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Inclusionary housing: The risks and opportunities
South Africa - Rode and Associates
Erwin Rode contemplates the law of unintended consequences when inclusionary programmes are introduced in SA and comes up with some practical suggestions

The City of Johannesburg has proposed a policy in terms of which developers will be compelled to provide a minimum of 20% ‘low’ and ‘low-middle’ income housing units in each new residential development.

The City defines ‘low-middle’ as household incomes of less than R7 000 per month. The proposal stipulates that rentals, including levies (but excluding utility bills, like electricity), may not exceed R2 100 per month in 2018 rands. The ceiling of R2 100 is based on 30% of a household income of R7 000. (City of Johannesburg, 2018)

The proposed programme is designed to provide rental accommodation at an affordable price. Two types of management are promoted, viz. Social housing. This is no problem, as these institutions are geared to manage low-income tenants.

Private ownership with a capped rental (as above). In the case of sectional title developments, the inclusionary housing units must be owned, managed and rented out by the body corporate. This is a non-starter, as the management of a body corporate is complicated, and it would put a tremendous burden on the trustees, apart from the fact that it is a challenge to find competent trustees among the owners in complexes where the average selling price is, as a rule of thumb, below R1 million.

If you don’t live there, cough up!
South Africa - Moneyweb
Cape Town rates policy sneaky on holiday homes.

The City of Cape Town’s draft rates policy in a very sneaky way excludes holiday homes and residential rental units from being categorised as residential property for the purposes of paying property rates.

As a result owners will be required to pay more than double the rates than they would have, if the property were their primary home.

This has been hidden in the city’s rates policy since 2014/15, but it seems few investors are aware of it, says RatesWatch director of valuations Ben Espach.

Espach questions how the city is able to distinguish between primary and secondary homes and apply the policy consistently to all property owners.

Inside deeds office saga
South Africa - Iol
Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, her department and the chief registrar of deeds have been interdicted from implementing a decision to change the demarcation of the Pretoria and Johannesburg deeds offices.

They were also interdicted from amending the definition of the area of jurisdiction of the Pretoria and Johannesburg deeds registries.

The interdict will remain in force until an application by the Pretoria Attorneys Association to review the demarcation decision has been finally determined.

The association claims the demarcation changes will lead to the closure of Pretoria legal firms and job losses. The first part of the urgent application, brought by the association and 12 attorney firms, was made an order of the Pretoria High Court earlier this week with the agreement of the parties.

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