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Is Joburg’s inner city set to become Southern Africa’s Dubai?

Over R10 billion a year is spent in the inner city.

Over the last 20 years Johannesburg has become an intense wholesale and retail centre for local hawkers and for traders from all over sub-Saharan Africa. Billions of rand worth of fast fashion is sold annually in the traditional central business district and in 20 large Chinese shopping malls west of the inner city.

Tanya Zack, visiting senior lecturer at Wits University talks to Classic Business Breakfast with Moneyweb about what is driving growth in the Johannesburg inner city. 

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You must be joking, have you ever been to Dubai? Joburg is just a typical run down, dirty, crime infested African city!

Get real. The short answer is NO, Jhb’s Inner City is not a Dubai and will never be a Dubai.

There may be some clever Ethiopians and Somalians that do a lot of wholesale trade in the inner city (ALL FROM LONG STANDING CONVERTED OFFICE BUILDINGS) but be a Dubai you need:
– Cranes building buildings;
– Good public transport (not mafia minibus taxis);
– Good rentals that allow for building new buildings;
– Banking sector willing to lend money to new builds;
– Security’
– A lot of overseas buyers (not illegal occupants of buildings);
– Functional nodes and nodal development;
– People electing to rather shop in the Inner City rather than Cresta, Sandton or Mall of Africa (not happening).

So, 20 large Chinese shopping malls west of the inner city does not make a Dubai and never will.

End of comments.

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