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21 July 2016

Multiple AGM proxies can favour a single owner
The way the Sectional Titles Act stands now, if a trustee in a sectional title scheme wants to swing a vote in his favour by collecting proxies to vote at a general meeting, it is still possible to do so as there is nothing limiting the number of proxies given to one person.

If that owner has a particular agenda, whether good or bad, they have the means to go ahead with their plan, says Michael Bauer, general manager of IHFM property management company.

In a recent case encountered by IHFM, Bauer says one owner managed to canvass throughout the complex and collect 19 votes via proxies, and was able to control a total of 60% of the participation quota, which basically gave the owner the majority either way.

The minimum quorum required would have been 35% in this instance, says Bauer.
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New affordable special home loans for South Africans
Qualifying government employees and members of the public will now have the opportunity to access affordable housing finance following a R10.5 billion investment in SA Home Loans (SAHL).

The Government Employees’ Pension Fund (GEPF), through its investment manager, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), on Wednesday, 13 July launched a partnership to facilitate special home loan opportunities for government employees and members of the public.

The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) said the investment aims to provide government employees and qualifying members of the public with end-user home finance and development finance for approved affordable housing projects.

The investment comprises the following:
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What is currently affecting SA's property market?
International economic turmoil, southern African economic uncertainty and local market fluctuations are influencing homeowners' willingness to sell.

Richard Gray, Harcourts Africa Chief Executive Officer, says this is according to the Estate Agent Survey released by FNB. The survey reveals that consumer confidence is being suppressed by these economic uncertainties.

Although there is not a whole lot to be inspired by at the moment, Gray says there are still markets defying this trend.

“The survey identifies the City of Cape Town as the city where households are showing the most financial strength,” he says.
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R40 billion to be invested in Limpopo SEZ
More than R40 billion will be injected into the proposed Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

In a statement on Thursday, 17 July, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) said the investment will go towards the establishment of an energy and metallurgical industrial park.

Cabinet approved Minister Rob Davies’ decision to designate the SEZ. This means that Minister Davies has been given the green light to designate the zone and issue a SEZ operator permit to the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism in Limpopo.

The industrial park will include power, coking, ferrochrome, ferromanganese, ferrosilicon, pig iron metallurgy, lime, steel and stainless steel plants. These projects will be implemented over a period of five years and are expected to create almost 21 000 jobs in the region.
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Do I maintain my geyser in a sectional title scheme?
We often hear the question: “How can I maintain my geyser? There are no moving parts!”

The fact is, most geysers in South Africa can be maintained - and should be. Besides a plumber doing a check on the components and checking on compliance, the anode needs to be replaced every year or so.

This self-sacrificing anode is a rod that can be replaced. It sacrifices itself while protecting the geyser by preventing corrosion. Once completely sacrificed, it can no longer protect the geyser.

Geysers which are serviced every 12 to 18 months will last far longer. We have seen evidence of this via claims history when comparing schemes which are proactive in this regard versus those whose geysers are never serviced.
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Home inspections are a vital 'defect check-up'
The concept of professional home inspection is not unlike a routine personal medical examination.

“It establishes overall state of health and condition, flags areas of concern and recommends remedial action where necessary,” says property marketer Ronald Ennik, principal of Ennik Estates, the Gauteng-exclusive affiliate of London-based Christie’s International Real Estate.

“Unpleasant surprises are avoided in the process, and peace of mind is the outcome - for sellers, as well as homeowners with no intention of selling.”

With his 30-plus years’ experience in selling homes in Sandton and Johannesburg’s northern suburbs, Ennik says home sellers should be proactive, and embrace the transparency provided by professional pre-sale home inspections.
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