This South African tycoon has created over 19k jobs with Africa’s most luxurious real estate development

BY Ben Ebuka Oji January 10, 2024 8:20 AM EDT
Vivian Reddy
Vivian Reddy. Photo Credit: Twitter

Along the scenic coastline of Durban stand the internationally acclaimed $68.5-million Oceans Mall and $52.7 million Radisson Blu Hotel, a remarkable testament to contemporary luxury that have not only added to the opulence of the area but also generated employment opportunities for thousands of Africans.

The magnificent edifice is amplified by the azure waters of the Indian Ocean that gracefully caress the glistening golden sands, creating a picturesque backdrop for these internationally acclaimed landmarks.

The remarkable Oceans Mall and Radisson Blu hotels are the visionary endeavors of South African tycoon Vivian Reddy. These extraordinary ventures not only redefine the city’s skyline but also have a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals, revitalizing the city’s economic prospects and contributing significantly to the growth of the hospitality and trade sectors in South Africa.

The awe-inspiring Oceans Mall and Radisson Blu hotel, part of the impressive $230 million mixed-use Oceans development project, encompasses three towers featuring luxurious apartments, a high-end mall, and a five-star luxury hotel.

Reddy’s latest achievement, the Oceans Umhlanga mega-development, is as a result of his commitment to driving economic transformation in Africa. This project is a remarkable feat, as it is 100 percent Black-owned, with the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) serving as a co-shareholder.

Speaking about the Oceans Umhlanga mega-development in an interview, Vivian Reddy explained:

To even start the project we bought this massive piece of land, the last piece of available land. We had to remove a country club, we had to relocate a Telkom [service center], a post office, the main water pipe for Umhlanga, the Vodacom exchange, plus the council offices, and [had to] remove 45,000 truckloads of sand. The project consists of a 36,000m2 mall, the hotel, and another 500 apartments.

According to Reddy, the construction phase of the $230 million project created an impressive 16,000 job opportunities, while an additional 3,500 permanent jobs were created for Africans post-construction.

The R1 billion (US$52.7m) Radisson Blu Hotel

Opened in June 2022, this magnificent five-star hotel is a 28-storey skyscraper. With 206 hotel rooms and 95 suites, it exudes opulence and is considered the first internationally branded five-star hotel to open in Durban since the Hilton Hotel in 1997. Additionally, the Radisson Blu Hotel is accompanied by 500 apartments, forming the third component of the Oceans Umhlanga mega development project.

Guests at the Radisson Blu Hotel can choose from a variety of room types, including standard rooms measuring 27m2, Superior rooms with a sea view spanning 28m2, Premium rooms with extra space measuring 30m2, Premium rooms with a sea view also measuring 30m2, Executive rooms with a sea view and lounge access spanning 28m2, Junior suites with a sea view and additional space measuring 37m2, Executive suites with a sea view and lounge access offering extended space of 65m2, and two connected Family rooms providing a total area of 60m2.

The Radisson Blu Hotel boasts two presidential suites on its 28th floor, each spanning an impressive 600m2. These suites are the largest of their kind in the KwaZulu-Natal province and offer breathtaking views of Durban’s Umhlanga Rocks.

In addition to these luxurious accommodations, the hotel also features eight state-of-the-art meeting facilities. The grand ballroom alone can comfortably accommodate 600 guests in a cinema-style setup, making it an ideal venue for various events, including weddings. Interestingly, the demand for wedding spaces at the hotel has been so high that all bookings for the next two years, starting from June 2022, have already been filled.

The R1.3 billion (US$68.5m) Oceans Mall

The award-winning Oceans Mall is the epitome of luxury and convenience, providing an unparalleled shopping experience. Located in the vibrant city of Durban, South Africa, in the heart of Umhlanga, a picturesque coastal town renowned for its breathtaking ocean views and high-end lifestyle, this shopping haven is an impressive work of art, combining modern architecture with marine-inspired features. Its prime location offers easy accessibility and allows visitors to indulge in shopping and the awe-inspiring vistas of the nearby ocean.

The Ocean Mall forms part of the 217,600m2 Oceans development project. The first phase of the project was launched in November 2022, when the mall opened its doors to the public, marking the introduction of luxury retail and upscale fashion to Durban.

The second phase of the massive 36,000m2 Ocean Mall was launched in March 2023. This phase includes the introduction of luxury retail and high-end fashion stores. Located at 7 & 10 Lagoon Drive, Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the mall is home to over 90 international multinational brands such as Aeronautica, Burberry, Checkers, Dolce & Gabbana, Emporio Armani, Fratelli, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Indigo, Jimmy Choo, Mont Blanc, Roberto Carvalli, Versace, and Woolworths.

About Vivian Reddy

Vathasallum Reddy, commonly known as Vivian Reddy, was born on 22 February 1953 in Greenwood Park, a suburb of Durban. Hailing from KwaZulu-Natal, he is a prominent South African businessman. Reddy is renowned as the founder and chairperson of the Edison Power Group, a leading electrical engineering service company in South Africa. Additionally, Vivian Reddy has diversified his business interests to include casinos, healthcare, financial services, and property development.

As the founder and chairman of Edison Power Group, he has played a pivotal role in its growth and accomplishments. Following the remarkable success of the Edison Power Group, Reddy ventured into the hospitality sector and commercial property development.

Reddy’s aspirations extend beyond financial gain. At 71, he remains deeply committed to philanthropy in South Africa. Vivian Reddy actively supports various initiatives, such as the Orphans of AIDS Trust Fund, the Wingen Heights Secondary School project, and a clinic in the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality.

Despite achieving great success, he lives modestly in the public eye, allowing his deeds to convey his message more effectively than mere words. In his journey, we discover a story of wealth, strength, empowerment, and a profound dedication to enhancing South Africa.