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Business Tech

CAPE TOWN – While it has generally been accepted that semigration and international investors are behind the Western Cape’s booming property market, even small things like a cup of coffee is contributing to the city’s high property prices.

This is according to Janet Lightbody of the Ikon Property Group, who said that the recent explosion of coffee culture – specifically the introduction of high-end coffee shops – has contributed to some properties having their values increased.

When you position a high-end café such as the Seattle Coffee Company in a commercial building, positive spin-offs are substantial, not only for the landlord, but for the neighbouring tenants too, she said.

“Recognised brands such as Seattle Coffee Company add immense value to a building by acting as a draw card and increasing customer footfall for neighbouring stores.”

Lightbody said that tenants such as Seattle Coffee Company can afford generous fit-out budgets and often transform a blank canvass into a superior retail space, an additional advantage for landlords.

“By leveraging group buying power they are able pay competitive rentals and commit to longer tenures,” said Elton Holland director of Ikon Property Group.

“This investment can often result in the landlord’s building grade being re-rated and landlords enjoy strong tenancy covenants – ultimately a win-win scenario.”

Coffee in Cape Town

The South African coffee scene is radically different to what it was t10 years ago, and Cape Town in particular is the focal point of this renaissance, said Iain Evans, publisher of Coffee Magazine.

“South Africa has caught up to global standards and you can now go into a high-end roastery in South Africa and have an experience on par with Melbourne or Vancouver,” he said.

“In the past decade, the industry has grown from a mere 20 roasteries to well over 250 independent roasters in South Africa.

Statistics South Africa has also recorded steady growth in the restaurant and coffee shop sector with year-on- year revenue growth at 4.5%. Cape Town’s ‘coffee capital’ status is further entrenched by the Mother City’s consistent exposure on international travel blogs.”

A case in point is Truth Coffee being voted ‘the best coffee shop in the world’ by the British Telegraph, he said.



CAPE TOWN – Businesses in the Western Cape are deeply concerned about the water crisis and possible “water shedding” that might negatively impact on production and ultimately lead to job losses. 

Dawie Maree, an economist at FNB, pointed out that the manufacturing of food and beverages (which was water intensive) and textile and chemicals industries would be severely affected by the water restrictions.

“It would mean that they might need to cut back on production, which will lead to a loss in profit and ultimately job losses.

“All businesses share the same concerns that we’re heading for a crisis in the Western Cape. If there is not sufficient rain in the near future and if the consumption is not limited, we might even see ‘water shedding’,” he warned.

“Alternatives like desalination are on the table, but the disadvantage is the high cost.”

The City of Cape Town requested managers of commercial properties to ensure that the monthly consumption of municipal water is reduced by 20% with immediate effect.

Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Janine Myburgh has asked businesses to reduce their water usage when flushing toilets. “The big problem is toilets Unfortunately, we do not have options available to home-owners such as using shower water to flush toilets.

“We urge all our members to consult plumbers on how to reduce their water usage and where possible install new water-wise plumbing equipment. We also urge them to only flush when necessary.

“Measures like this will continue to save water in future years since we can expect water to become more expensive.”

Myburgh also urged businesses to ask the city for supplies of recycled water where possible, especially those businesses that use a lot of water.



PHOTO: “It would mean that they might need to cut back on production, which will lead to a loss in profit and ultimately job losses,” says economist. Picture: Armand Hough/ANA Pictures