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Boom gate ban: it is official now
Iol.co.za - South Africa
The eThekwini City Council has ruled it illegal for residents to erect boom gates and control access to public roads. Security huts, however, will be allowed - subject to stringent guidelines and a stiff application fee of at least R2 000 a year.

Council executive committee member S'bu Gumede said the new requirements would only allow for monitoring of access and not controlling access to communities on public roads.

Boom gates officially outlawed in Durban
Iol.co.za - South Africa
It's official: Durban has a new policy on residential security, which outlaws the use of boom gates and allows for the erection of security huts and CCTV cameras under strict conditions.

Communities which have boom gates and any other illegal security structures which are not included in the framework of the new policy, will now be forced to remove the illegal structures. The policy was agreed upon by a majority vote at a full sitting of the eThekwini municipality in Tongaat on Thursday.

Mbeki endorses move to expropriate land
Business Day - South Africa
President Thabo Mbeki has endorsed land expropriation in SA, but says it must be done in an environment of "fair compensation".
Frustrated by the slow pace of land reform via the "willing seller willing buyer" system, the ruling African National Congress and its allies have called on government to quicken the pace through expropriation.

They argue that farmers are deliberately inflating farm prices to stall redistribution.
Business Day

Mortgage growth rockets
Business.iafrica.com - South Africa
Data released by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) showed that mortgage growth in September reached its highest level in over 20 years at 28.8 percent year-on-year, compared with 27.9 percent year-on-year in August, according to Absa senior economist Jacques du Toit.

September's growth was the strongest recorded since April 1984, when it reached 29.3 percent.
Commenting on the SARB's latest credit data on Tuesday, Du Toit said he was forecasting year-on-year growth in mortgage advances at 27 percent for 2005, slowing to 17 percent in 2006.

Large differences in housing affordability
Business Day via Net Assets - South Africa
The residential property market has shown relatively strong growth in all the provinces and metropolitan regions during 2000 to 2004, but diversities in terms of growth in house prices and the level of and growth in household income, create a different impression of the state of the property market in the various regions.

That's according to Absa senior economist Jacques du Toit.

He says the potential size of the housing market in South Africa (as indicated by the number and percentage of households in a position to afford a house of 80m²+ in the so-called middle segment of the market) can be regarded as relatively small (about 1,8 million households, or 14.4% of a total number of 12.4 million households in 2004).
Business Day

Salga agrees to land moratorium
Business Report - South Africa
The SA Local Government Association (Salga) had agreed to the proposed moratorium on the sale of municipal land to give government time to develop clear processes and priorities for demarcating land for housing.

However, housing minister Lindiwe Sisulu said Salga still had to decide how it "operationalised" the moratorium.

The moratorium was mooted by Sisulu at a municipal housing indaba in Kempton Park, Johannesburg earlier this week to ensure that the municipalities, provinces and the government, including parastatals, could prioritise land in favour of housing before selling it.
Business Report

State gets set for FICA battle with banks
Business Day - South Africa
Government is preparing itself for another fight with banks after announcing its intention to amend the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica) to give it more teeth in the fight against money laundering and international terrorism.

During the formulation of Fica five years ago, banks agreed to provide details of suspicious transactions to the centre, but expressed concern at the prospects of having to go to court and giving evidence as they did not have enough personnel.

The centre has received 33435 reports of suspicious financial transactions since its inception in February 2003, but Deputy Justice Minister Johnny de Lange said information obtained by the centre could not be used as evidence in court.
Business Day

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