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If you add together all the office buildings in Sandton and Cape Town’s CBD — two of SA’s largest business nodes — the total rentable floor space comes to a hefty 3-million square metres. That’s exactly how many square metres of offices are currently standing empty across the country.

This unused space has pushed the official office vacancy rate to a record 16% for December, according to the most recent quarterly office vacancy survey by the SA Property Owners Association (Sapoa). That’s up from 11.6% in the pre-Covid days of March 2020, and 100 basis points above the previous high of 15% in 2003...

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