OM to spend R1bn on upgrades

Posted On Thursday, 14 March 2002 02:00 Published by
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CAPE TOWN Old Mutual Properties is to spend R1bn expanding and refurbishing its properties for clients, the group said yesterday.
CAPE TOWN Old Mutual Properties is to spend R1bn expanding and refurbishing its properties for clients, the group said yesterday.

MD Ian Watt said urban renewal was gaining momentum in SA's big cities and the group planned to use the opportunities this presented.

'The year will be a challenging one,' he said, noting that as markets slowed down, the adverse effects of international events on the local economy and oversupply in some areas would begin to be felt.

'Nevertheless, there are opportunities out there,' Watt said.

The development programme included the expansion of successful retail and entertainment centres such as Riverside Mall in Nelspruit, where a new airport is set to open for international flights in December, and at Cavendish Square in Cape Town. It would also include the refurbishment of office blocks.

'This will add to the momentum of the efforts in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban to make business districts a cleaner, safer and better place in which to work, and to improve property values,' Watt said.

The initiatives were being driven by improvement companies, formed to offer better security and cleaning services than those provided by local authorities.

Watt said it was important that the process be managed properly.

'Typically, the arrangements with local authorities require them to sign protocols of service, guaranteeing performance levels. The top-up amounts on the rates bill supplement services intended to keep the city clean and to provide better safety and security.

'However, it is important to define goals for these revitalisation programmes and to set and monitor measurement criteria for them,' Watt said.

Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day

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