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Training for small contractors in PE
Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says contractors in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality will receive training to make sure that they graduate from being small to established contractors. “I have your interest at heart and it is my intention to make sure that you graduate from being small contractors to being established ones,” Minister Sisulu told contractors during a meeting at City Hall on Monday.

National government has allocated R4.6 billion over the next three years. This follows a decision taken by Cabinet in April to assist the municipality speed up housing delivery. Minister Sisulu said the work of contractors who were already working on housing projects in the city would continue.

RE/MAX investing in own training institution
In an effort to lead transformation compliance within the real estate sector, RE/MAX of Southern Africa has invested in establishing its own Accredited Training Institution, the Global Learning Centre (GLC). This was achieved during the first audit by the Services SETA of the GLC in March, with accreditation by the Services SETA awarded on 1 April according to Margaret Nicol, the GLC Development Manager, who says challenging the many barriers to entry for new and emerging estate agents, the GLC solution to compliance integrates the best of world-class training with the compulsory qualification, and the regulatory intern logbook into the GLC Intern Programme.

This turnkey solution simplifies requirements into a streamlined process, making it both cost effective and an integrated user experience, she says.

RICS report: take action and prepare for global change
Professionals in the built environment sector must take concerted action to prepare for the unprecedented global change the sector will face up to 2030.

This emerged from a new Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) report, entitled ‘Our Changing World: Let’s be ready’. The report examines how global social and economic changes will require new skills, business models and responses to developing technologies over the next 15 years.

This is according to TC Chetty, RICS Country Manager for South Africa, who says significant shifts in demographics, levels of urbanisation and economic power will impact on how and where we live.

While the full impact of these changes is impossible to predict, RICS as a global professional body must lead the sector in being responsive and agile in how it prepares the profession to meet these changes, he says.

New labour law and estate agent employment contracts
It is official: estate agents are employees. Gone are the days when real estate companies could "window dress" or disguise the relationship between the estate agent and the principal or owner of the business (the employer) according to Linda Erasmus, CEO of Fine & Country South Africa, who says that in earlier days it was common practice for estate agents to act as “independent contractors”, although the agent operated only under one brand name.

There are various reasons why this application suited the principal, nowadays the 'employer', and the agent, nowadays the 'employee', she says.

Buying a home after getting divorced
Getting divorced is tough, and buying a new home afterwards may be just as hard, especially if you are still the co-owner of a property with your former spouse according to Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of BetterLife Home Loans, SA’s biggest mortgage originator, who says if you were previously part of a two-income household, and qualified for your last bond on that basis, it may be very difficult to qualify for a new home loan on your own, particularly if you are the one making child support payments.

“You will obviously not have the same discretionary income as before, so the banks will probably err on the side of caution when assessing whether you will also be able to manage a monthly bond repayment on your own place.”

The legalities of running a business from home
In the past, working from home was largely the domain of industrious stay-at-home moms and struggling freelancers. Anyone with a “respectable” career was expected to have a formal office space in the CBD.

These days, however, a resurgence of creative entrepreneurship is seeing a dramatic increase in small businesses and start-ups, few of whom want, or can afford, traditional office space. Instead, home business environments have become the flavour of the day, creating an interesting dynamic in the property market.

This is according to Leon Breytenbach, the Rawson Property Group’s Commercial Manager, who says they’re seeing a lot of entrepreneurs breaking out of the traditional office mould.

Servitudes: protecting the view of a property
While many servitudes are put in place to protect against buildings being erected on them, thereby obstructing views or access, or to allow the person in whose favour it is the right to the land being kept open for things such as future access to their property, future plumbing and the like, it is not often that the servitude protecting the view of a property includes all plant life as well.

This is according to Lanice Steward, managing director of Knight Frank Residential SA, who says a recent court case covered in a Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes property law update, Baartman versus Stubbs and Others, illustrates the importance of keeping in mind the conditions of the servitude in place, as well as being clear on the interpretation of the wording used.

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