Tallest building in Africa - yes or no?

Many business owners in the area have made themselves heard regarding the proposed building, which is set to become the tallest building in Africa.

According to council sources the proposed building will start before the end of the year and could take up to eight years to complete. This multi-million-rand project will feature residential as well as office space, retail facilities, hotels and a convention centre.

Many business owners in and around the Centurion Lakeside Mall, where the building is expected to be built, are saying that the area is going through an economic slump and that it will not be able to handle the influx that the project will bring.

Gerhard Marais, chairman of the Centurion Business Chamber, has been quoted as saying that “we will be rid of the problems with Centurion Lake is good news and so is the fact that we will have conferencing facilities in our business area, but that we have no less that 4 000m² of vacant office space in Centurion presents another problem."

He further added that if businesses simply moved from their current spaces that it would only cripple the economy even further.

Many residents and business owners feel that Centurion is not ready for a project of this nature. They refer to the proposed hotels and conference facilities if they have both the Centurion Lake Hotel and a Protea Hotel flanking the building.

It seems that no one was consulted on the proposed building. Case and point: Andrew van Hasselt, chief executive of the Centurion Lake Hotel. He said that “we were never consulted.” The same goes for eateries on the mall’s lakeside saying that the first they heard of the project was in the media.

These properties are paying prime price for their location and when building commences they won’t have a view and the unavoidable noise and debris caused by the construction will undoubtedly see their business negatively influenced.

Capital City Business Chamber chief executive Fanie du Plessis applauded the city for bringing a project that could accommodate conventions of the nature that Sandton City could, saying it was important for the city not to lose such events to Midrand's Gallagher Estate. .Business people in the city did, however, deserve to be consulted.

International money was coming in for the development, which would change the face of the Centurion CBD. The roads system and infrastructure are set to be upgraded and the project, the Pretoria News was told yesterday, is at least five or so years in discussions and consultations. The revelation of the plans last week were a mere formality.

Said one metro official: "It's a huge project. It's massive and by the end of the year, heavy trucks will be rushing to and fro, disrupting the normal flow of business - from public transport to people travelling to and from work and people going about their leisure business and those going shopping, yet no one, not even the residents of Centurion, has been given a chance to discuss it, absorb it and prepare for it."

But Ramokgopa said last week the development was a reflection of the range of economic opportunities, cultural experiences, safety and a quality physical environment that Tshwane offers. He said it would create jobs - more than 10 000 during construction and 4 000 afterwards.

On our own website’s social media pages we have seen many users saying that they aren’t sure about the project. Most of the comments have been asking why they are building the towers in the first place.

We would like to hear from you on this, what is your opinion on the proposed building? Do agree or disagree with what the various people have said regarding the project?

(Original article appeared in Pretoria News)

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