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Cape Town one of world's best 'tech cities' to live and work in
Cape Town features among the world’s top Tech Cities according to a recent report by global property giant, Savills.

Ranked number 22 in the report, which is entitled ‘Tech Cities 2017’, Cape Town, along with Santiago and Buenos Aires, is recognised as a major tech hub with potential as a rising global player.

The Savills Tech Cities report explains the many, diverse factors that make places a good location for the tech sector, and identifies the 22 global centres at the forefront of tech, all of which have thriving and growing tech industries, homegrown start-ups and incubators, and which are at the top of global shopping lists for tech companies looking for space.

Tragic Hout Bay fire leaves 15 000 homeless - how you can help
Thousands have been left homeless and two have died in the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement in Hout Bay after a fire broke out in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The City of Cape Town said 3 500 homes were destroyed and emergency shelter has been made available to 15 000 stranded residents.

News24 reported on Sunday that the fire broke out shortly after midnight on Saturday, and “residents fled with their belongings from the narrow alleys between the corrugated iron houses to the safety of nearby tar roads. Fire engines had initially struggled to get closer because of the frightened people gathered on the road with their possessions”.

Why prepaid meters are preferable in sectional title schemes
There’s no doubt that the best way to manage the costs of services such as water and electricity in sectional title schemes is by having separate meters installed for each unit according to Mandi Hanekom, operations manager of sectional title finance company Propell Even, who says better would be to have prepaid meters for these services, as owners only use what they pay for.

In many sectional title schemes, the municipal costs can be very high, and there will always be a certain percentage of non- or late-payers. If prepaid meters are installed, it makes the management of the defaulters’ debts easier to control.

Tenants, protect yourself against rental scams
While the internet is an extremely useful tool, it has also made it easier for criminals to prey on prospective tenants - with the number of incidences on the increase.

Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that, unfortunately, there is a criminal element who use the internet to scam potential tenants out of their hard-earned money.

“Emotionally-driven, enthusiastic tenants who are excited about the prospect of finding the ideal rental property are often more susceptible to fraudulent activity. Time is also a factor. Tenants are often eager to find the right home within a limited time frame, which can make them vulnerable targets for criminals,” says Goslett.

Top tips and trends for property investors in uncertain times
While 2016 was a year many would sooner erase from their memory, 2017 may hold still more disappointment, unless investors adopt a less traditional approach and are prepared to find the right partners.

Gary Palmer, CEO at Paragon Lending Solutions, draws on his access to both traditional and alternate lenders to call some of the property investment trends this year:

Uncertainty takes its toll
2016 was a year many people would like to forget. Both local and global politics increased investor caution as the winds of change continued to stir up uncertainty. Macroeconomic data painted a gloomy picture for South African investors and consumers alike. Inflation passed the Reserve Bank’s 6 percent benchmark, unemployment hit a 13-year high and GDP growth slid to a negligible 0.1 percent according to IMF figures.

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