years after democracy , the dawning of a new era , underprivileged ( majority black ) South Africans from disadvantaged communities still find themselves at the bottom of the country ’ s developmental hierarchy of priorities . What the affluent class know to be fundamental and basic in SA , the majority deems a luxury . Something as important as a roof , that which nobody cannot live without , the disadvantaged people of South Africa fight for every other day against the authorities across the country in the form of forced removals .
These are the inequalities that the government ’ s inability to resolve the land question leave us in as a country . They factor greatly in the government ’ s inability to boost and grow the economy . The economic under performance in the country is gaining more strength due to the pandemic and the status of land reform in SA is not making it any easier .
Land reform has been on our tongues for quite a while now , it ’ s been in the government ’ s pipeline for a long time and transformation regarding land is being said to be made but there is no evidence for it . This is concerning , not only because land is referred to as the only asset that would set the people of South Africa free economically , but also because the instability and indecisiveness from our government about who owns what land isn ’ t affording the country the investor confidence and the economic growth it needs .
Business Leadership South Africa CEO , Busisiwe Mavuso believes that thriving through poverty , unemployment and the terrible inequalities among South Africans begins at consolidating and finalising the land reform question which she believes is more of a political incompetence issue in the South African government .
“ The land issue is not an economic process issue , it is a social justice process issue ,” Mavuso says . In her presentation at the Free Market Foundation ’ s virtual event titled Turning Disaster Into an Opportunity
she pointed out how the South African government has failed to provide a solution to the social imprisonment of South Africans by not attending to and consolidating the land question .
While Mavuso is for the growth of businesses in the country , she however , points out the importance of structural reform in terms of business development . She says structural reform is central to the notion of dealing with the “ triple challenges ” which are the microcosms of the current anxiety and confusion regarding the land question . In essence , she says sorting out the land question is the way to the freedom of many disadvantaged South Africans .
But there has not been much clarity as to when and how the South African government intends to bring the recommendations of the 25th section of the constitution to life . Since the word of mouth has been going around about land expropriation without compensation and occupying the land , many South Africans have just been occupying land with no clarity as to what the section really means . The different political opinions about land expropriation also mounts a lot of weight on the interpretation of the notion of land expropriation without compensation and land occupation . As a result , South Africans are trapped in the hole of different ideas and opinions in one den .
And according to Mavuso , the indecisiveness and inefficiency in advancing the entails of section 25 continues to be an obstruction to the economic development , transformation , and human development in South Africa . This , she says , is because “ our unique history as a country of dispossession and the triple challenges of poverty , inequality and unemployment require strengthening and spreading of property ownership .”
Amendment of the Constitution
While the constitution provides for the expropriation of land without compensation in particular and / or exceptional circumstances , there is still a growing concern between government and various political parties that the constitution should be amended for the proper advancement of land reform .
But Head of Legal ( policy and research ) at the Free Market Foundation , Martin van Staden believes that the constitution should not be amended or changed .
“ The reason the constitution should not be changed is because it already provides for land reform quite generously , precisely section 25 provides that people who had their land dispossessed should be able to claim that land back ,” process which he believes has been inefficient .
According to van Staden , the 18th constitutional amendment bill i . e . the land expropriation without compensation bill , goes against what the South African bill of rights advocates for .
“ The expropriation without compensation bill goes against the founding values of the country , as section one of the constitution says South Africa is committed to the advancement of human rights and freedoms of the people of South Africa . And what government does is undermining and establishing an invested right to compensation ,” He says .
“ Government needs to strengthen property rights in South Africa .”
10 OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2020 SA Real Estate Investor Magazine
Leading inner-city real estate sector
Despite the reputations of our inner cities as run-down and
dangerous. Regenerative property projects in these areas continue
to capture the attention of the media, investors and tenants alike.
Some local initiatives have even received international acclaim for
their innovative use of neglected spaces to create thriving pockets
in areas where many once feared to tread.
f thoughtfully planned and developed, disused inner-city
buildings have unlimited potential to not only generate
profits, but to enrich the lives of urban dwellers by becoming
centres of commerce, culture, and community.
Many institutions and organisations, including TUHF
Limited, have been gearing and in full force working with
government to try and lure investors into realizing the
potential business success that lies behind these unused and
At a TUHF Inner City Property Conference, the vision of
which was to share thoughts and expertise of the best and
the brightest about the fields of urban regeneration, property
investment and urban planning, various experts like Professor
Francois Viruly focused on the growth and deteriorating state
of the property market in a broader perspective.
The property economist with over twenty years of
experience in advising public and private entities, and
Associate Professor and Director of the Urban Real Estate
Research Unit at the University of Cape Town (UCT) outlined
the state of the inner city property market as a whole, as well
as the trends that affect the ways our inner city spaces are
being used today.
The year’s Top Trend: Co-Living
In a period characterised by stubbornly high
unemployment, a lack of safe, affordable housing
opportunities, and a slow retail sector, Professor Viruly’s most
exciting ideas for real transformation hinged on a trend that
has already proven popular in major metros across South
Africa and internationally. A way of solving these social issues,
he argues, may be found in the formation of integrated
neighbourhoods featuring buildings designed for spatial
economy, variety, and convenience.
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2020 SA Real Estate Investor Magazine
Co-living – intentional communities that provide shared
affordable living spaces and facilities to people with similar
interests and values. The have emerged as the year's top trend,
ranked in pole position as a prospect for both investors and
increases are sitting at only around 4%. This applies to all
sectors, from retail and industrial to office and residential,”
Economic Stimulation by Night
Drawing on notable examples like Amsterdam, Viruly
suggests that without a vibrant night-time economy such as
24 hour hair dressers and retail shops, regenerative efforts
can only go so far.
He says developing such an economy will be vital in
drawing in tenants and creating sustainable and diverse
“Already, some of South Africa’s most exciting dining and
nightlife opportunities exist in our urban areas, and this
trend is set to only continue, with lower rents and mixed
working and living spaces proving attractive to innovative
businesses ready to cash in on a young middle-class
audience with rising disposable income,” He adds.
“A legacy of Apartheid land policies means that many in
South Africa have little inter-generational knowledge in the
areas of buying, selling and managing property, and though
programmes and incentives exist to help them break into
the sector through funding, education and mentorship.”
Legal and municipal red-tape presents another frustration
for would-be investors The release of land for development is
a slow process and involves fulfilling multiple procurement
requirements, not to mention dealing with zoning and time
delays, and inefficient municipal billing systems.
If these can be successfully navigated by aspiring
entrepreneurs with the grit to succeed, however, the sky is
“TUHF Limited is and has always been about unearthing
this potential, and that applies to both the properties we
finance and the people we support,” concludes CEO and Co-
founder of TUHF Limited, Paul Jackson.
What is holding property entrepre-
neurs back? SOURCE TUHF Limited
The opportunities for exponentially faster and grander
growth in our inner cities are tantalising, but several
hurdles remain for South Africa’s entrepreneur class as it
gets a handle on this often-overlooked property segment.
Professor Viruly’s talk threw several of these into sharp
focus. For additional information, please contact:
Marketing Manager: TUHF Limited
T: (010) 595 9045
“It’s no surprise that tenants are eager to experience the
convenience of mixed-use spaces for themselves. When
housing, public services, transportation options and work
opportunities are nearer to the places where we live and
raise our families, the knock-on effect can create astounding
changes in local economies. Smaller living spaces become
practical, rentals and transport are more affordable, and
much-needed spending power goes back into the pockets of
residents, who go on to use it to support local businesses,” He
Viruly believes that retailers operating in these same
buildings get much more of the vital foot-traffic they need
to thrive, and investors enjoy the rise in property values that
inevitably follows when a good mix of variable and fixed
tenants is established.
Prospects for the future look good as the
Professor Viruly shared further research conducted by
the Urban Real Estate Research Unit (UCT) which showed
a promising downward trend in CBD office vacancy rates
in most major South African metros, although a depressed
economy also means that increases in rents have in addition
slowed somewhat (to its lowest rate since 2015).
“Where rental increases of up to 8% were possible in the
past, it’s essential in today’s economy for property owners to
keep their operational costs in check. Today’s average rental
SA Real Estate Investor Magazine OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2020