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2 November 2017

New ruling prevents municipalities claiming back undeveloped property
It has been common practice for municipalities to sell vacant properties for both commercial and residential development, subject to a title deed condition that the property must be improved within a certain period or the properties would revert back to the municipality.

Municipalities will now have to obtain extensive legal advice in order to ensure the adoption and implementation of adequate compliance mechanisms, should they wish to ensure development within a certain period, especially since the rights which stem from reversionary clauses lapse after a period of three years.These properties were sold at discounted rates, as part of the municipal development framework for a designated area.

In the past, municipalities achieved this objective by inserting a clause in the Deed of Sale which later manifested as a condition in the Title Deed pertaining to such land, which clause, for example stated that:
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Gauteng to recover illegally occupied govt buildings
The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) has launched an initiative to recover government buildings that are illegally occupied. The department intends to use these buildings for student accommodation and for other service delivery needs.

The department on Tuesday said it has identified several properties that are illegally occupied, which pose a risk to surrounding communities.

Some of these properties are highly valuable assets, while others are non-core assets, which will be disposed through auctions.
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Discovery’s new global HQs in Sandton certified green
The new Discovery global headquarters in Sandton Central has become the largest new build project to receive a 5 Star Green Star rating by the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) to date.

Developed in a joint venture by two of South Africa’s leading property companies, Growthpoint Properties Limited and Zenprop Property Holdings, the iconic new 112 000sqm resource-efficient, cost-effective and environmentally-innovative Discovery head office is the largest single-phase commercial office development in Africa.
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Mini-budget's sobering outlook points to prudence for property market
Following Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba’s maiden mini-budget presentation to Parliament, Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group says the key message out of the presentation, being poor economic growth and rising sovereign debt levels, points to a “period of prudence for the property market”.

“While we do not expect any impact in the short term, property stakeholders should pay special attention to the weaker economic growth outlook, which has been downgraded for this year from 1.3% to 0.7% and is expected to only reach about 1.9% in 2020.”

At the same time, he says inflation is expected to remain in the 5.4% range for 2017 and settle to around 5.2% in 2018.
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What should your monthly levies cost you?
In some sectional title schemes, trustees might think keeping the levies as low as possible would be beneficial to the owners, but this is sometimes incorrect.

Levies might be so low that the residents have to be called on repeatedly to pay special levies, or much-needed maintenance might be neglected, says Mandi Hanekom, operations manager for sectional title finance company Propell.

Prospective buyers should, when viewing sectional title properties, assess the levy structure in relation to the amenities provided, and then consider what these amenities might cost them each month if they owned a freestanding home.
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