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Pushing their luck?
Financial Mail - South Africa
The Land Claims Commission is preparing a test case against scores of white farmers in the Eastern Cape who were forced to sell their properties for homeland consolidation. The commission insists it's not discriminating against whites, who, contrary to popular belief, are entitled to lodge land claims.

"If whites were removed to create homelands, then this meets the [Restitution Act's] criteria of racially motivated dispossession," says chief commissioner Tozi Gwanya. But the commission argues that most whites were well rewarded for leaving their farms. The law automatically disqualifies claims if "just and equitable compensation" can be proved.

Almost all of a total of about 60 claims lodged by whites have been dismissed. If the commission loses this case, many are likely to resort to court.
Financial Mail

Cape sees sky rocketing property values
Iol.co.za - South Africa
Residential property values across Cape Town have almost quadrupled since 2000, according to the latest valuation by the City of Cape Town.

Between 2000 and 2 July 2006, the date of the latest valuation, the value of residential property has risen 3,8 times, from R125-billion to R471-billion. Residential property accounts for nearly three quarters of the value of all property, followed by commercial and industrial property, state property and agricultural land.

Over the same six years, the ABSA House Price Index - a national measure - rose 2,98 times, showing that residential property prices in Cape Town are rising faster than the national average.

Jury still out on rights to develop Oudekraal
Cape Times - South Africa
Can Cape Town businessman Kassie Wiehahn develop Oudekraal, the magnificent 4-kilometre stretch of land that sweeps down from the Twelve Apostles to the Atlantic?

Eleven years have passed since Wiehahn first took steps to build a luxury housing estate at Oudekraal, and there have been two epic court cases on the validity of his development rights, but there is still no finality on the issue.

On Tuesday the Oudekraal case was back in court. The City of Cape Town has now asked the Cape High Court to review and set aside the decision taken by the authorities in 1957 which granted development rights at Oudekraal.
Cape Times

Inner-city evictions in appeals court
Mail & Guardian - South Africa
The fate of 300 of Johannesburg's poorest residents hung in the balance on Tuesday as the City of Johannesburg appealed a court ruling preventing it from evicting them from some of the inner-city's worst buildings.

The Bloemfontein Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) heard argument in the city's appeal after the Johannesburg High Court last year dismissed its application for eviction orders.

High court Judge Mahommed Jajbhay found the state had a constitutional obligation to provide for the housing needs of its most indigent citizens, and ruled that it would first have to provide alternative city-centre accommodation for the people it intended evicting.
Mail & Guardian

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