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Review Board decision substitutes Municipality's refusal to approve building plans
Stbb Property Law Update - South Africa

Pellencin v City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality (47233/11) [2012] ZAGPPHC 133 (28 June 2012)
This is an important judgment for all who are involved in applications for approval of building plans. The Court held that if a municipality’s refusal to approve substituted plans is successfully appealed to the review tribunal, the appeal itself can constitute approval of the plans and a re-referral to the municipality to consider the plans may not be required. In addition, if a dwelling was erected in accordance with approved municipal plans, the municipality has no residual discretion to refuse to issue an occupation certificate. 

Property repairs can sour relations between landlords and tenants
Iol.co.za - South Africa
There is a critical shortage of ownership and rental housing despite the government's efforts to tackle the backlog. In fact, negligible rental stock has been provided by the private sector since 1994.

The government sold much of its rental stock during this period, whittling away the inadequate rental provision.

Given that rentals are determined by market forces, housing, and consequently tenants, are mere commodities.

Prospective tenants are usually desperate since rental stock is market-related. In other words, supply and demand determines who is able to pay the price (rental) on a take it or leave it basis.

Taswell Papier appointed to be administrator for EAAB
SA Commercial Prop News - South Africa
Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale on Thursday appointed Lawyer Taswell Papier to become administrator for the troubled Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB).

The former president of the Law Society of the Cape of Good Hope, Taswell Papier, has been appointed as administrator of the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), the Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale announced on Thursday.

Briefing media in Parliament this afternoon, Sexwale said Papier, a director at law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs, would hold the role of administrator for six months.

Residential building statistics - 1st half of 2012
Absa - South Africa
First half of 2012 saw subdued residential building activity
In the first six months of 2012 levels of activity in respect of the planning and construction of new housing in South Africa continued to show strain compared with the corresponding period last year. The planning phase showed a noticeable contraction on an annual basis up to June this year, whereas the construction phase registered year-on-year growth in the low single-digits, which was probably still a result of the slight uptick on the planning side in 2011 (see graph on the second page of the report).

The number of new housing units for which building plans were approved by local government institutions was down by 3 017 units, or 11,6% year-on-year (y/y), to a total of 23 095 in the first half of 2012. The first quarter of the year saw a decline of 13,8% y/y, followed by a further drop of 9,3% y/y in the second quarter. Both the segments for smaller-sized houses and flats and townhouses registered significant contractions in the first six months of the year. The category of houses with a building area of 80m² and above showed a strong improvement of 21,6% y/y in the first quarter, but contracted by 3,6% y/y in the second quarter. These trends are regarded as an indication of expectations regarding the demand for new housing towards the end of the year and into 2013 against the background of prevailing and expected supply conditions in the housing market.
Building stats _June 2012

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