Akani Properties invests R600m in building and refurbishing shopping malls in Zeerust and Pretoria East
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AKANI Properties, a 100% black-owned property development, management and investment company is investing more than R600 million in new shopping mall developments and refurbishments in anticipation of a post-Covid-19 economic recovery in the next 12 to 18 months.
The company will invest R370m in the Autumn Leaf Mall development in Zeerust (Ramotshere Molia Municipality) in North West and R228m in upgrading Glen Village Mall in Faerie Glen, Pretoria East.
Akani managing director Zamani Letjane said: “This investment is testament to our belief that the worst is behind us, and the recovery of the economy is on the cards.”
Letjane said the vaccine roll-out programme will improve the country’s prospects, and the economy will pick up.
Autumn Leaf Mall, a 20 000m² shopping centre in Zeerust, is due to open in September next year. Zeerust, a transit town on the N4 between South Africa and Botswana, is one of the growing economic nodes in the province also known as Bokone Bophirima, according to Akani.
The R228m upgrade of Glen Village entails the full refurbishment and extension of the mall, and is set to be completed in November next year.
The company said its bullish outlook on the commercial property sector was boosted in part by better-than-expected retail numbers – which the Bureau for Economic Research said were at a six-year high – as shoppers start spending again, buoyed by low-interest rates.
Letjane said he expected interest rates to stay low even though consumer inflation recently hit a 30-month high of 5.2%.
“To mitigate against any possible disruption to the power supply, all Akani’s new developments will have renewable energy-generation capacity to reduce dependency on the already constrained Eskom power generation,” he said.
“Moreover, we are retrofitting existing buildings with solar PV for their captive power consumption. As long-term investors, we have taken a long-term view of South Africa’s economic recovery. We are also at an advanced stage of developing more shopping malls around the country as we seek to boost our portfolio of retail properties,” said Letjane.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE