SACP hails expropriation
News24.com - South Africa
The SA Communist Party has welcomed moves toward the first expropriation of a commercial farm for restitution, while the Democratic Alliance cautioned against the use of this option.
The SACP said on Thursday: "This action underlines that the willing-seller, willing-buyer principle constitutes the major impediment to the government's land reform programme." The DA said it would watch developments in the matter closely.
"Expropriation should be used only as a method of last resort, and only in cases where it can be proved that a landowner is unreasonably rejecting market-related compensation."
Harare to ignore bilateral deals protecting foreign-owned land
ZimOnline - Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe's top official in charge of land redistribution on Tuesday said Harare would now disregard bilateral agreements protecting foreign-owned property to seize all land owned by foreigners in a fresh "faster-track" land reform exercise.
State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, who also oversees land reform and food aid distribution, said most of the land still not in the hands of the government was owned by mostly white foreigners.
Harare will repossess land from foreigners, in disregard of agreements with other governments protecting their nationals' investments in Zimbabwe, Mutasa told ZimOnline.
He said: "Most of the land not in our hands is under the ownership of foreigners. Most of them are white so why should we do them any favours?
Countrywide to abandon IT systems upgrade at struggling Conveyancing Division
Forbes.com - UK
UK estate agency chain Countrywide PLC said its board has decided to abandon the systems upgrade at its Conveyancing Division at a cost of 3.7 million Pounds.
The group announced earlier this month that the division was still being affected by capacity issues associated with the upgrade.
It said today it believes its new strategy will restore Countrywide Property Lawyers to its historical profitable growth track.
V&A seven-star hotel held back by red tape
Business Day - South Africa
The V&A Waterfront Company is pulling out all the stops to restart its development programme after an eight-month interruption caused by a dispute with the City of Cape Town over rezoning and plan approvals.
The company says the delay resulted in it losing tenants, who could not wait for the dispute to be resolved, as well as adding significantly to construction costs.
Among the delays are the construction of a 160-room "seven star" hotel and spa, as well as luxury villas to be built on one of the islands that will form part of the V&A Marina extension.
High hopes for housing compact
Property24.com - South Africa
A new housing social compact is due to be signed today following a national housing summit in Cape Town.
The purpose of the compact is to ensure that the new housing policy is put into practice and, says Jo Pelser, MD of leading residential developer Sable Homes, it has a good chance of being achieved because of government's new willingness to meet other stakeholders in the housing process "at least halfway".
Pelser, who is representing developers at the summit, said at the opening today that Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and her department had for the past year worked really hard to identify and address the obstacles the private sector faced in the large scale delivery of housing.
Tired of the Tsotsis
Financial Mail - South Africa
An FM staffer's experience of owning flats in central Johannesburg
Two weeks ago, my apprentice Lehlohonolo Tlali signed a lease at Lorina Court in Hillbrow with Themba Kolanisi. The next day, Martha Ncube put Kolanisi's belongings onto the pavement outside, saying the flat was hers.
Two blocks away, a group calling itself Isolabantu took over Park Mews and two building managers were executed.
Hijackers are rampant in inner-city Johannesburg ahead of the local elections. It can take six months or more to eject them through the courts, while they collect up to R150 000/month, less the cost of their legal team. They invariably claim to be comrades, Umkhonto we Sizwe veterans or tenants' committees with ANC or state support, arriving to save the people.
But they don't pay the service charges; lights go out; the buildings quickly overcrowd and decay. After a decade of this at San Jose, five blocks away from Park Mews, faeces lie 2 m deep in the central courtyard.
SACP hails expropriation