About Me

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I am a qualified Attorney. I specialise in Property Law, Commercial Law, Corporate Law and Trusts.
 
Please visit our website at www.prop-law.co.za for more details.
 
I am an elected Committee Member of the Property Committee of the Association of Pretoria Attorneys and through my involvement, I like to ensure that I am constantly at the "sharp-end" of Conveyancing Practice.

I am the elected Chairman on the Gauteng Council of SAPOA. The South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) is the biggest and most influential institution in the property industry. SAPOA members control about 90% of commercial property in SA, with a combined portfolio in excess of R150 Billion (about $22 Billion). I am also on the National Council and the National Legal Committee of SAPOA.
 
Member of the Institute of Directors South Africa.

11 April 2014

Waterfall Estate property development to transform Midrand

Waterfall Estate property development to transform Midrand

The Waterfall Estate in Midrand, which the developers claim is the largest property development in the country's history, will have an estimated positive economic impact valued at about R106 billion by the time it is completed in 2023.

Willie Vos, the chief executive of the Waterfall Management and Operating Company, said yesterday this was the finding of a study done by Urban Studies.

Chinese group`s R84bn Modderfontein plan

Chinese group`s R84bn Modderfontein plan

Set to transform Modderfontein and benefit South Africans.

The stereotype that Chinese businessmen exploit smaller countries through their investments in land, which has led to their integrity being tainted, needs to be dispelled.

This was the stern warning sent out by Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane on the R84 billion Modderfontein infrastructure development of residential, industrial and commercial space by Chinese developer Shanghai Zendai.

“Whatever has been said about the people of the Republic of China and their role in foreign countries has been done by those who always see the Chinese as competitors,” says Mokonyane.
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, founder and chairman of Shanghai Zendai Dai Zhikang toast to the R84-billion development of Modderfontein into a commercial and residential node.

This was said in light on a new development to the east of Johannesburg. Over the next fifteen years, the small town of Modderfontein will be transformed into a city which could rival Sandton, the richest square mile in Africa, with its financial trade centre, basic education facilities and low cost housing units.

Shanghai Zendai acquired 1 600 hectares of land for R1 billion from chemicals group AECI last year and as of next year the project called Zendai Modderfontein, unveiled on Wednesday, the development will be rolled out.

Focusing on social development

At the remote site where the development is set to take place, the Chinese developers were on a mission to assure stakeholders that the Modderfontein investment will also see social development for South Africans.

Shanghai Zendai faced heat earlier this year from stakeholder groups during the AECI property transaction at the Competition Commission, who voiced their concerns about the project’s ability to create sustainable jobs and benefit the local economy.

The latest development of a university called the University of Africa to come out of the Modderfontein project by property developer Shanghai Zendai

Zhikang attempted to allay fears by saying: “Zendai South Africa (the local arm of Shanghai Zendai) has 200 employees and in three years’ time this figure will be ten times [as much]. In 20 to 30 years (once the development has been completed), 300 000 people will be working and living in this community”.

Over the next three years, chairman and founder of Shanghai Zendai, Dai Zhikang says an envisaged  low cost housing development will support the commercial node in Modderfontein.

The development, Mokonyane says, will target and improve the lives of the black middle class and people in Alexandra township who live closer to the development by becoming part of the development.

Also in the pipeline are “five to six” schools in the area; the focus on basic education is in a bid to address South Africa’s education facilities deficit.

As the roll-out of infrastructure continues, a university is on the property developer’s radar which will be called the University of Africa.

Agreements were signed between companies, largely construction firms, which have partnered in the development of Modderfontein. The companies include China Exim Bank, Longxin Group, PCCW.

Another concern was whether local companies will have a hand in the development, to which the Chinese vice consul-general to Johannesburg Peidong Yang says the development is open to partnership with local companies.

In response to concerns, Zhikang is confident that all environmental impact studies have been completed and now [wants] to start erecting buildings.

Source of financing

The source of funding, Zhikang says, will be in collaboration with the Bank of China, while the remainder of the investment will come from his pocket.

“We (the Chinese) are about an investment culture and the Bank of China has given us a low interest loan to start special economic zones. We are looking at other banks to pledge,” Zhikang says, adding that the first phase of the project will be R3 billion.

Not mentioning any specific amount, Mokonyane says the city will fork out costs relating to installing municipal services such as the supply of electricity and road infrastructure to the development.

Agreements were signed between companies, largely construction firms, which have partnered in the development of Modderfontein. The companies include China Exim Bank, Longxin Group, PCCW

Pushing the Chinese agenda

The planned financial trade centre, where the focus will be the manufacturing of goods to be exported to the rest of Africa, will further enforce South Africa’s economic ties with China, that’s if CEO of Shanghai Zendai CEO Wang Fujie has his way.

Due to Modderfontein’s proximity to transportation nodes such as the OR Tambo International Airport, Fujie says Johannesburg is “relatively mature with its manufacturing sector”.

“We firmly believe that the trade and logistics project will enhance the economy of Johannesburg…. We want to get support from government, so we can build this plant to process goods to be exported to Africa and use local labour,” he says.

Part of the investment is to strengthen trade relations, as Fujie reiterated that “China is South Africa’s largest trading partner in import and export volume, which last year reached $60-billion”.

MONEYWEB


For all of your Property Developments (big or small) - give us a call.
Gareth Shepperson
Commercial and Property Attorney










The painful process of collecting outstanding levies

Shepperson Attorneys represents both Home Owners Associations (HOA's) and Body Corporates throughout Gauteng.  We can take all your headaches away including the issue of arrear levies described below.

We have a variety of options available depending on the size and nature of the Development/Complex, so contact us and we'll customize a solution for you.


Gareth Shepperson
Commercial and Property Attorney














The painful process of collecting outstanding levies


The process of collecting outstanding levies is so arduous and lengthy, it should be avoided at all costs says Michael Bauer of IHFM.

On establishing that the levies in arrears (when it exceeds R3 000) are not going to be paid by the stipulated date, an attorney will be appointed.

Construction to start on 'new city to rival Sandton'

Construction to start on 'new city to rival Sandton'

The construction of a 'new city to rival Sandton' in northeastern Johannesburg kicks off early next year with Shanghai Zendai Property's R84 billion development of the Modderfontein property it bought from AECI.

It will include the building of schools, a university and a contemporary African art gallery.

An artist's impression of Shanghai Zendai Property's planned R84bn 'new city' in north-eastern Johannesburg.

Dai Zhikang, the founder of Shanghai Zendai Investments, said the group planned to build a 'new city' over the next 15 years that would focus on the retail and residential sectors.

08 April 2014

No permissions, no plans obtained before mall collapse

No permissions, no plans obtained before mall collapse

Developers of the Tongaat Mall outside Durban, which partially caved in last year, failed to obtain permission to demolish the existing building before construction began, a commission of inquiry heard on Friday.

This was in addition to the failure to have the earthworks and building plans approved by the eThekwini metro municipality.

Mortgage bond defaulters cause banks to tighten loan criteria

Mortgage bond defaulters cause banks to tighten loan criteria

A recent National Credit Regulator report says that in the third quarter of 2013 approximately 70,000 South African home owners were 90 or more days behind in their mortgage repayments.

The report added that defaulters owed the banks about R38 billion, which is just over 12 percent of the total home loans of R308,9 billion.

07 April 2014

Ambitious property developments in pipeline for Tshwane

One can only hope that the Vision translates into reality with an absolute minimum of collusion, corruption, nepotism and cronyism.

Good ideas need to be applauded but "the proof is in the pudding" ... as they say.  I am a BIG proponent of densification (as any reader of this Blog will have realised) but the time and cost over-runs that seem to accompany all projects involving the State (National, Provincial & Local) due to self-interest and self-gratification in any way possible worries me a bit because we will untimately get stuck with the (inflated) bills.

Please Tshwane - my city ... project manage these improvements and deliver projects that we can be proud of.


Gareth Shepperson
Commercial and Property Attorney














Ambitious property developments in pipeline for Tshwane

Within a few years, Tshwane's inner city could be unrecognisable with ambitious development plans that will transform its skyline and create a vibrant and efficiently-run city.

City trumps province on municipal zoning decisions

The much debated Spatial Land Use and Management Act (previously called SPLUMB) was enacted fairly recently and once the various Regional Planning legislation (like the Western Cape Land Use Planning Act referred to in the Article) is adopted, I really hope that we will have greater legislative certainty.  The hodge-podge of legislation that has existed up until now has certainly caused much uncertainty.

I wrote an article for Asset Magazine some time ago (July 2013 issue) on this topic.  You can view the Article HERE.


Gareth Shepperson
Commercial and Property Attorney














City trumps province on municipal zoning decisions

The Constitutional Court has curbed the power of provinces to overturn municipal land zoning decisions, declaring a loophole which had allowed developers to appeal to the province against municipal decisions to be 'unconstitutional and invalid'.

This means municipalities - such as the City of Cape Town - have the final say on how land inside their boundaries is developed.

Menlyn casino decision by end of July

I have previously commented on this issue.  See my comments HERE.

Nothing contained in the latest submissions by objectors serves to sway my thinking and I therefore remain of the opinion that the Pro's far outweigh the Con's.

Your comments are welcome if you have a differing view.


Gareth Shepperson
Commercial and Property Attorney














Menlyn casino decision by end of July

Sun International, its rivals and Tshwane residents will know by end of July if the Menlyn Maine casino plan will go ahead.

Parties could still be invited to make submissions at the board's office in Joburg north if more clarity was required.

There were more questions than answers at the conclusion of the four-day public hearing into the application for amendment and transfer of Morula Sun licence from Mabopane to the new Menlyn Maine precinct in Pretoria East.

Property developer fights country estate's 'draconian' rules

Maybe it's just me but I believe that when you CHOOSE to live in a security estate, you do so willingly with a clear concept of the fact that your security and chosen lifestyle comes with certain restrictions.  If you don't want to subject yourself to these Rules and Regulations ... don't buy there!

It strikes me that the Plaintiff's daughter must be a "spoiled brat" (although I don't know her personally) based upon her actions.  In these estates, there are often children walking or riding their bicycles, elderly people out for a stroll and even golf carts crossing the "main" roads at various intersections.  The Plaintiff's daughter flagrantly chose to endager the lives of others on not one but three occassions.  No matter if you are a billionaire or just plain Joe Blogs, such arrogance is ugly.  The sense of entitlement and lack of consideration is unacceptable.

Having said that, the rules pertaining to domestic workers do indeed seem to be draconian. I accept the need to restrict access (for security) but once someone has been cleared to enter, to then place such restrictions on their movement smacks of the Pass Laws of old.

Still, I don't believe that the court case was sparked by a sense of injustice on behalf of domestic workers but rather by one peeved individual with resources whose nose was put out of joint when someone had the "audacity" to hold his daughter to account for her reckless actions.



Gareth Shepperson
Commercial and Property Attorney















Property developer fights country estate's 'draconian' rules

A Durban businessman and self-proclaimed champion of the people, reputedly worth almost R1 billion, is fighting to overturn 'draconian' rules at the plush Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate and this week took the battle to court.

A view of the golf-course at Mount Edgecombe

Nemesh Singh, a property developer who has lived at the complex for more than 10 years, filed papers that take a stab at the lush green hills, litter-free walkways and serenity of Mount Edgecombe Estate Two, dubbed 'Pleasantville' by wealthy residents.

Consumer Protection Act 'could be boon to dissatisfied customer'

When the Consumer Protection Act was first promulgated there was a scare-mongering and sensationalism about the dire consequences that it would bring about.  The property industry was no different and Estate Agents were singled out as targets for such scare-mongering.

A number of years ago, I addressed several groups of Estate Agents on the subject and highlighted the extremely limited circumstances that would lead to the Act impacting upon them.

Since this series of presentations, I thought that the sensationalistic reporting on this subject had died away.  However, it appears as if Mr. Bill Rawson wants to resurrect this topic.

If anyone would like me to dust off my old presentation and discuss this topic again at an appropriate forum, please let me know at gareth@prop-law.co.za


Gareth Shepperson
Commercial and Property Attorney















Consumer Protection Act 'could be boon to dissatisfied customer'

When the Consumer Protection Act was first promulgated many were worried that it would lead to regular post sale disputes in which the agent and the seller would be held responsible for any number of problems.

However, thus far this has not yet happened, says Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group.

14 March 2014

'Phasing out of verbal leases a welcome change'

See my previous comments on this issue on this Blog, for example HERE.

For PROFESSIONAL legal advice on Lease Agreements, contact us at Shepperson Attorneys.


Gareth Shepperson
Commercial and Property Attorney















'Phasing out of verbal leases a welcome change'

Currently, according to rental housing common law, residential leases can be verbal and the only requirement is that the notice periods be given in writing, but this can lead to numerous problems, either in miscommunication or some conditions being forgotten, says Michael Bauer, managing director of the estate agency IHPC.