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Government urged to clarify foreign buyer policy
Rodneyhayter.com - South Africa
The Government has been called upon by the powerful SAPOA (South African Property Owners Association) to give urgent clarity on its foreign ownership of land policy.

Continued ambiguity on the issue could cost the country huge losses in foreign investments, T C Chetty, president of SAPOA, told members in a recent Association feedback in Durban, according to an article in the Sunday Tribune.

Chetty, who has just returned from heading up a SAPOA delegation to MIPIM, one of the world's largest property expositions in Cannes attended by 25 000 delegates, said the issue was the first question posed to his team by potential foreign investors assessing local investment opportunities. Many of these would-be investors were, for the first time in his attendance at these exhibitions, seriously interested Americans while German and British inquiries were also traditionally prominent.

Land register bill is ready for approval
Ehathimerini.com - Greece
The finishing touches were added yesterday to a draft government bill that foresees the setting up of a national land register, a self-financed project that has suffered years of delays and will cost property owners more than a billion euros.

In coming days the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works Ministry is expected to submit to Parliament the draft law that will aim at registering all property - apart from forest and beach areas - by 2010.

"With this draft plan, we are formulating a new basis for the land register. With this draft plan, Greece will acquire at last a land register," said Environment Minister Giorgos Souflias.

Greece and Albania are the only two European countries that still lack a land registry and, in the case of Greece, that is despite having received some 100 million euros in funding from the European Union to create one.

BEE and land reform cause fear and alarm - Economist
Moneyweb - South Africa
BLACK economic empowerment and land reform cause fear and alarm among foreign investors, says The Economist, in its most recent country survey on South Africa.

The survey says that both black economic empowerment (BEE) and land reform are more benign than their detractors make out, especially since they involve hardly any government coercion.

Author of the report, Richard Cockett, writes: "All the same, there are concerns that the government's quest for historical redress is becoming ever more intrusive.

Korbitec Legal Golf Challenge
Korbitec will be hosting its annual legal golf challenge on Friday 12th May 2006 at the Maritzburg Country Club. The tournament is restricted to practising attorneys, paralegal staff, advocates, judges and sponsors of the day, and the field will be limited to the first 120 paid entries.
Golf Day invitation

A changed market
Nrn.co.za - South Africa
After a two year flat-out gallop, the pace of South Africa's property market has slowed to an enduring canter, the reins now firmly in the hands of buyers. Speaking in Cape Town recently, National Referral Network (NRN) chairman Terry Brookes said that the new year had dawned on a changed market.

While activity had been surprisingly good during January, there had been a definite shift away from a seller's market to a buyer's market. Seeing this as a positive move, Brookes said this changed state of affairs would ensure the market's long-term sustainability by effectively putting the brakes on runaway pricing, since the issue of affordability was biting into most home buyers' pockets.

Cottage residents appeal court's ruling
Iol.co.za - South Africa
Illegal cottages, described as part of the cancer inflicting the environment of Transkei's world-famous Wild Coast, should have been demolished by now.

But cottage owners have filed for leave to appeal the demolition order, extending a legal battle that has been raging for more than 10 years.

In December, Transkei High Court judge Selwyn Miller ruled that 16 white-owned cottages in the Black Sands, Manteku and Dagaan areas of the Wild Coast were illegal and had to be removed and the land rehabilitated.

They are among an estimated 250 to 300 illegal buildings on this coast.

More claims settled
Financial Mail - South Africa
More than half of the claims lodged with the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights have been settled.

The commission has received 79 696 valid claims from various communities across South Africa.

But there is concern that the land restitution process is taking too long to finalise. The SA Institute of Race Relations' (SAIRR) Living Conditions and Communications 2004/05 Survey says that more than 61% of lodge claims were settled by the end of March 2004.

The remaining 30 871 (39% of the claims) are estimated to amount to 70% urban and 30% rural claims.

A large portion of the claims that has been settled shows the same trend on a slightly larger scale: urban areas constituted 87,5% of the settlements, with rural claims amounting to 12,5%.
Financial Mail

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