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13 March 2008

Carnage among agents as property sales slow
Business Report - South Africa
Pretoria - The slowdown in the sales of residential property has resulted in thousands of estate agents quitting the business.

The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) said yesterday that 26,000 estates agents out of the 82,000 it licensed last year did not renew their licences this year.

Nomonde Mapetla, the EAAB's chief executive, said the reduction in the number of licensed estate agents was probably due to the cooling off in the property market because of the interest rate increases over the past eight quarters and the implementation last June of the National Credit Act.

Mapetla said that about 6,000 estate agents had been blocked from receiving fidelity fund certificates because of non-compliance with particular aspects of the EAAB Act.
Business Report

Buyers warned to be diligent on plot and plan sales
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa
A high profile Cape Town estate agent has issued a media release warning buyers of homes on a plot and plan basis to be exceptionally diligent, particularly in checking the rights or special conditions that the developer has included in the contract.

Lanice Steward, Managing Director of real estate agency Anne Porter Knight Frank, says buyers should be aware that a developer can reserve the right to alter the plans and also reserve the right to alter (usually by downgrading) certain finishes or even may avoid specifying finishes in the contract altogether.

"Many developers," says Steward, "will also avoid being tied to a fixed handover date. This can be extremely awkward for someone who has agreed to vacate their current home by a specified date".
RodneyHayter.com

Cabinet approves land expropriation bill
Mail & Guardian.co.za - South Africa
South Africa's Cabinet has approved a bill that would speed up its land reform programme aimed at transferring 30% of farmland to black ownership by 2014, a government spokesperson said on Thursday.

An existing land expropriation act has failed to make significant inroads into land redistribution.

The government says that a willing-buyer willing-seller arrangement with farmers has failed. White farmers are hesitant to sell their prime land at reduced market prices.
Mail & Guardian

Forced removal victims face loss of compensation
Daily Dispatch - South Africa
Hopes of an entire community being compensated for the agony of being forcibly moved at gunpoint by the apartheid government in 1979 have been dashed, after it emerged that only a handful of the 3,500 people dumped in Glenmore had made a claim.

Local Land Claims Commission (LCC) deputy director Mandisi Jekwa yesterday admitted that "our hands are tied" when it comes to compensating some 3,200 Glenmore people inexplicably excluded from the claim.

"It is very unfortunate for the community, but there is nothing we (the LCC) can do about it. The claim was lodged just for the Klipfontein community and not the three other areas where people were removed … it looks like they have missed out".
Daily Dispatch

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