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28 April 2016

Residential building statistics
Absa - South Africa
Building activity driven by trends on a segment level

Year-on-year growth in the volume of building activity in the planning phase of the South African market for new housing remained in the low single digits in the first two months of 2016. The volume of activity in the construction phase of new housing showed relatively strong growth compared with a year ago, which was the result of a sharp improvement in one segment of the market on a year-on-year basis since the start of the year. These trends are based on data published by Statistics South Africa in respect of building activity related to private sector-financed housing (see explanatory notes).

In January to February this year the number of new housing units for which building plans were approved increased by 3,2% year-on-year (y/y), or 271 units, to 8 806 units over this two-month period. The construction phase saw the number of new housing units built increasing by 28,1% y/y, or 1 443 units, to 6 575 units in the first two months of the year. This growth, however, was the result of extremely strong growth in the segment for flats and townhouses. The number of flats and townhouses reported as being built increased by around 122% y/y, or 1 507 units, to a cumulative 2 739 units in January and February. The sharp increase in housing units built in this segment of the market compared with a year ago may be attributed to reporting trends.
Building stats Feb 2016

Considerations when renting out your property
Jawitz - South Africa
Renting out your property is one of the many options available to make some extra money. With the economy putting extra strain on us all, a lot of people are only able to afford to rent, which gives rise to high demand for properties to rent out.

"If you're considering renting out your home there are some things you should think about first particularly as times get tougher economically," says Natalie Muller, Regional Head of Rentals at Jawitz Properties Western Cape.

According to the TPN Rental Payment Monitor, 20% of all placed tenants have never had a credit check. "This is a shocking statistic and one that needs to improve," Muller says.

"It is essential to have thorough credit checks done on prospective tenants - and that includes every tenant such as both people in a married couple - to avoid defaults on the rent," she adds.
Considerations when renting

Latest Legal Practice Act Developments
LSSA - South Africa
The National Forum on the Legal Profession met on 23 April 2016

At its fifth meeting on 23 April 2016, the National Forum on the Legal Profession (NF) resolved to recommend to the Justice Minister that there should be nine provincial councils under the Legal Practice Council, one situated in each province. The Governance Subcommittee of the NF has been debating the structure of the LPC over several meetings and has considered various options ranging from four provincial councils based on the jurisdiction of the current four provincial law societies, to six provincial councils. The majority of the subcommittee members finally resolved to recommend nine provincial councils (s 97(1)(a)(ii)). The NF must take into account s 23(2)(a) of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 (the Act) which enjoins it to take into consideration the interests of legal practitioners, candidate legal practitioners and the public, as well as provincial needs, interests and sensitivities. Accessibility for the public and for practitioners is also paramount.

A provincial council will consist of between 8 to 12 council members. The proportion of attorneys to advocates at each provincial council will be determined by the number of attorneys and advocates in the province.

The NF also resolved to recommend that there should be committees (s 23(6)) at each seat of the High Court where there is no provincial council. The committee will consist of not fewer than four legal practitioners.
Nine provincial law councils

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