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3 days 12 hours ago

The City of Cape Town’s Council has announced the possible adoption of smart real estate services to extract and to maximize the economic and social return from its assets.

During a recent Council address, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos said that going forward, the City of Cape Town must be committed to fully exploring the opportunity to incorporate the deployment and utilisation of the City’s immovable property asset portfolio as a pillar of our economic recovery.

The property transactions approved by Council today demonstrate the City’s determination to extract not only the best economic value from our property transactions but also the social value”.

Real estate underpins so many elements of our economic recovery. It creates jobs through construction, generates revenue for municipal service delivery and yes, provides roofs over our people’s heads. Going forward, our transactions will continue to represent the benefits of adopting a socio-economic lens while navigating the procedures and processes set out in the MFMA”.

“The pledge of the City’s Economic Opportunities and Asset Management team is to continue to work hard to prioritise generating a steady stream of opportunities (large and small) for all to participate”.

Alderman Vos explained that this smart approach will take different forms:

E-auctions

This will continue to allow participation by individual purchasers, giving real opportunities to residents to invest in their own property or business venture. In 2019, the City of Cape Town successfully sold and transferred approximately 60 properties. The total value of these transactions concluded was over R105 million where more than 40% of the transactions concluded were to individual purchasers.

Prioritised disposals and long-term lease agreements for social good

The City of Cape Town has recently approved the Bay View land disposal for the False Bay College. The City agreed that given educational contribution, and the social/community value that will be received in exchange for the land, the adoption of the lowest transaction price permitted was agreed upon – in terms of the City’s policy and municipal regulations.

Furthermore, the City has approved the recommendation to commence with a public participation process to request comment on the City’s intention to conclude a lease between PEDI and the City to revitalise the Philippi Fresh Produce Market.

“At last, through our partnership with PEDI, we are in a position to revitalise and create a facility to facilitate a more cost-effective distribution of fresh produce, thereby boosting the emerging farming sector and acting as a development catalyst for the Greater Philippi area. That is what smart property transactions are all about – identifying and creating the conditions to extract the best socio-economic use and or value from our immovable property portfolio” comments Alderman Vos.

By approving the next steps related to entering into a long-term lease agreement, the City of Cape Town is investing in the Cape Town Market. The proposed long-term lease will unlock the overdue upgrade and incorporation of the informal market.

The City will continue to receive a market-related rental, with the security of tenure provided through a long-term lease agreement allowing the Cape Town Market to reinvest in the footprint – recapitalising the asset. This process will include facilitating the modernising of the facility and incorporating a footprint for the informal market traders.

The current lease expires in February 2024 and it makes good business sense to procure a new lease of the property to ensure that there is no interruption to the ongoing market operations from the current lease to the new one.

“We understand that the function of the market within the regional food distribution system is vital with regards to food security for the people of Cape Town”.

“This transaction provides the opportunities to secure a significant strategic economic asset in the form of a function fresh produce market, to recapitalise an ageing capital asset at no direct cost to the City and, to resolve a long-standing social and environmental problem through the relocation of the irregular Buite Mark informal traders from their current location” concludes Alderman Vos.

3 days 13 hours ago

South African e-tailer, OneDayOnly.co.za has made South African e-commerce history by selling an exclusive luxury micro apartment in Newlands, Cape Town. The company announced that it has also sold a two-bedroom apartment for R3 350 000 (retail value of R3 815 000).

OneDayOnly partnered with Rawson Developers for the pre-launch drive to give visitors the opportunity to purchase select apartments before officially opening the development to the public.

Laurian Venter, OneDayOnly Directors says that everything happened so quickly by showing the agility and opportunity that lies within the e-commerce arena:

We finalised the mechanics of the deal on Friday last week, made updates to our site over the weekend – as we are not traditionally set up for property deals – and the deal went live on Sunday night at midnight”.

We usually see quite a high amount of traffic around midnight, just after our daily deals are launched. And this was no exception. The buyer clicked on the link on our site shortly after midnight and the paperwork was signed and sealed before 9am this morning.”

A quarter of a million Rand saving is a huge deal – and it just goes to show that, like any product we showcase, from socks to televisions, we are always looking to offer significant discounts to our customers.”

Venter also points out that the company continues to evolve in a COVID-19 world. “We’re always on the lookout for progressive partnerships such as this, and, with our ‘new normal’ including social distancing and abiding by health guidelines, showcasing the product ‘category’ of property in a daily retail context was an interesting proposition, which has now allowed us to make e-commerce history.”

Venter adds that while it is no secret that e-commerce in South Africa has simply mushroomed (the site has grown by 40% in four months) after the industry pushed to get severe lockdown restrictions lifted – it appears the opportunities are bigger than initially thought. “The point is, you just never know what deal you may wake up to,” says Venter.

From Ferrari’s – no lies (proof here) to Veldskoen, the opportunities are seemingly endless. “Occasionally – and without warning – local customers can get the most mind-blowing deals. Who would have thought they would wake up and buy a luxury apartment this morning?” concludes Venter.

3 days 15 hours ago
A survey conducted by the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) and the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) shows that architectural firms have been severely affected by the Covid-19 lockdown.

The survey reveals that 7% of architectural practices have already retrenched staff and with many more expected to retrench within the next three months.

In spite of fact that the construction industry has been allowed to reopen, a survey conducted by the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) and the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) shows severe hardship has already hit architectural firms across South Africa as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.

“If you think of the architects as the ‘canaries in the coal mine’, the survey paints a very bleak picture,” says Simmy Peerutin of Peerutin Architects, in his capacity representing the Cape Institute of Architecture (CiFA) on the Western Cape Property Development Forum (WCPDF).

Peerutin is also the chair and a former vice president of the Practice Committee of the South African Institute of Architects, and former president of the Cape Institute for Architecture.

The survey contains the responses of 1 817 practices across the country, potentially employing 12 600 staff.  With 7% already having retrenched staff and with many more expected to retrench within the next three months, the percentage retrenched was anticipated to be between 16% (best case scenario) and 27% (worst case scenario).

With the WCPDF requesting specific information out of this survey to reflect the position in the Western Cape,  it was revealed that out of the 1 817 practices countrywide, 594 practices were located in the province and had been employing 4 053 staff before the lockdown. Of these, 317 staff (8%) had already been retrenched, and it was estimated that by the end of the next three months this number could rise in the Western Cape to as many as 1 066 (26%).

Says WCPDF chairperson, Deon van Zyl: “There is a perception that professional services have not been hard hit by the lockdown, but the results of this survey show how deep the pandemic has hit the production line of property development. This means that the repercussions of the lockdown will be felt for years to come, and will have another huge impact on what was already a severely depressed and struggling property development and construction sector even before Covid-19.”

Of the 594 practices in the Western Cape, 10% had already closed their doors, while a further 18% indicated they would probably be forced to do the same. With the survey taking into account all levels of staff within the profession – architects, architectural technologists, draughtspeople and other support staff – it was clear in both the Western Cape and nationwide the hardest level being hit were those of architectural technologists.

Explains Van Zyl: “Technologists tend to do smaller projects and are therefore the worse hit among the profession. The report showed that up to 43% of this level of the profession could ultimately be retrenched.”

Another major factor revealed in the report was the national dissatisfaction with government aid, for which 32% of all practices had applied. Across the country, 27% had applied for UIF and 12% from the Covid-19 response fund, purposely set up to help businesses through the crisis. Of those who had applied, 60% had received UIF aid, but only 8% had received aid from the Covid-19 Response Fund.

Exacerbating the situation even further nationwide, 62% of the 1 817 practices who responded have had invoices outstanding for more than 30 days, creating huge cash flow problems with no new work coming in.

Concludes Peerutin: “It is estimated that R2.99 billion is outstanding in total, of which R1.44bn is owed by public sector. So the architectural profession in South Africa, on which the actual technical production line of property development begins, is essentially crippled.”

The post SURVEY SHOWS ARCHITECTURAL FIRMS HARD HIT BY LOCKDOWN appeared first on Leading Architecture & Design.

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