Property 24/10 - 297

R6.2 bn Leratong city housing and mixed-use development
A R6.2 billion new Gauteng housing project – the Leratong City integrated nodal development – is set to get under way in Leratong, Mogale City, in a joint development by McCormick Property Development, Calgro M3 and Sasuka Logistics Services.

Situated across the road from the existing Leratong Hospital, the first phase will consist of 15 000 residential units, an intermodal transport hub, a government precinct as well as a 30 000m2 regional mall. The total development extends over 400ha and construction of the bulk infrastructure is expected to commence by June 2016.

Located on two major regional movement routes that form part of the primary movement network of Gauteng Province, the Leratong City project has been selected as an area for Neighbourhood Development Partnership Grant (NDPG) investment. It forms an integral part of a larger regional node set in the context of a previously disadvantage township area, which has the potential to transform into a high intensity regional node.

Full service office space for smmes and entrepeneurs
In his 2016 State of the Nation Address, President Jacob Zuma stated that we as a country need to empower SMMEs (small, medium and micro enterprises) to accelerate their growth. “Access to high-quality innovative business support can dramatically improve the success rate of new ventures,” he said.

An industry offering vital support to the South African entrepreneur and SMME marketplace is the commercial property letting sector. And an increasingly attractive option, and one that is fast gaining traction within the commercial property rental industry, is that of fully serviced office space.

“Our experience has shown that entrepreneurs and small-business owners want to mitigate both cost and risk in today’s volatile economy,” says Wayne Windell, Managing Director of Cube Workspace, which provides fully serviced office space for businesses and entrepreneurs in Gauteng and Cape Town. “As a result, more and more professionals are choosing the flexibility of rental when it comes to office premises and working environments, as opposed to high mortgages.”

Landlord check: foreign tenants must be 'legal'
Much has been said about the planned restrictions on foreign property ownership in South Africa, but not many landlords know that there are already certain limits on letting properties to non-South Africans.

It is important to know this, says Chas Everitt Property Rentals CEO Greg Harris, as the interest in renting SA properties continues to grow, not only among European “swallows” seeking a respite from the northern winters, but also among “captains of industry” hailing from all over the world.

Many global companies now see SA as the most attractive gateway to Africa and are sending executives and professionals here for a few years at a time to set up and run local operations as their continental headquarters, says Harris. “On the other hand, many top business people from Africa also want to have a base here so that they can interact easily with their international counterparts.

Property rates: not a 'pay for what you get' affair
Should there be a fair relationship between the services provided by a municipality and rates levied thereby?

Muhammad Ziyaad Gattoo, Director in Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr's Real Estate Practice, says this question was considered by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in the case of Blair Atholl Homeowners Association v The City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality (20634/2014) [2015] ZASCA 195 (1 December 2015).

The SCA rejected the argument that rates payers in the Blair Atholl Estate, which installed and maintained its own services, usually supplied by the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, should be exempt from, or allowed a rebate or reduction of rates levied on their properties.

Saving electricity in sectional title schemes
With yet another Eskom electricity price increase having been approved by NERSA, it might be time for trustees of sectional title schemes or their managing agents to consider installing environmentally friendly systems to heat water and to save electricity in other areas.

This is according to Willem le Roux, director of Propell, who says installing equipment such as solar panels or heat pumps to heat water, LED lighting or lights with movement detectors for common areas, and other energy saving devices, will contribute to raising the value of units in the scheme. In addition, he says this will help residents control their expenditure and save on electricity.

Solar panels and heat pumps should reduce a large percentage (around 40%) of the overall electricity bills. These energy saving systems usually pay for themselves within two to five years, after which the residents will continue to enjoy the reduction in their electricity bills each month.

Tips for growing a prime property portfolio
Against a background of falling equity markets and the weak rand, many investors are considering the appeal of prime sectors of the Western Cape residential market in building a property portfolio. Aiming for capital growth, accompanied by an income stream from letting, they are attracted by the region’s track record as a relatively safe property haven.

This is according to Pam Golding Properties Western Cape MD, Laurie Wener, who says some people may start a property portfolio by keeping their original modest apartment when moving to a bigger home, while others may be considering adding to already substantial assets.

But as with all investments, Wener says it is vital to do thorough research on earnings potential and have a well-thought-out strategy.

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