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Bryanston idles without power
Business Day - South Africa
New property developments have all but ground to a halt in the Bryanston area because there is not enough electrical power to support them.

With a two-year waiting period for more services, property pundits say, Johannesburg's City Power department has not done enough to meet the growing power needs of the area.
David Green, MD of Pace Property Group, says retail and office developments have "literally ground to a halt" in Bryanston as a result.

"Unfortunately there is no solution in sight as it appears it will take more than two years to rectify the power deficiencies," says Green.
Business Day

Durban housing 'needs miracle'
Fin24.co.za - South Africa
Cape Town - It will "require a miracle" if the eThekwini municipality - which embraces Durban and its surrounding areas - is to meet its "far-fetched" target of eradicating Durban's housing backlog by 2010.

This is according to the council's housing committee chairperson, S'bu Gumede. His comments were reported in the SA Local Government Briefing released by the Cape Town-based SA Local Government Research Centre headed by Alderman Clive Keegan.

The centre reported that Gumede told a recent committee meeting that the municipality's housing department would need to build twice as many houses every year if it planned to meet its goal within the next seven years.

Government gives clarity on short term leases and stamp duty
Rodneyhayter.com - South Africa
The proposed exemption of stamp duty on leases of less than five years in respect of leases signed on or after a certain date this year announced by the Minister of Finance in the budget in February, applies to residential, commercial and retail leases, according to David Warmback of Durban law firm Shepstone & Wylie.

Clarity on the exemption and other relative matters has been issued in the form of amendments to the Stamp Duty Act, as contained in the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill published by National Treasury on 28 February.

Warmback notes that although the Bill refers to an April 1 commencement date, this has now been overtaken by verbal advice from SARS indicating the start date is likely to be June 1 2007.

While short term tenants will be pleased with the proposed exemption, Warmback advises careful examination of the other changes and proper assessment of the full impact of the new provisions. "The five year exemption will not apply to leases where the total aggregate of the lease period exceeds five years after accounting for the renewals and extensions. If, for example, a lease of three years has a right of renewal for three years, the duty applies because the aggregate period exceeds five years."

Get R100 000 cash back on your bond
Moneyweb.co.za - South Africa
Buy a flat for R600 000 and get R100 000 back on registration.
A property investment company is offering R100 000 cash back to clients that purchase units in a new development. The company, called Property Portfolio Investments (PPI), says it has negotiated a "discount" of R100 000 on flats sold in a yet-to-be-built development called Green Acre Terraces in the Western Cape. This discount will be paid out upon registration of the property.

PPI says that all of the big banks have approved the value of the units at R600 000 each. Thus investors who apply for finance for this amount hand over R500 000 to the developer for the unit, and pocket R100 000 themselves.

One of PPI's agents explained to Moneyweb that his company has a relationship with respected developers in the Western Cape. He says that developers are prepared to offer a substantial discount on the price of their units, provided PPI sells a specified number in a pre-determined time period.

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