Despite political instability, the steady improvement of Zimbabwe’s economy over the past few years has provided commercial property opportunities for South Africans, according to a report in SACommercialPropertyNews.
Zimbabwe’s rapid growth in gross domestic product – it averaged 7 percent-plus from 2009 to 2011 – and its poor business environment appear to be a paradox, the report said. By comparison, Hong Kong’s economy grew 5 percent.
Zimbabwe’s economy has been growing following the January 2009 adoption of multiple currencies including the dollar. Critics, however, say high growth rates were inevitable considering the low base prior to that.
Old Mutual, the country’s largest property market player, says tastes and preferences are changing among Zimbabwe’s commercial tenants. Demand for property space in central business districts has increased significantly since dollarization in 2009.
South Africa-based Innscor Retail Africa says fast food is “a gap” in the Zimbabwean retail market, the report said.
Innscor owns Baker’s Inn, Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, Creamy Inn and the franchise rights for Nando’s and Steers in Africa. It rolled out more than 3,300 square meters of new and refurbished food courts in Zimbabwe in the past year, an investment by Innscor of almost $12 million.
Projects in Zimbabwe include a Baker’s Inn Factory producing 250,000 loaves of bread a day; a new standalone food court in Chivu and a number of refurbished food courts in Harare.