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Property fraud costs Constantia buyer R2.2 million
Western Cape High Court
Kelly-Anne Duarte was conned into believing she was buying a house in Wittebomen Road with the consent of the owner, Chao-Chen Chen. But in what has been described as an "elaborate fraud", those understood to have received the money from the deal have "absconded".

Chao-Chen was also a victim of the scam. In terms of Judge Bennie Griesel's judgment, handed down in the Cape Town High Court, Chao-Chen had merely been the victim of identity theft. The court found that:

  • The fraudsters had used a forged passport to persuade the relevant authorities to pass transfer of the property.
  • The photograph on the passport was "manifestly" not one of Chao-Chen.
  • Forged signatures appeared on the deed of sale and power of attorney.
  • Chao-Chen's marital status did not match up with that of the seller on the power of attorney.
  • The recipients of the proceeds of the sale "appear to have vanished since the finalisation of the transaction".

Chen v Duarte and Others

Coast under great pressure from development - report
IolProperty - South Africa
We are "paving" our shores and nearly 20 percent of the coastline is under some form of development, a report has revealed. The development, within 100m of the shoreline, means that natural buffers against storms and rising seas have been paved over in some areas, putting people and property at risk, particularly as the effects of changing climate intensify.

The report, "Life: The State of South Africa's Biodiversity 2012", pulls together years of scientific data to give a snapshot of the state of the country's natural world, or biodiversity, on which all life and the economy depend. The purpose of the report, released by Environment Minister Edna Molewa this week, is to guide policymakers and managers.

Credit and mortgage advances
Absa - South Africa
Year-on-year (y/y) growth in credit balances in the South African private sector (households and the corporate sector) came to 9,1% at the end of April 2013, which brought the value of outstanding private sector credit balances to R2 477 billion. Growth in private sector credit balances was 7,8% y/y at the end of March.

Outstanding credit balances in the household sector, comprising instalment sales, leasing finance, mortgage loans, overdrafts, credit card debt, and general loans and advances (mainly personal loans and micro finance) showed growth of 9,5% y/y at the end of April from 9,6% y/y at the end of March.

Growth in the component of household unsecured credit (comprising general loans and advances, credit card debt and overdrafts), slowed down further to 25,4% y/y up to the end of April this year, from 26,8% y/y at the end of March and a recent high of 31,6% y/y at the end of November last year.

In line with expectations regarding growth in total household credit balances, outstanding household mortgage balances growth is forecast to remain relatively low against the background of conditions in and prospects for the economy, the residential property market and household finances. Growth in instalment sales balances is set to slow down towards year-end from its April level of 19,6% y/y, impacted by expected lower growth in vehicle sales this year compared with 2012. If sustained, the downward trend in growth in household unsecured credit balances may have a subdued effect on growth in total household credit balances in the near term.
Credit and mortgage advances Apr 2013

Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill, 2013
Government Gazette - South Africa
For public comment

To amend the Restitution of Land Rights Act, 1994, so as to amend the cut-off date for lodging a claim for restitution ; to further regulate the appointment, tenure of office, remuneration and the terms and conditions of service of judges of the Land Claims Court ; to make further provision for the advertisement of claims ; to provide that the lodging of a fraudulent claim shall be an offence ; to provide for additional factors which must be considered by the Court when considering whether to order restoration ; to extend the Ministers powers of delegation ; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill 2013

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