How can we solve SA’s expanding waste problem?
The Sub-Saharan Africa region generated 174 million tonnes of waste in 2016, at a rate of 0.46 kilogramme per capita per day. It is the fastest growing region globally, with waste expected to nearly triple by 2050 according to a recent World Bank report titled, ‘What a Waste 2.0’.
By 2050, the world is expected to generate 3.4 billion tonnes of waste annually, increasing drastically from today’s 2.01 billion tonnes. “The report shines some much needed light on serious issues and rightfully indicates that the world is on a trajectory where waste generation will drastically outpace population growth by more than double by 2050. Although there are improvements and innovations in solid waste management globally, it is a complex issue, and one that we need to take urgent action on,” says Denis Quayle, Benchmark Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder.
Now is the time to invest in fixer-upper or new property
Whilst South Africa’s economy is technically in a recession, given two consecutive quarters of negative growth, there is a surprisingly optimistic sentiment in the housing market. This is even more surprising when considering other negative factors affecting economic growth such as the recent increase in VAT, the persistent rise in petrol price and the unlikelihood of further interest rate cuts.
“On the ground, although consumers are seeing a current tough economic climate there is sentiment of a bright future, especially where it concerns the property market,” says Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa
“The market remains robust, particularly in the main metropoles where a younger demographic is seeing the value in owning property. Added to this is the financial sector’s inclination to give bonds - another factor that is keeping the market buoyant and active.”
Why SA needs tax breaks for first-time home buyers
The state of the South African economy has been on a downward spiral that has culminated in a technical recession announced in September this year. While the South African government has no control over global market conditions, it does have the power to promote economic growth by implementing strategies to stimulate investor confidence and consumer spending in their own country.
Offering one such strategy, Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, suggests that the government should implement stimulus packages in the first-time buyers’ market to promote growth in the property market and in turn spurn economic growth through the development of home-based enterprises and other home-centred businesses.
Home loans are now more affordable than in 2017
If you want to buy property, the good news is that banks are approving more home loans. The current stable interest rate lending environment coupled with slower growth in property prices means getting a bond for a home is notably more affordable now compared to 2017.
“The home loan approval rate is also the highest it has been in 10 years. One of the main reasons for this is that there is stronger competition amongst banks. This is beneficial to buyers as it means there is more opportunity to negotiate a home loan structure and lending rate that works in your favour,” says Gerrit Disberg, Director of Engel & Völkers Financial Services.
These days applying for a home loan is easier. Applications can be made through one mortgage originator who will then submit to all the major banks through their online system, so there is no need for an individual to submit to each individual bank. In the past, the process of assessing a buyer in order to prove affordability was a painstaking and lengthy process. The method has changed significantly in the past decade, says Disberg.