- Lack of clarity around South African government’s land reform has affected local markets.
- President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that privately owned land is not the target. Government is looking at unused land, derelict buildings, purely speculative land holdings, and abandoned inner-city buildings, among others.
- Existing property owners can rest assured that their property will remain theirs.
- The good news is it’s a buyer’s market so you have a good chance of finding your dream home at a price you can afford.
Talk of land expropriation without compensation in South Africa continues to create unease among local and foreign residents and investors alike. Many of those who live here and have the means or the passports to relocate are doing so – or at least seriously considering it.
Government has not been clear on how land expropriation will be implemented and this has had an effect on local markets. However, it’s not all doom and gloom and could very well suggest that potential homeowners consider that the cup is half full rather than half empty. It is a buyer’s market after all. Banks are continuing to lend aggressively, signalling that they are confident that land reform will be done in a manner that will not compromise South Africa’s residential property market.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken to clarify certain points, including the following:
- The state will not sanction land grabs.
- The land reform programme will not undermine future investment in the economy or damage agricultural production and food security.
- The plan is to strengthen the property rights of all South Africans, whether they own property or not, and to make land accessible to those who work it.
- The Constitution makes provision for land expropriation without compensation by placing an obligation on government to pursue land reform via restitution, redistribution and tenure reform.
- Privately owned land is not the target. Rather the focus is on unused land, derelict buildings, purely speculative land holdings, and abandoned inner-city buildings, among others.
- The land expropriation plans are long term. Government will assist and support beneficiaries of the initiative to ensure the sustainability of emerging agricultural enterprises.
Existing residential property owners should therefore take comfort that their property will remain theirs. And those with their eye on a strong investment (which property always is) should take advantage of the status quo when it comes to making a first-home purchase or extending their property portfolio.
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