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Market-based land prices 'not ruled out
Business Day - South Africa
Confusion over government's intentions regarding the willing buyer, willing seller principle in land reform cases has deepened following Agriculture and Land Affairs Minister Thoko Didiza's declaration that no decision had yet been made not to pay market value for properties.

"Government has not reached the decision that it will not offer market value when expropriating land," Didiza said in a reply to a written parliamentary question last week from Democratic Alliance MP Maans Nel.

"Therefore, the question on whether the government will investigate the effect of not offering market-based compensation or not does not arise."

Nel had asked whether government had investigated the effect on the land market of not offering market-based compensation when expropriating.
Business Day

Construction, property charters finally signed
Business Report - South Africa
The construction and property charters, which will guide both sectors on the road to transformation, were signed on Friday by the various sector organisations and public works minister Stella Sigcau after about two years of negotiations typified by heated arguments and walkouts.

However, Sigcau said that the targets in the charters were "just the beginning" and did not mean "we must relax, thinking we have achieved our objectives. The charters are … a mechanism, which is only as effective as the energies of champions who will be given the responsibility to implement them."

Sigcau said the charter proposed a range of targets, including the sale of 25 percent of assets of the sector into black hands within the next five years.
Business Report

Ministries aim to trash green laws
Mail and Guardian - South Africa
Government departments, under pressure to deliver economic growth, have launched a broadside against environmental legislation, saying it is holding up development and should be scrapped.

New regulations streamlining environmental impact assessments (EIAs) have been stalled for more than a year, partly because of high-level power-mongering. Environmental consultants are worried that the regulations, which mitigate harmful ecological practices and ensure public participation, may never see the light of day.

A consultant with close links to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, who did not want to be named, said there were strong views in the "economic cluster" of ministries that EIAs should be totally scrapped. "EIAs are extremely contentious because there is a perception that they hold up development."
Mail and Guardian

Sixty eight percent of South Africans now occupy houses
Rodneyhayter.com - South Africa
Between 2000 and 2005 more than 2,6 million people in South Africa moved into houses, according to the March edition of Standard Bank's Residential Property Gauge. This, the bank says in its research, represents an increase of 63% of the population occupying houses in 2000 to 68%last year.

The proportion of the population living in flats or townhouses, according to the Gauge, remained constant at 6% and 1% respectively between 2000 and 2005.

"Nevertheless, this means that 100,000 more people occupied flats and townhouses in 2005 than in 2000. At the same time, the proportion of the population living in traditional huts declined from 14% to 10%."

However, 613,000 more people lived in squatter huts or shacks in 2005 than in 2000.

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