out of office

South Africa: Johannesburg offices gather dust as employees choose WFH

By Xolisa Phillip, in Johannesburg

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Posted on April 13, 2022 16:40

South Africa © Alexandra township with Sandton skyline, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday, April 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Alexandra township with Sandton skyline, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday, April 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Some premium real estate developments in Johannesburg remain empty as economic growth remains low and rental prices fail to adjust.

The winds of change are blowing in Sandton, Africa’s “richest square mile” covering more than 130km2 of premium (P) grade high-rise office blocks and home to corporate headquarters including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) – the continent’s largest bourse.

The Covid-19 crisis has dented the sector and fast-tracked SA Corporate Real Estate Limited’s (SAC) exit from real estate focussing on premium office spaces. Excess supply, which predates the pandemic, has strengthened the real estate investment trust’s (REIT) scepticism about the office market.

“While no one can forecast the future, the office as we know it today is going to evolve,” says Rory Mackey, CEO of SAC, a JSE-listed REIT.

“I don’t believe it’s going to be as dominant as it was in the past.”

The future of the office

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