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More property pain to come - ABSA
Realestateweb reporter
Estate agents warned what bank managers can now confirm: nation is fast losing enthusiasm for residential bricks-and-mortar.

Estate agents have been warning what bank managers can now confirm with mortgage numbers - we're losing our enthusiasm for residential bricks-and-mortar.

What's more, there's more pain to come for the residential property industry thanks to the National Credit Act (NCA).

In June, some estate agents cautioned that the NCA - new legislation that regulates credit agreements - would conspire with interest rates to put the brakes on residential property sales.

It takes a while for rate's hikes to take effect on sales, however the SA Reserve Bank's moves are starting to squeeze consumers.

Land reform a mess
The Sunday Times - South Africa
Less than 5% of agricultural land has been transferred into black hands since 1994.
Government has admitted that drastic steps will have to be taken to save its national land reform programme from disaster.

This follows widespread protests against the slow pace of white-owned farms being transferred into black hands and delays in compensating families who were forced off their land during apartheid.

New figures about to be released show that less than 5% of the country's agricultural land has been redistributed into black hands since 1994 - despite the promise of a 30% transfer by the year 2014.

Only 9405 people benefited from successful land redistribution last year, less than the number of people estimated to have been evicted from commercial farms during that time.
These dismal land reform figures are contained in the Department of Land Affairs' 2006/2007 annual report. The report was meant to be tabled in Parliament this week but was held back after the department's Director-General, Glen Thomas, failed to pitch up.
The Sunday Times

New tax shocker for property industry
Lawyers give low-down on how loans court case affects property deals.

A recent court judgement, SARS vs Brummeria Renaissance (Pty) Ltd, is set to financially punish many property business operators and investors.

"The Brummeria case has far-reaching implications for many industries, including the property industry which makes use of interest-free loans," says Johan Troskie, Director of Deneys Reitz Tax. "Potentially all interest-free loans could be under investigation. Effectively, interest-free loans will now become taxable in the hands of the person enjoying the interest-free use of the loan, undoing a long-standing principle in commerce that such loans have no adverse tax consequence."

Jo'burg calls for ratepayers' gripes
Business Day - South Africa
Estimates indicate that many property owners in Johannesburg could see their rates bill increase when the city implements its new rates policy in July next year, the city said yesterday.

This is why the city is appealing to property owners to view its valuation roll on the city's web site and lodge objections before the valuation becomes official.

Mandy Jean Woods, acting director for customer communications for the city, said yesterday: "This is important because once the roll is finalised, objections will be resolved only by the High Court."

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