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2019 State of Cape Town Central City Report Launched

Published recently, by the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), the report noted that the Central City “held its own quite remarkably” in the year under review, despite 2019 being “incredibly difficult”, according to CCID board chairperson Rob Kane.

Says Kane: “Stakeholders and investors in the CBD have had to cope with the aftermath of the 2018 drought and subsequent water crisis, ongoing load shedding and a tough economic climate.”

Five-part section on on ‘Surviving Covid-19’

Though the coronavirus pandemic falls beyond the ambit of the SCCR report, a five-part section of the report is devoted to reflections on “Surviving Covid-19” by Wesgro CEO Tim Harris, Economic Development Partnership CEO Andrew Boraine, HTI Consulting CEO Wayne Troughton and economist Brian Kantor of Investec Wealth and Investment and Arthur Kamp, chief economist, Sanlam Investments.

Kane acknowledges the “global devastation” Covid-19 has caused, noting that it “has damaged the Central City’s economy”, but its economic performance means the Central City is well-placed to navigate a path to recovery.

Property evaluation

The SCCR report shows that, according to the City of Cape Town’s 2018/2019 property evaluation, the value of Central City property stands at R44.124bn, and that the total value of property investments in the Central City – recently completed, under construction, proposed or planned – is R13.83bn.

This is broken down into:

  • R1,045,000,000 – A conservative estimate of the value of property completed in the Central City during 2019 but which still has to be officially assessed by the City of Cape Town (seven projects);
  • R3,730,000,000 – The value of property, conservatively estimated, that is under construction (14 projects);
  • R5,196,000,000 – The value of property, conservatively estimated, that is currently in the planning phase (11 projects); and
  • R3,860,000,000 – The value of property, conservatively estimated, that is currently proposed and is expected to begin construction within the next two years (six projects).

The Foreshore precinct has emerged as a key property investment node which is due, in part, to the expansion in 2018 of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), which achieved a turnover of R277m in 2018/2019. “This world-class venue, which contributed R4.5bn to the Western Cape GGP, was a key driver in 2019 of the Central City’s visitor economy as well as its knowledge and eventing economy, all of which continued to expand in 2019.”

The eighth edition of the SCCR reflects on the bigger picture of the economy of the Central City, looking at property trends, occupancy rates of commercial and residential buildings, retail vacancies, the prominent economies of the Central City and trends in commercial and residential markets.

Among other key findings in the report are that:

For the third consecutive year, Cape Town had the lowest overall vacancy rate of 7. % of the country’s five largest metros. According to the SAPOA Office Vacancy Report (Q4 2019), the city’s vacancy rate compares very favourably to that of Johannesburg (12.5%) and is well below the national office vacancy rate of 11%.

The Central City vacancy rate has continued its gradual decline from a peak of 11.8% at the end of 2018 to 10.8% at the end of 2019 – a decline of 15,127m2 of space available for rent. This is at least partially attributable to the reduction in office space due to redevelopment during 2019.

A new urbanism trend gained traction in South Africa in 2019 in spite of a sluggish housing market, increasing demand for downtown living in the Central City. This has prompted the re-imagining of precincts in the Central City by developers into spaces where homeowners can live, work and play in areas that provide a safe and secure environment with easy access to work. With affordability a major issue for many young professionals, developers are responding with a growing number of studio apartments and co-living units within mixed-use developments. In 2019, small apartments with shared amenities officially became hot property, giving first-time buyers the opportunity to enter the housing market in a desirable city centre.

In 2019, the Central City residential market finally felt the effects of the economic and political headwinds which have dampened activity in the national and regional housing markets in recent years. The distribution of sales across the various price bands was similar to that seen in 2018, with the largest number of sales recorded in the R30,000 – R39,000/m2 category. No sales were recorded in the top price bracket (more than R60,000/m2) last year, while two sales were recorded in 2018.

The report includes separate sections providing a detailed look at key elements of the Central City economy, including:

  • The Art Economy: With Cape Town firmly established as the art capital of Africa, the financial contribution of the creative sector to the Central City economy is undeniable;
  • The Visitor Economy: With three new hotels opening in the Central City in 2019, several mixed-use developments and aparthotels either being constructed or in the pipeline, the CBD’s multi-layered visitor economy continued to expand in spite of a tight economy;
  • The Night-time Economy: There is growing awareness of the potential of the Central City’s night-time economy, but it remains an unexplored resource. A recent research partnership between the City of Cape Town, the CCID and the University of Cape Town will provide a better understanding of the night-time economy of the Central City and how to better use the night as a resource for social and economic development; and
  • The Knowledge and Eventing Economy: The Central City’s knowledge and eventing economy continues to expand every year, driving business into the region as local and international visitors and business tourists stream into the CBD to attend official events and conventions in and around the public spaces in downtown Cape Town.

The report also features a detailed analysis of residential and commercial rentals, and highlights from the CCID’s residential and retail surveys.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Relocation Africa’s Monthly Social Responsibility Project, Month 2: Neighborhood Litter Collection

As part of our constant drive to give back to our community, our team has endeavored to join together to participate in a monthly community-focused CSR initiative. The team comes together each month to participate in an activity aimed at uplifting the community around our head office in Cape Town, after which ideas are put forward for the following month’s initiative.

In this way, as South Africans, we are giving back not only on Mandela Day, but throughout the year, as the need doesn’t end after the holiday.

Naturally, we take all necessary COVID-19-related precautions when participating in the activities, so as to ensure the health and safety of our team members and those we are interacting with outside our office.

For our second month, in October 2020, we came together to pick up litter in the neighborhood in which our head office is located (Kenilworth, Cape Town), with the theme of ‘A Healthier City’. We invited our neighbors to join us, and the team from Vulcan Integrated Solutions joined us on the collection walk. We split up into 3 teams, each walking different routes, to pick up any litter we found in the roads surrounding our offices.

Gallery

We hope this inspires our readers and other companies to start similar initiatives, as if we all work together, we can greatly improve the quality of life of those in need around us.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Cape Town Concerned Over Non-adherence to COVID Safety Protocols Like Mask Wearing and Sanitizing. City Warns of Second Wave of Virus

Cape Town’s health department has expressed concerns over the increase in non-adherence to safety protocols, saying this could lead to a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Mayoral committee member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien, said some residents were no longer wearing face masks in public and social distancing protocols were being ignored by many businesses.

Badroodien feared the work that went into halting the spread of the coronavirus could soon be undone if citizens dropped their collective guard.

“Our environmental health practitioners are particularly concerned about the number of people who are going about their business in public without masks, as well as crowd management in shops, malls and other public amenities,” said Badroodien.

“Cape Town worked very hard to overcome the peak of the pandemic so we could start focusing on rebuilding lives, communities and the economy. All of this hard work will be undermined if we drop our collective guard.”

Over the past few months, the Covid-19 caseload and related fatalities have decreased significantly, with fewer cases registered every day.

On Tuesday, SA recorded 1,027 Covid-19 cases, pushing the number to 683,242. There were 87 deaths reported compared to 40 on Monday, and 15 were from the Western Cape. This brings the total number of deaths to 17,103.

Badroodien said a second wave could set Cape Town back from making progress in decreasing the number of deaths.

“I hear far too many anecdotes about the pandemic being a thing of the past. This is not true, particularly if one looks at the many countries where lockdowns have had to be reintroduced as a result of a second wave of infections,” he said.

“Cape Town and SA must take heed from these cautionary tales and do everything possible to mitigate the risk of a second wave here.

“We therefore urge the public to continue abiding by the health and hygiene protocols and to wear a mask at all times in public to help avoid a second wave of infections locally, or at the very least mitigate the impact thereof.”

Second wave plan

According to health minister Zweli Mkhize, a plan has been tabled should the country be hit with a second wave.

TimesLIVE reported that Mkhize told a webinar hosted by the SA Medical Association that while the worst was over, SA may still be facing a second surge.

He said the plan would follow the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guidelines on how to deal with the second wave.

“Of course, we may still be facing a second surge. I think we all speculate about how likely that is because many of the countries that are overtaking SA are in a second surge. Whether it’s going to be like that in SA depends, of course, on how we deal with our containment measures,” said Mkhize.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Cape Town Dam Levels at Historic 100.8%

The Mother City has come a long way since Day Zero. The dams supplying Cape Town with water are at an historic 100.8%, and are full for the first time since 2014.

The latest dam level reading shows that levels increased by 1.3% to 100.8% in the last week. The fullest dams are Theewaterskloof at 101.7%, Steenbras Lower at 101% and Berg River at 100.7%. The remaining major dams are just under 100%.

This time last year, dams were 81.4% full, in 2018 they were 75.9% full and in 2017, an astounding 37.7% full. Theewaterskloof, the Western Cape’s largest source of water, is currently overflowing. Three years ago the very same dam was at 12.9% full, and Cape Town was days away from being the first city in the world to run out of potable water.

On October 2, the City announced that the dams have reached 100% capacity, thanks to an intensive whole-of-society effort to protect our available water supply before, during and after the shock of Day Zero.

“It is clear that as a society we have completely changed our relationship with water,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Waste, Alderman Xanthea Limberg. “The City’s water saving achievements have been internationally lauded, with the International Water Association naming Cape Town the world’s number 1 water saving city for reducing demand by 55% between 2015 and 2018 without resorting to intermittent supply.”

However, Limberg warns that this exciting milestone does not indicate permanent water security. “Full dams may give the impression that our troubles are over, but rainfall this year was only just above average. Low consumption has also contributed to the recovery of the dams. Although there is some room to relax, we need to remain vigilant that water consumption remains at a water wise level and proceed diligently with additional water sources including groundwater, reuse and desalination as outlined in the City’s Water Strategy,” she said.

She warns that another drought could strike, and last much longer than the one The Mother City battled over the last few years. “Climate change studies undertaken by the City indicate that droughts such as the one we have just experienced will occur more often and last longer.”

On the question of easing water tariffs, Limberg adds that appropriate tariffs and restrictions for the 2020/21 hydrological year (which runs from November 1 to October 31) are currently taking place. “Tariffs are currently on the second lowest level possible in terms of the City’s 2020/21 Budget, and have come down significantly since the peak of the drought. The no restriction, water-wise tariff which is under consideration will provide some relief, but with due cognisance of the importance that sufficient funding is available to continue increasing our resilience. “Also being taken into consideration is the projected increase of the proportion of residents needing indigent support, in part due to the deteriorated national economic climate.”

Read the dam report here: Dam Levels October 5

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Historic Fountain of 1891 Restored and Returned to Rondebosch Community

The historic cast iron fountain which was handed over to the community of Rondebosch in Cape Town on September 25, 1891, has been restored and unveiled on Thursday, as South Africa celebrates Heritage Day.

In a statement released on Thursday, Mayco member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien said the fountain – a horse and dog watering trough with a lamp post – was donated by surveyor and railway pioneer George Pigot-Moodie to the community.

He said Pigot-Moodie sat on the Cape Legislature from 1889 to 1890 and was a resident at Wesbrooke, now known as Genandendal (which is also an official residence of the country’s president) until his passing in 1891, the same year he donated the foundation.

Badroodien said the original fountain is a provincial heritage site in terms of the National Heritage Resources Act (Act25 of 1999) and the fountain was badly damaged during a bad motor vehicle accident in 2015.

“The City of Cape Town recovered the remnants and held it in safe keeping. It was the City’s intention to repair and to restore the fountain to its former glory” Badroodien said.

“However, the fountain was so badly damaged, that it could not be repaired. It had previously been repaired and cobbled together over the many years that it stood in the heart of Rondebosch. As a result, the fountain which was destroyed, was not identical to the fountain which was unveiled 127 years ago.”

He said the new fountain was donated by the Simon van der Stel Foundation and Heritage Castings to the City and is as close to the specifications of the original fountain with minor details which differ.

The fountain is in its original colours and details are exact as when it reached the Cape from Scotland.

“I am so excited to see this iconic landmark back to its former state. The fountain has great historical value and was cherished by the Rondebosch residents. The replication and accession process took longer than we would have hoped as there were legal requirements that the City had to adhere to,” Badroodien said at the unveiling.

He said the City was indebted to the donors and an electricity connection will be done at a later stage so the fountain lights can be switched on.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].