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25 August 2016

Only 21% of SA architects are women - what can be done?
The “unacceptably low number” of women in South Africa’s demanding profession of architecture needs urgent attention if the current imbalance is to be addressed, according to architectural industry professionals.

At a recent South African Institute of Architects Eastern Cape (SAIA EC) meeting in Port Elizabeth, the provincial chapter of national voluntary body the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA), discussed the dire situation that sees just 21% of registered architects countrywide comprising women.

“SAIA believes there is a lack of understanding with regards to women architects’ issues,” said SAIA EC president Neill Kievit, who addressed Women in Architecture SA (WiASA) on 5 August 2016.

The gender imbalance in the profession includes “cultural through to historical challenges and the perception of women in society” he says, adding that WiASA aims to:
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Insurance claim ratios in a nutshell
It is important for managing agents and trustees to understand the concept of claims ratio and the effect it has on the renewal of policies.

A claims ratio (or loss ratio) on a buildings policy is the ratio of claims to premiums - in other words, the percentage of claims to premium over a given period.

A loss ratio for the year, say 55%, means that for every R100 of premium collected by the insurer during that year, R55 was paid out in claims. In order for the insurer to make a profit, or stay in business, a reasonable overall claims ratio must be achieved.
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What you need to know about Municipal ward committees
With most councils having been constituted following the 2016 Local Government Elections, the focus now shifts to another important aspect of the local government system in South Africa - the formation of ward committees. 

SAnews looks at the role and functions of ward committees since the system was introduced in 2005 in the local tier of government.

According to legislation, the first meeting of the newly-elected council must take place within 14 days after the election results are gazetted.
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Can Cape Town and Joburg's traffic prblem be solved?
Cape Town has been ranked as the 47th most congested city in the world, and the most congested city in South Africa - followed by Johannesburg, according to the 2016 TomTom Traffic Index Report.

Sheldon Jennings, Architect at MaC Architects, says this national increase in traffic congestion brought on by growing urbanisation can be addressed by creating additional business hubs, or so called ‘sub-cities’ outside of the country’s Central Business Districts (CBDs).

Jennings says responsive urban planning is the key to ease traffic congestion.
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Why fewer foreigners are buying property in SA
Fewer foreign buyers are investing in homes in South Africa, and while this has little noticeable impact domestically, it underlines the tough conditions confronting the property market.

FNB’s Estate Agent Survey, published earlier this month, estimated that 5.11% of property buyers in the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2016 were foreigners. This was within an overall range of around 5% recently.

Richard Gray, Harcourts Africa Chief Executive Officer, says this represents a decline off a recent high of 5.77% in mid-2014 - and an even greater decline from the 7% recorded in 2005, a more prosperous time.
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Book your spot at Women in Property Conference
Now, more than ever in the history of South Africa, there is a greater opportunity for women in all sectors of our economy. Now, more than ever, is the time for women to break into previously male-dominated industries such as property.

This is according to Nozipho Sikhonde, Founder and Executive Director at FtG Consulting Services, who says FtG Consuting Services, in partnership with leading inner-city financiers, TUHF - Financing property entrepreneurship in South African cities, will be hosting a day of engaging conversation around property entrepreneurship and information on entering into this exciting space for women.

The event ‘Emancipating Women Through the Power of Asset Ownership’, is taking place on Saturday, 27 August 2016 from 08h30 to 16h30 at Ellis Park Hotel at 19 Derby Road in Bertrams, Johannesburg.
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