New leisure node for Century City

An artist's impression of what the redevelopment of Ratanga Junction will look like.

A multi-million rand mixed-use redevelopment of Ratanga Junction theme park will take place over the next five to 10 years, says the Rabie Property Group.

Thrill seekers bade farewell to the theme park in May when it closed down to make way for a new precinct of around 120 000 square metres in size.

According to a statement from Rabie, the development includes flats, a retirement component, a hotel, a restaurant and offices “all set around beautiful water bodies and a large public park”.

The plans for the development have been approved by council.

A hard-edge canal wall on the northern side of the site would be created, which would form the foundation for a future water-fronting mixed-use development consisting of a hotel, flats and showrooms, said the statement.

Most of the current landscaping is being retained while the current water in Ratanga will be drained over the next few months to allow for the sculpting of the new Ratanga footprint which will include larger water bodies around which the new developments will be constructed.

Ward 55 councillor Fabian Ah-Sing said the development “outperformed even the fiercest sceptic”.

“It is a development in which people can live, work and play. I am of the opinion that the mixed-use development which will be replacing Ratanga Junction will be welcomed by many. It will contribute to an increase in employment opportunities and business opportunities to the ward,” said Mr Ah-Sing.

Maggie Rowley, from Rabie, said: “We will launch a new office development on an adjoining site to Ratanga near Sable Park office development later this year.”

She said each project would be individually costed.

At the moment, the Ratanga Junction rides are being decommissioned and moved. Demolition of the existing structures on the site will start towards the end of the year.

Negotiations to relocate a number of the smaller rides to form a Ratanga Family Entertainment Centre at Canal Walk are close to finalisation. The centre is planned to open towards the middle of next year.

Rabie director John Chapman said the legacy of Ratanga was being honoured with the retention of much of the vegetation established over 20 years.

Any vegetation that could not be re-used in the precinct had been donated to community organisations including Lentegeur psychiatric hospital in Mitchell’s Plain.

Mr Chapman said the Ratanga redevelopment would create an important new leisure node for Century City.

“It is envisaged that many of the current water-based sport activities, the weekly Park Run and other community events, will utilise this new scenic public realm, and a pedestrian bridge will link the current Brideways precinct area to the Ratanga redevelopment over the Grand Canal,” said Mr Chapman.

They also wanted to retain the old Ratanga train that runs between the old Ratanga site and Central Park.

The rail track would, in part, be rerouted to create a scenic loop over the water.