The vast expanse of property where Steyn City is now growing out the ground was once acre upon acre of barren land that included a disused mine quarry. Douw Steyn's long-time business associate and friend, property developer Giuseppe Plumari, initially owned 180ha of industrial-zoned land between Dainfern and Diepsloot. As soon as Steyn saw Plumari's property, he realised this was the perfect location to realise his dream and leave a lasting legacy. He subsequently purchased pockets of surrounding land as they became available. Between them, they amassed a total of 2000 acres, between William Nicol Drive and Cedar Road, with Riversands Farm on its northern border.
This was followed by a lengthy process of relocating 20 000 residents from Zevenfontein (part of their land) - at the time one of the largest informal settlements in the country - to neighbouring Cosmo City.Don't forget to visit our gallery
Mandela was, of course, guest of honour at Steyn City's official ground-breaking ceremony where he seeded a tray of Bushwillow trees to mark the occasion. Today, these 43 saplings have grown to over two metres and have been planted at Steyn City in what is now known as Mandela Park.
Douw Steyn's friendship with Nelson Mandela has a huge impact on the way in which he viewed how to make the best contribution to the future of South Africa and is an integral part of why he continues to be so passionate about the development of the country.