City of Tshwane. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
City of Tshwane. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Real-estate veteran Marc Wainer says the Tshwane municipality must slash its property rates to attract consistent development to the country’s capital city, Pretoria.

Pretoria and its surrounds have lagged nodes in Johannesburg in terms of large-scale commercial development for more than a decade.

But commercial opportunities are beginning to arise as the Tshwane municipality under DA mayor Solly Msimanga, who was elected in 2016, begins to team up with businesses more.

There was also more and cheaper vacant land available in Pretoria than in Johannesburg and new residential developments are beginning to create demand for offices and retail.

Wainer, who is executive chairman at Redefine Properties, spoke on the sidelines of the launch of Loftus Park, a new office and retail development located next to the Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

Loftus Park was built by Abland, one of Redefine’s development partners. It was created to reinvigorate the vicinity around the stadium, which has lost popularity and has not been revamped in decades.

Redefine’s share of phase one and two of the development is worth R598m.

Wainer told Msimanga at the launch that Tshwane’s municipal rates were 30%-40% higher than those in other parts of Gauteng.

"Redefine has investments across Tshwane from Centurion to Soshanguve, but I really think it’s in the municipality’s interests to bring rates down.

"They need to find a way to attract other smaller commercial developers. This could include a rates holiday," he said.

Msimanga said even though Tshwane’s municipal rates were high, his team had taken steps to keep new increases low.

"I’ve inherited a mess and I’m trying to correct it.

"Tshwane’s rates increases have been the lowest of all the municipalities over the past two years," he said.