The very detailed State of the Nation Address dealt with all of the economic and social issues that are currently of concern to the real estate industry, including the need to rebuild investor and consumer confidence in SA, stimulate economic growth, accelerate job creation and eliminate widespread corruption.
Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group
It was inspiring to hear how much progress there has been in the past year in reaching the R1.3tn investment target set by President Ramaphosa, in rebuilding sustainable relationships between government, labour and business, in restoring the credibility of institutions like the NPA and SARS and in addressing gender-based violence and other critical social issues in SA.
The president also shared what was being done to try to solve the Eskom crisis and to ensure that the perpetrators of corruption not only fce real consequences for their actions, but are forced to return money stolen from the ‘public purse’.
Optimistic and forward looking
However, the SONA was also very optimistic and forward looking, and we are excited by the announcement of several initiatives that will not only reduce the social housing shortage but significantly increase the number of South Africans who are able to build their own homes and /or enter the formal housing market - if they come to fruition.
These initiatives include the release of state-owned land in strategic locations that are close to work opportunities for housing development that will be integrated with the provision of all necessary transport, schooling and health facilties. We assume this initiative will run alongside plans for more than 500,000 new social housing units to be built over the next five years, and for R30bn to be spent on fixing, improving and expanding municipal infrastructures.
At the same time, government intends to expand the People’s Housing Programme, which provides serviced stands to households and housing collectives that are prepared to build their own homes, and is to set up a Human Settlements Development Bank to leverage private sector investment in new housing.
Meanwhile the special presidential task force on reducing the constraints on the establishment of new businesses – and especially small businesses – could, we think, be a real game changer in enabling more South Africans to earn enough to buy their own homes. Small business is after all the major engine of job creation, and jobs plus confidence in the future are the foundation stones of a healthy property sector.
Berry Everitt is the CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, which is one of the top five estate agency companies in South Africa and widely recognised for its innovative marketing methods, its technological leadership - and its absolute dedication to achieving exceptional customer service.
Everitt is the youngest son of the group's founders, Charles and Tilla Everitt, and has been involved in the business since it was established in 1988.
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