Rocky Road to Blythedale Beach

Rocky Road to Blythedale Beach

Developers dazzled the local community with tales of fat profits – but investors are getting anxious as the huge project stalls. By Gavin Foster

The Dolphin Coast of KwaZulu-Natal just ain’t what it used to be when it was simply the North Coast. Forty years ago the sugar barons reigned supreme on their sprawling sun-blessed estates, with a few cottages scattered here and there for the working-class riff-raff, who were needed to keep the wheels of commerce turning. That all changed, though, when big business took over the farms.

They started selling off the best bits of land to Vaalies and locals who had a little spare tin lying around. Before you could snap your fingers and say “Bring me another Scotch” the area was festooned with expensive housing estates harbouring fast cars, yummy mummies, Harley-Davidsons and squash courts. It got so bad that you couldn’t cross the road without risking being taken out by a property developer cruising the area in a Merc or a BMW or even a golf cart, looking for a few more hectares on which to build another fortified village and country club. The sorry saga of the Blythedale Beach development fiasco serves as testimony that these things sometimes go wrong. Or maybe not...

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