Construction frenzy in Sandton, Rosebank signals hope for economy
Johannesburg - Standing outside the Gautrain's Sandton station, the scene could be one in any other major city around the world. Harried commuters rush past, clutching laptop bags and smartphones, and queues snake outside trendy coffee shops selling cappuccinos and freshly squeezed juices. Construction cranes stretch to the sky, adding to the general din and feeling of expansion and opportunity. Traveling along the major arterial routes in Rosebank and Sandton, one could hardly guess that the construction sector contracted in the first nine months of 2017, let alone that the country achieved dismal economic growth rates and exited a technical recession last year. It's come to be seen as a "bubble" as international law firms, banks and insurers attempt to outdo each other by building larger and ever higher steel and glass skyscrapers in Africa's commercial hub. And there are even bigger plans for Sandton and Rosebank in 2018, with the developments attributed by the City of Johannesburg to the spin-off the Gautrain has had for the two business nodes. Eric Raboshakga, assistant director of development planning at the City of Johannesburg, said the focus for now will be developing these business areas, which he said provide guaranteed property values for investors and give businesses a good address.