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Municipalities to get power over use of land
IolProperty - South Africa
Municipalities will have sole power, free from provincial and national government influence, when planning and deciding on the use of land - if the Spatial Planning and Land Management Bill becomes law. The bill - which was initially introduced in 2008, but was never passed - would shift decision-making powers on land use from provinces to municipalities.

Parliament's portfolio committee on rural development and land reform yesterday called for public submissions on the bill. The committee will hold public hearings between August 21 and 22. The deadline for written submissions on the bill is next Friday. Committee chairman Stone Sizani said yesterday that the bill was a "progressive one".

The information technology upsurge in property marketing cannot eliminate the need for an estate agent, says Rawson MD
Rawson - South Africa
Sometimes, says Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, it takes top level academics to define and explain clearly what is happening in the outside world – even though many people are already aware of the trend.

This, he says, has certainly been the case with a 25 page report recently compiled by four academics from Pennsylvania State, Syracuse and Arkansas at Little Rock universities in the USA. They have, apparently conclusively, shown that although electronic media and information technology have radically transformed real estate marketing, they cannot and do not replace the estate agent – indeed in most cases they broaden his social base and expand his role both as an intermediary and as a negotiator, making him more effective in both roles.

For real estate agents, the increasing use of ICT, says Clarke, quoting directly from the report, provides a means to raise their ‘social capital formation’ and to gain more ‘transaction support’ in their dealings with clients. To take just one example, agents can develop their own regional sites, making them available only to their clients and in this way provide information which is not easily available elsewhere. By this they can also offer specialist extra services and provide hints that their service will be more caring and meticulous.

How to get the best out of a home inspection
Chas Everitt - South Africa
There’s no argument that paying to have a home inspected by a professional before you buy it is money well spent* if the property turns out to be problematic.

However, says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group, it can also be money very well spent even if the findings are positive and you decide to go ahead with the purchase.

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he says: “For a start, the inspector’s report should give you a good picture of exactly what has happened to that property since it was first built. You will know, for example, if there were any major problems with the original construction that had to be attended to – even if these are no longer an issue.
Chas Everitt

Estate agency watchdog exe's dodgy financials
MoneyWeb - South Africa
Interim CEO had several judgements against him when first appointed CFO. JOHANNESBURG – The acting chief executive officer of the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), Bryan Chaplog, was appointed as the EAAB’s chief financial officer even though he had several judgements against him by various financial institutions.

The judgements are related to property in the Western Cape and Pretoria.

It’s understood that Chaplog was appointed by sacked former EAAB CEO Nomonde Mapetla.

Asked to comment on the judgements and the fact that Chaplog held a senior position in the organisation, requiring input from him of a financial nature, EAAB spokesperson Margie Campbell said his credit and/or financial records were disclosed at the time of his appointment.

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