Tough road ahead for Africa’s tallest skyscraper project

symbiocityThe tallest tower in Symbio-City will reach 110 storeys and will be flanked by two high-rise buildings of 80 and 60 floors each. (Image source: Cresco Props)Africa's Centurion Symbio-City project, which aims to give the continent its tallest skyscraper, has been attracting criticisms from several quarters

Experts feel that the ZAR 17 billion (US$203.3 billion) project may prove detrimental to stakeholders and hinder other office park developments.

An official from Cresco Props, consortium of promoters of the project Johan Stanbury said, “A fair amount of work has to be done between the conception of a development and the actual implementation.

“What has been done is a desk-top study based upon extensive research. A number of the results of this research is still have to be verified. There is a fair amount of work to be done between the conception of a development and the actual implementation,” he added.

It was recently revealed by Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa that the tallest tower in Symbio-City will reach 110 storeys and will be flanked by two high-rise buildings of 80 and 60 floors each. The total height of the tallest tower will be 447m, which will make it the tallest building in Africa.

The biggest problem in the project, according to many interested investors is that, in order to be sustainable, landlords would have to charge a rent of more than ZAR 200 (US$23.89) per sq/m.

“This is very high and nobody will be willing to pay rentals as high as this. There is a very good chance that this development could, ultimately, become a white elephant,” said Abacus DIVISIONS owner Org Geldenhuys, who is a prospective investor.

He added, “The City of Tshwane should rather focus on expanding the existing infrastructure in Centurion, and fix problems, such as cleaning the Centurion lake, which is driving business away from the area.”

Meanwhile, Rubesh Pillay of the mayoral committee recently said the city’s coffers will not fund the project.

“The project will in fact be funded through private capital raised at risk by the developer of the project,” added Pillay.

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