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29 March 2018

Repossessed property owners dealt a blow
South Africa - IolProperty
The courts could not place a reserve price on a property when its was sold in execution, the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, ruled in what could be a blow to thousands who lost their homes, or stand to lose them, after failing to pay the bond.

"The purpose of the forced sale (on execution) is to recover what part of the debt can be realised. This procedure with all its constraints, recovering only what it can, is not ideal for the bank or the debtor, but it does not render the process irrational," Judge Sulete Potterill said in her judgment.

"It is rational because it allows the bondholder to sell (the property) with a relatively cheap, expeditious procedure to reduce the debt."

Given Nkwane of Ga-Rankuwa had turned to court for an order that there should be a reserve price set when one's house was sold in execution.
A blow

Flat rentals outperform inflation
South Africa - Rode
Amidst serious political turmoil, the South African property market ended 2017 on a better footing, with industrial property and flat rentals managing to outpace inflation. It was also a great year for listed property, which was the best-performing traditional asset class after stocks, says Kobus Lamprecht, economist with property-economists Rode & Associates.

Listed property, however, started 2018 on a very low note, rocked by the Resilient stable débâcle, while the stronger rand has also played a role in the overall share-price decline.
Rode Report

Notyesi and Barnard elected co-chairpersons to lead Law Society
South Africa - LSSA
Mthatha attorney Mvuzo Notyesi and Somerset West attorney Ettienne Barnard were elected Co-Chairpersons of the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) at its annual general meeting in Cape Town on 23 March 2018. Both Mr Notyesi and Mr Barnard bring with them the experience gained from having served as LSSA Co-Chairpersons previously; Mr Notyesi in 2016 and Mr Barnard in 2014.

Their experience will be invaluable during this year, which will see fundamental changes in the governance of the legal profession when the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 is expected to be fully implemented towards the end of this year. The Legal Practice Council will take over the regulation of all legal practitioners – attorneys and advocates – and the four statutory, provincial law societies will fall away. The four law societies make up four of the six constituent members of the LSSA, the other two being the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel) and the Black Lawyers Association.

The Co-Chairpersons will need to steer the attorneys’ profession through fundamental changes and the LSSA into a new, representative body for legal practitioners which will represent, promote and protect legal practitioners, while the Legal Practice Council will be their regulator.
LSSA

Lending rates lowered by 25 basis points
South Africa - Absa
After considering international and domestic economic and financial market conditions and prospects, the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) lowered the key monetary policy interest rate – the repurchase, or repo rate – by 25 basis points from 6,75% to 6,50% per annum at the March 2018 MPC meeting.

Based on the latest cut in the repo rate (the rate at which commercial banks borrow funds from the Reserve Bank), Absa announced that its prime lending and variable mortgage interest rates will be lowered from 10,25% to 10,00% per annum, effective from 29 March 2018.
25 bps interest rate cut

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