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Inclusionary housing policy must make business sense to development, construction industries
South Africa - Property360
The City of Cape Town finally announced it would be undertaking a feasibility analysis in the new year towards drafting its inclusionary housing policy. In the meantime, there is much speculation about how the private development community will embrace – or balk – at a policy to include more affordable units within every residential development proposed.

However, Deon van Zyl, chairperson of the Western Cape Property Development Forum (WCPDF), has expressed his organisation’s relief that the City of Cape Town is once again actively pursuing the policy. For some time, the WCPDF has been calling for certainty on the topic so that it could quantify the impact it will have on the development and construction community.

“It is vital that such a policy be established to at least in some way address the backlog of accommodation in Cape Town,” says Van Zyl. “But, at the same time, it also needs to give certainty to the development and construction sector in terms of how it will impact that sector in terms of feasibility.

Pam Golding Properties Annual Residential Property Report 2019
South Africa - Pam Golding
Signs that the residential property market is beginning to stabilise

Overall, 2019 is proving to be another year of tepid economic growth (see chart below), resulting in yet another year in which government revenues have disappointed – placing additional pressure on the country’s financial situation and in turn, on consumers.

Until there is greater clarity on the prospects of a recovery in the local economy, the housing market, which remains resilient but is currently weighted in favour of buyers, is unlikely to enter another fully-fledged recovery. The recent recurrence of load shedding, ongoing socio-political challenges and a volatile global environment have created further headwinds.

It is also important to keep in mind that the ongoing turmoil created by Brexit, the brewing trade war between China and the US and the downturn spreading across Europe is raising the very real threat of a global recession. It was recently noted that the Wall Street Journal’s uncertainty index rose to a record high in August. This suggests that financial markets are currently more uncertain than was the case after 9/11, the European debt crisis and Trump’s election. Current estimates suggest that there is a 30% probability of a global recession.

Notably, Professor Francois Viruly (UCT), recently pointed out that it is not the depth of the slowdown that is hurting the property market this time but rather the length of time the economy has remained sluggish. Continued pressure on consumer household finances, and on property developers, is creating a robust headwind for the market.
Pam Golding

Two important cases on EFT fraud
South Africa - Tech4Law
Paying by electronic funds transfer (EFT) is so convenient for running one’s home or business, with us being able to make payments from our smartphones and laptops. But this convenience does not come without risks.

Criminals are experts at intercepting emails from senders, inserting their own bank details and sending the email on so that it looks like the genuine sender’s email and address. Once your money reaches these fraudulent accounts, it gets spirited away and you still owe the person, shop or supplier that was supposed to receive the funds in the first place.

Despite FICA requirements on bank accounts, the case law shows that you have little chance of recovering the money or catching the culprits. In Galactic Auto (Pty) Ltd v Venter [2019] JOL 45546 (LP) a businessman bought a Ford Ranger that he urgently needed for a new business project. He did an EFT in response to an email that he received and was expecting from the car dealership.

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