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Showing posts from October, 2013

Housing tribunals 'function unlawfully'

Housing tribunals 'function unlawfully' Court rules regulate the conduct of the proceedings of the courts, as for example, in the case of a tenant or landlord seeking to take a ruling or judgment on appeal. Where a party intends to appeal against the judgment of a court or to take on review an alleged irregularity, the party is entitled to a copy of the transcript, upon payment of the prescribed fees. This is usually paid to an outsourced commercial company, such as Sneller Recordings. The transcript of the mechanical or digital recording of the proceedings must be certified as correct. Rental Housing Tribunals do not have regulations as required by the Rental Housing Act 50 of 1999 as amended.

Joburg council says no to Gupta rezoning plan

Joburg council says no to Gupta rezoning plan A request by the Gupta family for their property in Saxonwold, Joburg, to be rezoned has been declined, a councillor said yesterday. Ward 117 councillor Tim Truluck said he received written notification yesterday that the city's town planning tribunal had declined the request. No reason was given. Gupta family spokesman Gary Naidoo said he would respond to questions by e-mail. Truluck said that if the Guptas wanted to reapply for rezoning, they could do so at a provincial level, or submit a new application to the City of Joburg that was more in line with municipal requirements. Residents could also look at the application. City spokesman Gabu Tugwana said: 'We believe the Guptas have knowledge of why the rezoning was declined. Rather (than us), the family are at liberty to explain the reasons why.'

Tshwane transformation to spare jacaranda trees

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Tshwane transformation to spare jacaranda trees Tshwane's central business district and transport system are undergoing major changes to transform the city into a modern capital, one that will also maintain its heritage like its famed jacaranda trees. Jacaranda trees are in full bloom, lining many of the streets of Pretoria, and the beautiful purple blossoms are a huge tourist attraction. Come October and the city's jacaranda trees are in full bloom, their blossoms forming a purple carpet on pavements and lawns. Streets in the CBD like Minnaar and Johannes Ramokhoase are lined with jacaranda trees planted more than a century ago.

R800bn needed to clear housing backlog

R800bn needed to clear housing backlog South Africa needs at least R800 billion - and a 'miracle' - to clear its current housing backlog of 2.1 million houses within the next seven years. This is according to the Finance and Fiscal Commission (FFC), which released its report on 'alternative finance and policy options for effective and sustainable delivery of housing in South Africa' yesterday. It also believes the current approach to housing delivery won't be sustainable. The FFC's main responsibility is to make recommendations on the equitable division of revenue between the three spheres of government and provide advice to organs of state on financial matters. The commission's head, Bongani Khumalo, said the housing sector faced many challenges. They included the ever-increasing housing backlog and a decreasing number of low-cost houses being delivered by the government.

Affordable housing is the place to be.

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Arrowhead snaffles an opportunity in residential rentals. Massive demand for quality rentals at affordable levels has motivated Arrowhead Properties (JSE:AWB) to step into the fray of residential property. The listed property company may have only published a maiden annual report but its management team comprises property experts of long standing within the industry.  They have a reputation for diversification and high yields, while aiming to provide shareholders with sustainable revenue sources to support above average quarterly distributions. Thus the acquisition of a residential property portfolio worth R406m earlier this week came as no surprise and follows Arrowhead’s JSE conversion to Real Investment Trust (REITS) in July. This also coincided with its cautionary announcement to shareholders of the acquisition, originally intended at R500m.

The pros and cons of a fixed bond rate

The pros and cons of a fixed bond rate With the prime interest rate at a low that was last seen in the market over 30 years ago, many homeowners may be contemplating fixing the rate on their bond. This is particularly appealing to homeowners who are risk averse and want a fixed amount that they can budget for each month, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. 'Where a homeowner stands financially, along with their appetite for risk, will be the determining factors as to whether a homeowner chooses to fix their rate or opt for a variable or flexi rate. Homeowners who are at their budget's limit and cannot take the risk of an interest rate increase are probably more likely to opt for a fixed rate than those who have some breathing room in their budget. The security of a fixed rate ensures that the homeowner will not have to deal with any unexpected changes and additions to their monthly expenses for a fixed period of time. However, that said, there are a f

Gautrain plans many more routes

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Gautrain plans many more routes Seven new Gautrain routes are set to be built over the next 25 years, and they will stretch from Soweto to Tshwane East. In other changes, Gautrain buses will be phased out, and more use made of branded taxis that will transport commuters to and from the new stations. Gautrain Management Agency chief executive Jack van der Merwe said yesterday the first new route was planned from the Sandton station to Randburg, and would run mainly underground. Construction is expected to start in the next four to five years.

Banks increasingly wary of property fraud

With regard to the first scam in the article, if you pay the deposit to a reputable Conveyancer (or a reputable Estate Agent), then the so-called "seller" will not have access to the funds until transfer in the Deeds Office, by which time the fraud should have been discovered.  The funds will also be insured.  Obviously, the more sophisticated scamster can use false ID's and other documents but the "seller" can't just take the money and run before some level of due diligence is completed. My advice is that by retaining the services of REPUTABLE Estate Agents and Conveyancers, the risk is reduced to virtually zero. Gareth Shepperson Reputable Conveyancer Banks increasingly wary of property fraud 'Banks need to perform more rigorous checks because various types of fraud have now become increasingly common in property sales,' says Bill Rawson of the Rawson Property Group. 'There have been cases where the seller in fact did not own the ho

Credit data amnesty 'will increase cost for borrowers'

Credit data amnesty 'will increase cost for borrowers' Moody's Investors Service warns that the removal of adverse credit information from public records will have a negative impact on the rating of South African residential mortgage-backed securitisation and asset-backed securitisation transactions. In a report released today, it advises that the removal 'will reduce the amount of information available to originators to assess the creditworthiness of new borrowers, and may impede responsible lending and borrowing practices, which will increase credit risk'. The report was released in response to a cabinet statement issued last month, which said the cabinet 'approved the recommendations of the select committee on trade and international relations'. The committee's guidelines sought 'to address the issue of access to credit to those South Africans that can afford credit. These are consumers who may have paid their debts in full and are in a pos

'Overpricing still holding back sales'

'Overpricing still holding back sales' Higher priced properties are still taking longer to sell - and showing bigger differentials between asking and selling prices. Denis Quayle, owner of the four Harcourts Maynard Burgoyne real estate offices in Cape Town, says many sellers at the upper end of the property market are still clinging to price expectations that are out of step with market realities. 'Consumers are hard-pressed from all sides due to rising living costs - and even the higher income groups are very value conscious at the moment. On the other hand, some sellers have a skewed idea of what their properties are worth in the current market and are slow to take advice from experienced estate agents on market-related asking prices,' he says. 'Unfortunately, their determination to achieve certain asking prices often comes at a high cost, in terms of the length of time it takes to sell a property and the holding costs that sellers have to carry during th

More commercial property tenants pay rent on time

More commercial property tenants pay rent on time The percentage of commercial property tenants in good standing has slowly improved since the end of 2010 despite an increasing proportion of tenants failing to pay their rent on time, according to TPN credit bureau. TPN warned in its latest commercial property rental monitor that there was a worrying trend of tenants migrating from the 'paid on time' category into the 'grace period' and 'paid late' categories, which were at a combined 27 percent in the second quarter. To put this trend into perspective, TPN said, late-paying tenants in the fourth quarter of 2010 bottomed out at 13 percent and remained in the 19 percent to 22 percent range until increasing to 27 percent in the first and second quarter of this year. 'This will bring increasing cash flow pressure to bear on landlords in meeting monthly operational costs,' Michelle Dickens, TPN's founder and managing director, said. Tenants in g

Neighbours threaten action over Gupta properties

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The Gupta news story has more sequels than the Police Academy Movies . Neighbours threaten action over Gupta properties Saxonwold residents are now threatening legal action should the City of Johannesburg give the green light to an illegally built mansion situated within the multimillion-rand Gupta compound. Neighbours of the Guptas are now demanding compensation, decreed in a council building ordinance, for the 'loss of value, privacy and amenity' to their homes and lifestyles, with some no longer able to enjoy their pools and gardens because of what they call the 'triple-storey monstrosity'. This week, a team from the city council's building committee conducted an inspection of the property, but the council told the Saturday Star that while it had reached a decision on the illegal building, it would not make it public. The Gupta family have applied to rectify the illegal alterations to their mansion. Last month, the Saturday Star revealed how the Gu

Top KZN building firm close to collapse

Top KZN building firm close to collapse One of KwaZulu-Natal's biggest construction groups, Stedone, is on the brink of financial collapse and a major creditor, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), is trying to force it into liquidation so that an investigation can be conducted into what happened to the R240 million loan it advanced. And, while an 'investor' has been found to take over, the IDC says it believes the companies cannot be saved. In papers filed yesterday in the Durban High Court, IDC legal manager Marcus Sen yatsi said an investigation was necessary into 'suspicious financial activity' including how its loan of R240m, granted in November last year, was spent in just six months. Senyatsi said a R10 million payment from the Coega Development Corporation was received on Saturday, April 6, this year. Two days later, on April 8 - when the business rescue commenced - it had disappeared. Senyatsi also accuses the man in charge of the busine

Nedbank and AFD to fund affordable properties

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Nedbank and AFD to fund affordable properties Affordable housing ownership in South Africa is to receive a boost from a partnership between Nedbank and the French Development Agency (AFD). Affordable homes under construction in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg. Nedbank said yesterday that it had introduced a R17 000 grant provided by the AFD to boost ownership in this sector of the market. The bank's initiative will be supported by its borrowers education programme, which aims to empower consumers through knowledge and instil financial fitness principles. The initiative follows the significant shot in the arm given last month to the development of affordable housing in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa through the investment of more than $63 million (R630m) into the second fund of global private equity investor International Housing Solutions (IHS). The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank group, has contributed $25m to the fund. The National Hous

EAAB reappoints Chaplog as its chief

EAAB reappoints Chaplog as its chief Bryan Chaplog has been reappointed as chief executive of the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), the statutory consumer protection body of the property industry. The board was placed under administration last year by then human settlements minister Tokyo Sexwale, who asked the Special Investigating Unit to conduct a probe into its affairs. His actions were prompted by a reshuffle of board officials, with former acting chief executive Chaplog reappointed after being relieved of his duty, and the suspension of company secretary Nkululeko Ndebele. The EAAB was in the spotlight because of allegations of mismanagement and embezzlement; the packages allegedly paid to former chief executive Nomonde Mapetla and former senior managers; and highprofile cases, including the criminal case brought against estate agency executive Wendy Machanik and the investigation into sham property auctions by Auction Alliance. EAAB chairman Kwandiwe Kondlo said Chaplo

SHEPPERSON ATTORNEYS - IN THE PRESS

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Hello Readers I hope that you find the news that is posted on my Blog to be interesting and informative. I also publish articles in the press from time to time. You can view a complete list of these articles and features on the "In the Press" page on the Shepperson Attorneys Website. HERE is the link to that page. The latest article appeared in the Asset Magazine and can be viewed by clicking HERE . The title of Article is " Impact of over-regulation on the Property Industry ". Thanks again for taking the time to read my Blog. Gareth Shepperson

More Pretoria streets to be closed off for BRT

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As someone who goes to the Deeds Office in City Centre on most days, this is an issue that is very personal to me. I echo the frustrations of the people in the article and I am certain that the (worthwhile) goal of acchieving better public transport could have been accomplished with much less disruption. Skinner street has been an absolute disaster area for months now.  However, I was happy to use Pretorius Street to enter the city from the east ... then they closed two lanes there for BRT construction.  I therefore moved another street to the north but the demolition of Tshwane House has made this route a disaster as well. Come on Tshwane ... a little bit of planning and forethought please! Gareth Shepperson More Pretoria streets to be closed off for BRT Two more streets will be closed from Monday because of bus rapid transit construction work, Tshwane spokesman Selby Bokaba said. The section of Paul Kruger Street between Boom and Venter streets will be closed for the co

'Credit amnesty may trip up rich property owners'

'Credit amnesty may trip up rich property owners' Although the impending credit amnesty is aimed at making it easier for individuals with adverse credit records to obtain finance, lenders are likely to apply even more conservative practices as they have placed huge reliance on credit information from credit bureaus. Wealthy property owners who have previously struggled to get loans due to their impaired credit files may continue to struggle, even if they have the assets for security, says Gary Palmer, chief executive of Paragon Lending Solutions, a private non-bank lender. He says the increased risks of not knowing clients' histories could result in delays in obtaining finance from banks and the costs of financing loans may increase to cover the risks. 'The banks have strict lending criteria due to new regulations, such as Basel 3, which have already resulted in delays in loan-approval times. If the new legislation is passed, the banks will tighten up even furt

Prepaid meters for Tshwane

Prepaid meters for Tshwane The City of Tshwane has started its rollout of a R7 billion project which will see consumers switch to smart prepaid meters over the next two years. This is part of the metro's security of revenue project which will see the installation of 800 000 prepaid smart meters in every household, business and public building at no cost to the consumer. The project was launched in April and aims to assist consumers with accurate consumption figures and save the city more than R5bn in billing, administration and debt collection fees. First in line for the new meters are large-scale energy consumers who use more than 100 amps a month. Household consumers can expect the meters, in phases, from January. The metro has promised no increases in electricity costs. 'People will be able to control their electricity consumption,' said city manager Jason Ngobeni. Consumers can control the amounts they spend on electricity each month because they can choo

Denny Crane

Denny Crane
It's not me ... yet. Denny Crane from the TV series Boston Legal. Click on picture if you're not sure who he is!