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Joburg evictions to continue
Iol.co.za - South Africa
A landmark decision in the Supreme Court of Appeal has ensured that the City of Johannesburg will continue with evictions while providing temporary accommodation to some of the almost 70,000 poor who occupy "bad" buildings in the inner city.

The case, which has implications for other cities, including Pretoria, stems from an attempt by Johannesburg to evict about 300 residents from dilapidated buildings in the inner city.

These include four houses in Joel Street, the 16-storey San Jose building in Olivia Street and a disused panelbeating workshop in Main Street, all in Berea.

An inspection by the court in 2006 found that the condition of the buildings was "appalling, abysmal and at times disgraceful".

High property prices equate to sky-high taxes - or maybe not?
Rode's Property News - South Africa
With property prices having soared over the last few years, it is understandable that home-owners are concerned that municipal property taxes will skyrocket with the next municipal valuation of their home.

However, there is no need to panic, says Llewellyn Louw, valuations manager at property valuers and economists Rode & Associates. Prices of many homes may have tripled even without improvements having been done, but municipalities are not at liberty to introduce excessive increases to council budgets. They have to comply with legislation that prohibits annual budget increases in excess of 10% without special approval from the national Treasury Department.

"It is therefore logical to deduce that the increase in property valuations will be balanced by a corresponding decrease in tax rates."

Sub-prime lending in SA?
Business Day - South Africa
Can a US-style sub-prime lending crisis happen in South Africa? Classic Business Day gets George Glynos from Econometrix on the line:

LINDSAY WILLIAMS: George, what is a sub-prime lender in the United States of America?

GEORGE GLYNOS: That's typically a lender of money to build or to purchase houses where the recipient does not have a good credit record - many of them ordinarily wouldn't be able to get loans, but they can get a loan in the sub-prime market in the US on the basis that they pay higher interest rates.

LINDSAY WILLIAMS: So that's a second or even third tier lender filling a niche in the market - but how dangerous is that niche and were they reckless lenders?

Govt suspends Land Bank chiefs
Fin24.co.za - South Africa
Land Bank has put three senior officials including CEO Alan Mukoki on indefinite leave amid concerns of financial mismanagement at the state-owned institution.
Sources tell Fin24 that the bank was technically insolvent and required a capital injection.
The department of land affairs has confirmed in a statement that the National Treasury has provided a R700m capital injection and a further R1.5bn guarantee to Land Bank.
The Land Affairs statement makes no mention of the suspensions, but staff were told at a meeting in Pretoria on Tuesday that the CEO, chief financial officer and head of loans had been put on leave until further notice.

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