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The number of half-empty office buildings across many of SA’s once bustling commercial hubs has reached sky-high levels. In Sandton, SA’s largest business node by far, office vacancies rose to a record 22.5% in the fourth quarter of 2021, up from a pre-pandemic 17%, according to the quarterly "Rode Report on the State of the SA Property Market".

The same trend is evident in other major nodes, including Joburg’s Rosebank, Parktown and Rivonia. In Waterfall City, Midrand, where a number of new buildings have been completed over the past few years, the office vacancy surged from 4% in 2019 to nearly 18% in the fourth quarter. In Cape Town, vacancy rates in the CBD and Century City virtually doubled, from about 10% to 20%, over the same period...

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