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Residential building activity
Absa - South Africa
Residential building activity remains under pressure

Residential building activity in the South African market for new housing continued to experience pressure up to February 2014, based on data released by Statistics South Africa. Especially the construction phase of new housing showed a significant contraction in the first two months of the year compared with the corresponding period last year.

The volume of new housing units for which building plans were approved by local government institutions, was up by only 1% year-on-year (y/y) to 4 288 units in February after growth of almost 47% y/y in the preceding month. On a month-on-month basis the number of plans passed was down by 477 units, or 10%, from 4 765 units in January. At a regional level the volume of plans approved with regard to new housing was largely driven by Gauteng (45,4% of the national total) and the Western Cape (23,6% of the total), while some of the other provinces also experienced strong year-on-year growth in the number of plans approved, but from a relatively small base.

The level of activity in the construction phase of new housing, i.e. the number of new units reported as completed, contracted markedly in all three segments of the market in the initial two months of the year compared with a year ago. However, on a month-on-month basis the volume of housing units built was up by 422 units, or 18,7%, to 2 678 units.
Absa Building stats Feb 2014

Tshwane Clearance Certificate Application
City of Tshwane - South Africa
Unless application forms are not properly completed for a clearance certificate in terms of Section 118(1) of Act 32, 2000: Municipal Systems Act Relating to Transfer of Properties, a memorandum will not be issued.
Tshwane Application for Clearance Certificate Form

Rustenburg Municipality Rates Clearance Certificates
Rustenburg Local Municipality - South Africa
Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs issued a circular regarding the format(s) of the Clearance Certificate (See the attached document). The new format(s) of the Clearance Certificates will effective 01 May 2014. RLM is currently using two processes in issuing Certificates i.e. manual and electronically (online). We hereby request Conveyancing Attorneys to make using of the online facility (www.ratesclearance.com) whilst, we realigning the manual certificates.
Rates Clearance Circular_April 2014

Taking care of heritage properties
IolProperty - South Africa
When owners of historical properties undertake any sort of improvements, they must be sure that these comply with the requirements of the National Heritage Resources Act, says Lanice Steward, managing director of Knight Frank Residential SA.

Because historic buildings are part of South Africa's national heritage, any change to, or even the demolition of a building must have the necessary permissions to do so and owners can contact the Heritage Resources Section at their local Council offices to find out what is required and how to make their application.

'The reasons for being so strict is understandable,' says Steward, 'certain buildings might be historically important or have architectural value that needs to be protected. Apart from these aspects there might be buildings that epitomise the whole character of an area, and if this is not protected then certain elements of some historic areas are lost.'

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