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Bills aim to clarify stance on evictions
Business Day - South Africa
The public is to be invited to comment on the Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Unlawful Occupation of Land amendment bills, which aim to strengthen the law and clarify government's positions on these sensitive issues.

The Prevention of Illegal Eviction Act, or PIE Act, as it is commonly known, came into force in 1998. It prohibits unlawful evictions and provides for fair procedures for the eviction of unlawful occupants of land.

The bills were approved at the cabinet's last meeting of the year last week together with the Housing Amendment Bill, the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Amendment Bill and the Rental Housing Amendment Bill.
Business Day

Illegally built cottage demolished
Mercury - South Africa
Nature conservation officials at Ntafufu, on the Eastern Cape Wild Coast, demolished an |illegally built cottage on Sunday in an ongoing project to eradicate illegally erected structures.

This follows a high court order against anyone building tourist accommodation without a permit in preserved areas.

More than 40 cottages have been destroyed since 2003, when the Eastern Cape Department of Environmental Affairs embarked on a project to prevent illegal |development on this section of the coastline.

Earlier this year, an aerial monitoring system was set up by Bateleurs, a national network of volunteer pilots who provide their skills, aircraft and fuel - at no cost - to promote environmental conservation.

Foreign land sales message 'negative'
Business Day
Luxury property development group Pezula has hit out at government for sending confusing and "irresponsible" signals about foreigners being restricted from buying property in SA.

Last week, government spokesman Themba Maseko told the media that the Coastal Integrated Management Bill would restrict the ownership by foreigners of coastal property. He later retracted this comment as being incorrect.

On Sunday, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk moved to calm a jittery property market, saying the draft bill would not restrict foreign purchases of coastal land. He said the draft adopted by the cabinet last week would give government more teeth to control illegal structures built in the coastal zone.
Business Day

Houses under R1m in hot demand
Fin24.co.za - South Africa
The market for houses under R1m is still red-hot, despite a dip in house price growth and rising interest rates.

Barak Geffen, executive director of Sotheby's International Realty, says although house prices had reached a peak, there are still bargains.

Potential buyers must change their focus and look at previously less popular residential areas. Ironically, these are the areas that show the biggest annual growth, he says. These include Pretoria, Centurion, the West Rand and suburbs in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

Keeping costs down
Iafrica.com - South Africa
As the bodies corporate of sectional title schemes find it increasingly difficult to contain costs such as maintenance, security and insurance, unit owners are more and more frequently faced with the unwelcome prospect of increased levies.

What is more, says Jo Pelser, MD of leading residential developer Sable Homes, these increases are often greater than the official Consumer Price Index (CPI).

"There is of course always the option to cut corners and simply spend less on fewer projects, but that's false economy and matters that have been neglected or delayed will ultimately have to be attended to.

"Alternatively if the body corporate (BC) decides to eliminate reserve funding in order to keep levies down, any emergency will require the imposition of a special levy that could prove punitive for members."

Buying process a mystery to many
Findaproperty.com - UK
The results of a survey commissioned by the Council for National Land Information Service (C-NLIS), reveal that British homeowners are a bit confused about many aspects of the housing market.

Nineteen per cent think that estate agents carry out conveyancing, while eight per cent think that homeowners actually carry out this task themselves. Many are also unclear about what they are paying for when they commission their conveyancers to carry out local searches.

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