vision of enabling the economy by enabling our fellow South Africans through job creation and market access for SMEs.

“The new facility will also bolster same-day and next-day delivery and collect capabilities for Takealot shoppers living in and around the KZN region. We believe the socio-economic impact will be significant in boosting the potential of the province and its people.”

The Brickworks is expected to be one of SA’s strongholds of logistics and an area of future growth. It is anticipated that in excess of 20 000 jobs will be created through phase one, two and three of The Brickworks, according to independent development researcher, analyst and facilitator Dr Jeffery McCarthy.

“A collaborative partnership through eThekwini’s innovative City ‘One Stop’ Catalytic Project Unit has helped us unlock this strategic site,” says Investec Property joint-CEO David Rosmarin.

“We have made significant progress over the past two years and the Takealot Group has walked with us for a large part of the journey. This technologically-advanced distribution centre designed specifically for the leading e-commerce provider reflects our confidence in a vision to enable efficiencies in supply chains that are next level.”

Also speaking at the Takealot development launch, eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality mayor Mxolisi Kaunda emphasised the project’s national impact: “The Brickworks is one of our most pivotal logistics and distribution hubs for South Africa.

“This is a story of value creation and commitment to future value creation from two of our country’s top companies. Seeing proudly South African brands choosing to create and operate from this connected space gives us cause to celebrate.

“It confirms to us that the business and logistics park will be an economic enabler, not only for our region but for the broader South African market.”

Takealot Group, which has multiple distribution centres in Cape Town and Johannesburg, started with 24 employees when it launched its online retail business in 2011. It has since grown to create around 20 000 direct jobs and over 13 000 indirect employment opportunities.

The construction of the KZN Takealot Distribution Centre is planned for completion in July, with operation commencing by October.