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Watamu beach, in Malindi Kenya is set to host the tallest skyscraper in Africa overshadowing the Pinnacle Tower in Nairobi’s Upperhill area that stands at 70 storeys and 300 metres in height and as at now is the tallest skyscraper in the continent.

The Palm Exotica upon completion will tower a height of 370 metres, and will be a 61-storey building. It was designed by Italian architect Lorenzo Pagnini and is said to be a mixed used development.

The building’s developers are investors from New York, South Africa and Italian billionaire Franco Rosco who viewed the to tower as an addition to the coastal town’s clout as a luxury tourism hub.

The Palm Exotica

The mixed use development will feature tastefully furnished residential suites, eclectic restaurants and a vibrant 24-hour casino, a good feature for coastal entertainment.

Each intuitively designed floor plan, from studios, Presidential suites, exclusive Sky Apartments and Penthouse apartments are fitted with modern appliances and tasteful furniture. Floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive balconies will have uninterrupted views of the vibrant blues of the Indian Ocean and emerald tropical treetops.

Residents will also be spoilt for choice from a host of offerings including a casino, nightclub, retail mall, theatre and cinema, state-of-the-art fitness centre, wellness spa and children’s play area as well as a 5-star hotel and its lavish facilities.

Furthermore, the tower will give its companions uninterrupted views of vivid ocean colours and the picturesque Watamu panorama.

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Chinese firm to construct industrial park in Kenya

An industrial park in Kenya is set to be constructed in Movoko, Machakos County by a Chinese Company- Erdemann Property Ltd (EPL). This is after the company submitted an environment impact assessment report to the National Environment Management Authority (Nema).

Nema approval

Nema however, through a published public statement has invited members of the public to submit oral or written comments within 30 days from the date of publication of this notice to the director-general to assist the authority in the decision making-process for the industrial park.

Erdemann is proposing to develop the park on Mombasa-Namanga road interchange and wants to develop 53 go-downs, gate house, power services buildings, office block, waste water treatment plant, landscaped gardens, drive ways, parking spaces and ancillary facilities.


Erdemann Industrial Park A

The firm’s first commercial and industrial property development Erdemann Industrial Park A is located in Mlolongo town and was opened in 2005. The development comprises of 15 go-downs covering a built-up area of 12,000 square metres.

The property is leased to tenants on a long-term basis.

In 2009, the firm also opened another park in Mavoko (Erdemann Industrial Park B) which comprises 24 units of go-downs.

Of late satellite towns like Syokimau, Mlolongo, Limuru, Thika and Ruiru have been attracting new industrial park developments, unlike the traditional zones of Industrial Area, Mombasa Road and Embakasi.

Erdemann Property Ltd is a limited Liability Company specializing in property development. EPL operates under the Investment Promotion Centre and provides decent, low-cost shelter to Kenyans by employing the latest technology to the art of building construction. They emphasize on delivery of quality and affordable housing with an unwavering dedication to clients.

EPL has built more than 2000 housing units from the year 2003 to-date, and has cultivated numerous relationships which have earned them the trust of key stakeholders in the real estate industry.

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Developers in Tanzania are planning to cut on the cost of housing.National Housing Corporation (NHC) and Watumishi Housing Company (WHC) say they are looking for ways to ensure affordable houses to more people.

The intention is to attract more customers in spite of the value-added tax (VAT) charged on housing.

VAT charged on construction materials and finished houses has been a major hindrance for many developers in Tanzania.The houses are unaffordable to many low income earners in the country.

Fred Msemwa, the CEO of Watumishi Housing Company said that the VAT issue was still being handled by the government and was yet to be settled.

Watumishi Housing Company is a public entity which is a licensed fund manager for management of the WHC Real Estate Investment Trust.

He noted that so far the company has built 700 houses valued between between Sh27 million and Sh76 million each in Dar es Salaam.

He urges that to have affordable houses the cost of construction will be reduced without compromising quality.

According to Msemwa, they first make sure that they buy plots at lowest market prices and areas of convenience.

He said after the advice they now use the same quality materials but at affordable rates.

He called on the public to move away from building their own houses and instead purchase houses already built because it was much cheaper.

According to him, a person constructing and renting a house at the same time discovers that they spent a lot of money than a person who bought and continued paying while living in the house.

National Housing Corporation has written a letter to the Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development minister, Mr William Lukuvi, to waive VAT on housing.

Susan Omari, the head of NHC corporate affairs and CSR said that the corporation was exploring other options as it awaited the ministry’s decision on VAT in housing to enable as many Tanzanians as possible to own houses.

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Zimbabwe partners Chinese firm to construct Low cost houses

The government of Zimbabwe has entered into partnership with the China Industrial International Group Zimbabwe (CIIG), to construct low cost houses using steel technology.

The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Development have already signed an MOU the CIIG to build as many low cost houses as possible.

Speaking after a tour of the model houses, at CIIG premises in Harare, the Minister of Local Government Saviour Kasukuwere said, the houses which are modelled around eco-friendly materials were a welcome development in Zimbabwe due to their affordability.

He indicated that they were satisfied with the standard of houses that are being built using this technology.

The houses will cater for civil servants and other low income earners across the country and will go a long way in narrowing the housing backlog. This will also ensure that Zimbabweans have decent shelter.

“The project should be starting soon, as all the formalities have been concluded”, the Minister confirmed.

Also read:Galway firm plans to construct 5,000 low cost houses in Nigeria

The total cost for developing the houses is 30% less than the conventional houses. The houses are said to have a lifespan of at least 150 years.

The government would like to combine capacity as a nation and the technology available to ensure they provide shelter for everyone.

CIIG Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Nie Hai Yang indicated that the houses can be constructed within seven days and come with solar furnishings to enhance energy efficiency.

In addition to this, CIIG has also developed septic tanks using eco-friendly material, which do not contaminate underground water bodies.

Residents are able to use chemicals to disintegrate solid waste from the septic tank and use the water for agriculture purposes.

Minister Kasukuwere confirmed that they had written to the Chinese authorities and once approvals have been attained, the development would start moving.

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Major road project in Rwandan city of Kigali well on course

The expansion of Major road project in Rwandan city of Kigali is well on course with the contractor China Road Bridge Corporation promising a speedy and quality work.

According to the contractor carrying out the project the expansion is set to cover about 54 kilometers, mainly targeting expanding roads to a dual carriage way with two lanes on each side.

The city has hired HYCOGEC Consultant Ltd to supervise construction works and officials said technical specifications for the contractors to follow are already in place and they are ready to ensure all the requirements are met.

“We are here to do daily supervision to ensure that all technical specifications the contractors agreed on with the clients are met,” said Eng. David Nkurunziza, the supervisor from the consultant firm.

“Our work is to ensure that the contractor does quality work, this is a huge project and the money being used is a loan and should be well-spent,” he added.

He said the main issues to look at are the crusher plant which will be used to blend construction materials as well as asphalt plant as they are the main tools to be used during the construction and this will help them ensure that the design specifications for the road is also met.

The first phase is the city roundabout-Muhima-Gatsata, which covers 3.2 kilometres and Rwandex, Goodyear to Prince House (Remera) road that covers about 4 kilometres.

Completion of the first phase is expected by August and the second phase that will cover Nyacyonga, Nduba, Nyamirambo and the network around Rugando will also be worked on according to the officials.

According to the City officials, the funding of the project was between Rwanda and China but the expropriation cost would be met by the Government of Rwanda.

This is one of the major city project that is being carried in 2017 in Kigali and is set to change the face and ease up transportation of commodities within the city.

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mass housing SA

Construction work on the Dobsonville Extension 2 housing project has begun, with completion of the same expected to be in June 2016. The housing project is estimated to cost US $16.55m.

The project will see to it that up to 502 housing units are delivered. The houses will include a mixture of 152 one bed roomed and 350 two bed roomed apartments for renting out.

This housing project is part of the Johannesburg Social Housing Company (JOSHCO) effort to lessen the housing problems the City is currently experiencing.


CEO of JOSHCO, Rory Gallocher, noted that there was a huge gap in the housing market and quite a number of people in Johannesburg do not qualify for Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). The Dobsonville Extension 2 housing project would cater for such individuals too according to him.

JOSHCO’s mandate would be to increase low-cost rental houses so that those who earn between R3500 and R7000 could get proper houses. The project would only benefit citizens of South Africa living in Johannesburg.

The money for the Dobsonville Extension 2 housing project will be channeled towards local suppliers, skill building and medium enterprise developments.

During the construction period, more than 700 jobs are expected to be created.
Part of the project was funded by the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA). The country announced it would be constructing 1.5 million low-cost houses in the coming five years to cater for the low-housing market.

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Due to housing shortage in South Africa, Entrepreneurs are making massive proceeds by buying Reconstruction and Development Programme(RDP) houses; flattening them to the ground and building blocks of flats soaring  above adjacent houses and backyard shacks in Dunoon township near Milnerton.

The safety of the multi-storey residencial houses ruling the township skyline is being subjected to questions by inhabitants.

Some RDP houses are being extended into a chain of single room flats off a middle corridor with communal baths. In some instances a single storey is added on the top to make more rooms.

One capitalist has set a new style. After buying an RDP house, he bulldozes it and is constructing a four-storey block of flats to lease it is the first four-storey apartment block in the town.

Plot dweller Erick Mzingile, whose shack is in the backyard of an RDP house adjacent  to the multi-storey apartment building, said he was stunned to see the elevation of the building.

Mzingile said the building creates a high risk to tenants should a fire break out. “We don’t know if it will stand harsh weather. We didn’t see building inspectors. We just saw it taking form,” he said.

Efforts to get in touch with the entrepreneur were unproductive.

Ward 104 councilor Lubabalo Makeleni said while he supported property investment in the town, “investors should prioritize the safety and security of our citizens and not be gluttonous by taking advantage of our community”. He blamed the City of Cape of failing to regulate “unlawful building structures in our region. Instead they center on well off suburbs”.

Makeleni said the lack of housing prospects led to the escalating of multi-storey blocks of flats.

“Our people are frantic for housing and prepared to pay any sum towards rental without checking their safety and security,” he said.

The demand for housing has also led to RDP house prices rising. “Within a year the price of RDP houses leaped from R120,000 to R200,000, which is absurd to our community as most purchasers are foreigners and white people,” Makeleni said. 

this news occured and was reported as at Feb 1,2017



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Rwanda unveils new housing project


Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) has unveiled a housing project, which promises to ease the shortage of affordable housing in the country.

The housing project dubbed the ‘Ndera Affordable Housing project’ follows a 2016 partnership agreement between BRD and Moroccan real estate developer, Palmeraie Development Group when King Mohammed VI of Morocco paid a visit to Rwanda.

During the first phase of the project, 1759 housing units will be developed, with the cheapest property under the project valued at US $31,000. The project is also a shift from the traditional bungalow style to moderately-sized two and three bedroom apartment blocks.


The first phase will cost an estimate of US $35 million and will be implemented under a joint venture by BRD and Palmeraie Development Group with equity injections in the ratios of 25:75, respectively.

The Chief Executive Officer of BRD, Eric Rutabana said the project targets Rwandans who earn a monthly income of between US $227 and US $1,360. He said targeting this income bracket was informed by studies and analyses, which showed that the current real estate market rates often locks them out.

However, the beneficiaries will be required to pay monthly installments not exceeding 40 per cent of their net monthly income.

Also Read: Parkwood Housing project gets underway in South Africa

Raised real estate concerns

The real estate project comes at a time when there have been widespread concerns of fast real estate valuation and prices which a section of stakeholders say is a result of market forces of demand and supply as well as cost of inputs.

A section of Rwandans are also wary of housing project models following instances where they have turned out somewhat fraudulent leading to unending court cases.

However, Rutabana said that they were well aware of the concerns; hence not requiring deposits until the housing units were complete. “In this project we are not taking any deposits from potential homeowners until the project is complete,” he said.

The only requirement is that potential home owners provide evidence that they have their contributions ready or can secure mortgages from other financiers. This could see an increase in demand of mortgage products among local financial institutions.

“We are hoping that this model could help raise confidence in the local real estate market and be replicated in the future to reduce exploitation of the market as has happened in the past,” he said.

 House shortage

A previous a study by the City of Kigali, the Ministry of Infrastructure, and the European Union showed that Kigali could face a housing deficit of 344,000 homes by 2020.

Presently, between 800 and 1,000 housing units are constructed in Kigali annually, the majority targeting high-income earners, leaving the majority of city dwellers without decent housing options.

To address the housing shortage, the city needs to build at least 31,000 housing units annually, according to the study. Low and middle-income earners were found to make up about two-thirds of all new housing demand.

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Construction is underway on a five-story parking garage at Charleston International Airport. (Rendering/Provided)

Construction is underway on a five-story parking garage at Charleston International Airport. (Rendering/Provided)

Charleston International Airport will more than double its parking capacity with a new five-story, 3,000-space parking deck, set to open in fall 2020.

Site prep is underway on the western part of the airport’s main surface lot to make room for the new structure. It will sit near the existing three-story parking deck, which was built in 2005 and has 1,268 spaces.

Rental car companies will occupy the entire first floor of the new garage — relocating from a surface lot next to the airport — leaving the second through fifth floors for passengers, said Britton Corbin, Charleston County Aviation Authority’s engineering director. Roy Anderson Corp. of Gulfport, Miss., and LS3P of Charleston are leading construction.

The second parking garage is part of the aviation authority’s overall plan to restructure and expand parking offerings at the airport to accommodate the growing number of passengers traveling through Charleston each year. The airport handled a record 4.1 million passengers in 2018.

“The growth has really been the key factor,” said Hernan Pena, the authority’s deputy executive director and chief operating officer. “The demand for parking has increased.”

The surface lot, which sits behind the original parking garage, had to be restructured to make room for the new parking deck. The recently completed work involved adding more spaces to make up for those lost to construction and reconfiguring the parking spaces to face the airport. Passengers will walk through covered walkways in the garages to access the terminal.

The airport will have 6,583 spaces between its two parking garages and the main surface lots once construction finishes.

The authority also doubled the capacity of the cell phone lot to 80 spaces and added 200 spaces to the remote parking lot. A free shuttle service runs between the remote lot and the terminal.

The overall parking expansion project costs around $100 million. Construction is funded through bonds and airport revenue.

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Samwoh chief executive officer Eric Soh (right) handing Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education Chee Hong Tat a sample of recycled material in the Samwoh Innovation Centre at Samwoh Eco-Green Building.

amwoh chief executive officer Eric Soh (right) handing Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education Chee Hong Tat a sample of recycled material in the Samwoh Innovation Centre at Samwoh Eco-Green Building.PHOTO: SAMWOH CORPORATION

The first step in developing sustainable construction material using local waste was taken yesterday, with the signing of an agreement that will include its use in the building of the new headquarters of a local construction company.

The agreement between JTC Corporation and Samwoh Corporation will see recycled materials processed from construction and industrial waste, like sedimentary rocks excavated from Jurong Rock Caverns, being used to erect the four-storey building near Kranji Reservoir.

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education Chee Hong Tat, who witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between JTC and Samwoh, told The Straits Times he is confident Singapore can play a key role in sustainable technology.

The Government will continue to provide opportunities for companies to test-bed new concepts, he said, adding that such eco-friendly projects need to be commercially sustainable as well.

"With the right methods, using recycled materials and adopting eco-friendly measures need not incur higher costs," Mr Chee said.

"Samwoh's commitment to sustainable construction in its very own building is a great example that it can be done."


The company's current headquarters, the Samwoh Eco-Green Building, is a testament to sustainability as it is the first building in Southeast Asia that was constructed entirely with recycled concrete aggregates, said its spokesman.


With the right methods, using recycled materials and adopting eco-friendly measures need not incur higher costs... Samwoh's commitment to sustainable construction in its very own building is a great example that it can be done.


The new headquarters, to be called Samwoh Smart Hub, is slated to be completed by next year.

It will adopt state-of-the-art technologies to bring down its energy consumption.

Also, about 30 per cent of its area will be dedicated to greenery that will blend in with Singapore's park connector outside its compound and add to the plant life surrounding the reservoir, its spokesman added.

The company said it will be the first positive energy industrial building here that will produce 20 to 30 per cent more energy than it uses. The excess energy will be used in an upcoming asphalt plant to be built by the company, a market leader in the production of the sticky, black and viscous material commonly used in building roads.

The MOU will also allow JTC and Samwoh to explore and collaborate on research and development (R&D) in such areas as digital technologies and automated solutions to improve productivity and maintenance. Additionally, they will share resources such as equipment, laboratories and manpower to help defray the high costs of R&D.

To improve productivity, they will work towards developing smart machines and equipment to build higher-quality and more reliable roads at lower cost.

Samwoh noted in a statement that the sedimentary rocks being used to build its smart hub are prevalent in the geological formation of Singapore and a common byproduct from underground developments.

The collaboration will, among other things, increase the applications and commercial value of these rocks, it added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2019, with the headline 'Construction firm's HQ to be built from recycled waste'. Print Edition | Subscribe
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Sanral has agreed to engage with contractors about delay penalties imposed on them after projects were halted. Photo: Supplied
PRETORIA - The SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) has agreed to engage with contractors about delay penalties imposed on them after projects were halted because of problems with the “construction mafia”.

Skhumbuzo Macozoma, the chief executive of Sanral, confirmed this in response to a request from SA Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec) chief executive Webster Mfebe at the forum's annual conference.

Mfebe said Safcec members believed Sanral should be lenient because this was an emerging trend beyond the control of both Sanral and the contractors where the state security apparatus had virtually failed.

He said Safcec members had been charged penalties of R40million upwards for projects that were delayed.

Mfebe said Safcec had urged its members to get court interdicts against the groups involved but stressed that construction sites had become “a war zone” and construction companies have had to hire security companies “with big guns” to prevent project disruptions.

The “business forums” or “construction mafia” demand 30percent of the contract to be given to them, irrespective of other arrangements the main contractor had with sub-contractors.

Macozoma said this was a real problem and Sanral was equally concerned, adding he had instructed his team to get involved very early when they had project disruptions so the project did not stand too long so they had “these acrimonious engagements around claims”.

He said in certain cases they had instructed the Sanral team to be open to engagements where things like penalties could be held in abeyance if there was a justified motivation why projects had come to a standstill and it was not the fault of the contractor.

He stressed that if Sanral relieved the contractor of all obligations that related to the repercussions resulting from the delay, Sanral would still have to pay and it was in their interests to address these problems together.

Macozoma added that when getting to the root cause of why projects had been stopped, the fundamental mistake made was that they had not gone down to cultivate the local area to receive the project when it commenced before the tender award.

“As a result, when we come in, people do not understand what we are there to do. They see foreign equipment coming into their jurisdiction and they reject it. We need to get community participation and stakeholder engagement right for us to avoid these problems before they begin,” he said.

Macozoma said all criminal activities that sought to destabilise the construction sector must be condemned.

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