South Africa’s much needed land debate is being turned into an international racist rant

South Africa’s land—still largely owned by the white minority—is to be redistributed to black owners.

The resolution in parliament on Feb. 27 is historic and emotional as it seeks to address the displacement of black South Africans through four centuries of colonialism and apartheid.

The motion is based on a policy decision taken by the African National Congress in December last year. It “resolved that this should be pursued without destabilizing the agricultural sector; without endangering food security in our country; and without undermining economic growth and job creation,” according to an ANC statement.

Nowhere did it say that the land was to be taken from white farmers, and yet that has not only become the headline, it has fuelled political jockeying ahead of South Africa’s 2019 election. It also distracts from a process that is essential to fixing the country’s enduring inequality.

The motion does not immediately trigger expropriation, but instead appoints a committee who will review South Africa’s liberal constitution, which already allows for land redress. The process is vague and will likely be a protracted bureaucratic matter. This, however, would not make for a dramatic headline and catchy slogan. In the absence of details, extremist views have choked out any real debate.

“If necessary, AfriForum will fight the motion in the council halls of the United Nations,” reads a petition launched by an Afrikaner lobby, aimed at the international community to “illustrate the extent of the crisis.”

Thousands have already signed similar petitions asking US president Donald Trump to allow white South Africans into the country. Another petition is aimed at the EU, based on white South Africans’ ancestry.

These campaigns are based on the dangerous myth that a “white genocide,” targeting white farmers in particular has been underway since the ANC came to power in 1994. Some petitions went as far as implying that white South Africans should jump the immigration line ahead of Somali and Middle Eastern refugees who could not be vetted, according to the

Conservative media have also taken up the task of sounding the alarm that South Africa was headed toward the kind of violence Zimbabwe saw about a decade ago. The comparisons with Zimbabwe’s policy failures would be helpful in a sober conversation. The current discourse instead distorts complicated events that led to impoverished black war veterans violently forcing white farmers off their land with the protection of an increasingly despotic Robert Mugabe.

British newspaper the Daily Mail reported the South African parliament’s motion as a done deal that echoed Zimbabwe more than a decade earlier: “White South African farmers will be removed from their land after a landslide vote in parliament,” read their inaccurate lead on February 28. Glenn Beck told his listeners that “it could be a full-fledged race war,” (although he didn’t quite agree with letting Afrikaner refugees into the US).

On Fox News, Tucker Carlson said US liberals’ refusal to act was “giving cover to one of the most corrupt regimes in the world.” Darker corners of the internet see a civil war coming. Breitbart emerged as the relatively more considered voice in this arena, saying this was not a matter of race, but of spreading socialism.

It would be easy to ignore the right rants if it weren’t for similar utterances on the left. The radical Economic Freedom Fighters brought the motion to parliament and seemed determine to ensure that victory would not be overshadowed by the centrist ANC.

“We don’t back whites, we don’t care about their feelings. They’ve made us suffer for a very long time. They must be happy we’re not calling for genocide,” EFF leader Julius Malema told a crowd in Soweto, quickly adding that taking back the land did not require outright violence. “We hurt you and take from you without a drop of blood—that’s the power of democracy.”



7 things you need to know before you go to SA

South Africa has a lot of natural appeal, in its wildlife and national parks and mountain scenery. But it has many more layers to it than that.

It’s got diverse, rich culture, urban grit and world-class wine and dining – and then of course there’s also the apartheid legacy, which bears learning about. Here are seven things you need to know before you go.



A South African braai is absolutely a must-do on your trip. Expect plates laden high with salty, perfectly cooked meat, cooked over an open fire. Ribs, chicken, sausages, thinly sliced beef steaks – you definitely won’t go hungry. And they do Nando’s even better than Nando’s ‘Chicken dust’ is the strange-sounding origin of the UK’s favourite cheeky restaurant, and my God is it good. Straight up chicken grilled and spiced right in front of you, it’s fresh and totally delicious. There’s no mango and lime option here, though: prepare to set your mouth on fire. But even more popular is pap Less palatable to the taste buds of the uninitiated is South Africa’s staple food, pap. It’s almost impossible to describe, but it’s somewhere between porridge and rice, and tastes of, well, not a lot. Personally I was glad to be rid of the stuff, but for a lot of South Africans it’s the taste of home. Safari is every bit as exciting as you think it will be.

Going on safari is a bucket-list staple and it is just as fun as it sounds. Even if you don’t get to spot one of the big five, the whole thing is a great laugh. From rumbling around in a jeep, to sharing the roads with zebra and antelope, safari is so much fun. No South Africa trip would be complete without it. Don’t be surprised if the power goes off Load shedding is a common practice across many areas of South Africa. What this essentially means is that the power goes off at set times of day across whole areas at a time. Not very convenient, but at least now you know. There are heaps of different languages.

Afrikaans and English are spoken widely across the country, but a multitude of local languages abound across South Africa. Swazi, Zulu and Xhosa are just three examples – and the language people speak largely depends on from which area of the country they originated. If you want a challenge, try pronouncing ‘Xhosa’ – it starts with a click. It surrounds another country.

If just the one country isn’t enough for your trip, you could always pay a visit to Lesotho too. It’s entirely encircled by South Africa, but this high-altitude country has some great attractions on offer in its own right: hiking and waterfalls and mountains. You can ski there too.





SA is running out of water

Reservoirs in Cape Town, the jewel of South Africa’s Western Cape region, are nearly empty.

Amid its worst drought since records began, the city — and the Western Cape province more broadly — is speeding towards a so-called Day Zero. This is when dam levels fall to 13.5 percent capacity, meaning that the taps must be turned off, forcing 4 million residents to instead queue for water. Day Zero is currently projected to fall on July 15, although has been forecast as early as April.

Cape Town’s population has been living on 50 liters of water a day, a limit that can be maintained by flushing the toilet just once daily and limiting showers to 10 liters. Plugs have been removed from rooms of luxury hotels to prevent guests from taking baths. Staggered tariffs on water consumption have also been imposed.

Measuring the impact to South Africa’s fundamentals

The drought has not been factored into the South African Reserve Bank’s economic growth projections for this year. “Developing an estimate is tricky and not straightforward — we are, however, looking into it,” the institution told CNBC via email.

“We need to get low consumption but we don’t want to collapse the economy,” Ian Neilson, Cape Town’s deputy mayor and head of the water response team, told CNBC via telephone. “It’s critical to ensure that there is business continuity,” he added.

Supporting business is key to South Africa’s political agenda, more broadly. New President Cyril Ramaphosa is tasked with resurrecting the country’s sluggish economy, which grew at 0.8 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2017. South Africa is infamous for its high unemployment, which had risen to 26.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. Youth unemployment in Cape Town itself is higher, measured at 31.7 percent.

“The Western Cape economy is about 13 percent of the national economy, so a 1 percent reduction in Western Cape gross domestic product growth takes about 0.13 percent off growth of the total economy,” Rian le Roux, South Africa-based strategist at investment firm Old Mutual, told CNBC via email last week.

But, he added that the hit to growth was difficult to forecast, given the nuanced impact of the natural disaster. “Not all of the province has been hit by the drought and other industries are being stimulated,” such as borehole drillers and tank manufacturers, he added.

Rural-urban migration is a contributing factor

Socio-economic factors have played a role in exacerbating the water crisis. Rural-urban migration to Cape Town, South Africa’s second-largest city, has been rising in recent years. The population grew 2.6 percent between 2001-2011, and managing newcomers “certainly is a real issue,” Neilson admitted.

But for him, the focus remained on practical action. “We’re more interested in dealing with the crisis than working out ways to measure it,” he said.

Water tariffs have been criticized for hurting the region’s poor while the rich are able to pay for more water, though Neilson said that the authorities were focused on making water management an “equitable process.”

The local government, run by South Africa’s main opposition party — the Democratic Alliance — has been criticized by some for its efforts to deal with the natural disaster. “The city started too late with water restrictions… Tighter restrictions should have started some years ago when dams failed to fill up properly,” le Roux said.

On a national level, South Africa’s parliament will hold an inquiry into allegations of mismanagement at its Department of Water and Sanitation, Reuters reported Friday. The country’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts has called for a criminal case to be brought against the ministry for opening a 2.9 billion rand ($245 million) overdraft with the central bank, Reuters said.

Wine and vegetable production has taken a hit

Wine production, for which the area around Cape Town is world famous, is down by 20 percent. Meanwhile, fruit and vegetable production – including onions, potatoes and tomatoes – has dropped by 15 percent year on year as farmers planted less due to water shortages, Paul Makube, agricultural economist at South Africa’s First National Bank told CNBC via telephone Friday.

The wine industry in particular is among South Africa’s “biggest foreign exchange earners,” Makube said.

Cape Town’s residents can be fed with crops grown in South Africa’s other provinces; food supply and the present drought’s effect on food inflation is hedged by favorable conditions inland and a bumper crop last year. But Makube warned that “if there was another season of drought, the impact could be huge.”

Even if sufficient rains come this winter, Cape Town’s water crisis is unlikely to be solved for good. Tackling the problem requires a “permanent lifestyle change,” Makube said.



SA traces deadly listeria outbreak to meat product

South Africa’s health ministry is warning consumers to avoid “all processed meat products that are sold as ready-to-eat” after tracing the source of deadly listeria outbreak to a sausage meat product.

“As of 02 March 2018, a total of laboratory-confirmed cases have risen to 948, still counting from January 2017,” Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi said Sunday in remarks published on the website for South Africa’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases. “Of these 948, a total 659 patients have been traced and 180 of them have unfortunately died.”
Officials have identified a meat product known as “polony” from the Enterprise Food-Production facility in Polokwane in South Africa as the source of the outbreak, Motsoaledi said.
In a statement on posted to its Twitter account, Enterprise said it was working with all relevant authorities to recall its products.
“We have suspended operations at both Enterprise manufacturing facilities (Polokwane and Germiston) and have stopped supply to retailers,” the company said.

Sick children

Motsoaledi said the listeria had been traced to the product after nine children under the age of 5 presented at a hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg, on January 12 with febrile gastroenteritis.
Samples of polony manufactured by Enterprise as well as another company were taken from their daycare center. Products manufactured at Enterprise’s Polokwane factory subsequently tested positive for the strain that was later found to be responsible for almost all of the cases, Motsoaledi said.


Potential cross-contamination

The minister advised “members of the public to avoid all processed meat products that are sold as ready-to-eat. ”
“While we know that polony is definitely implicated, there is a risk of cross-contamination of other ready-to-eat processed meat products, either at production, distribution or retail.
“This is because Listeria on the exterior casing (packaging) of polony can be transferred to other products it comes into contact with, including viennas, russians, frankfurters, other sausages, and other ‘cold meat’ products that are typically not cooked before eating,” he said.


Listeria risks

Listeria bacteria may cause fever and diarrhea — just like other foodborne bugs — but certain people are at greatly increased risk: the elderly, people with a weak immune system, pregnant women and their newborns.
Pregnant women are 10 times more likely than other people to become infected, and the bacteria can be passed on to the developing fetus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths and premature labor.



Ramaphosa Confronts Land Reform in SA

The predominance of white ownership of land [PDF] is taken by many—perhaps most—South Africans as emblematic of the persistence of apartheid injustice. Hence, there have long been calls for the expropriation of white-owned agricultural land without compensation. That was a central tenant of the Pan-African Congress, a liberation-movement rival of the now-governing African National Congress, and of the Economic Freedom Fighters, at present the third largest party in parliament. (It has 25 seats compared to 89 for the Democratic Alliance and 249 for the ANC.) At its December 2017 party convention, the ANC also supported expropriation without compensation and on February 27, 2018, parliament overwhelmingly voted to begin a process that would amend the constitution to allow for expropriation of without compensation.

The persistent poverty of much of its black majority is the greatest challenge to South Africa’s democratic government. Inequality of wealth largely follows racial lines. In 2015, more than 55 percent of South Africans were poor. According to Statistics South Africa, less than 1 percent of the total white population was poor, while 63 percent of black people, 37 percent of coloured people, and 7 percent of Indian/Asian people were poor. The nine percent of South Africa’s population that is white holds the lion’s share of the country’s wealth. Most blacks see their poverty as the direct consequence of apartheid. While it is true that since the transition to non-racial democracy the small black middle class has grown and a few oligarchs have emerged, wealth inequality among blacks is now much greater than that between whites and blacks.

More on:

South Africa Forests and Land Management Agricultural Policy Sub-Saharan Africa
Many may be asking whether South Africa is going down the road of Zimbabwe, where Robert Mugabe seized white-owned agricultural land and helped destroy the economy. The short answer is no. For a start, South Africa is a constitutional democracy, not a parliamentary democracy, which means that the constitution limits what parliament can do. More to the point, it specifically guarantees the right to private property, meaning that expropriation without compensation would be immediately challenged in the courts. Therefore, the constitution must be amended. This vote has begun that process, but it is difficult and time-consuming.

Cyril Ramaphosa, state president and leader of the governing ANC, publicly supports expropriation without compensation, but also stresses that commercial agriculture and the country’s food security must be protected. A businessman and an oligarch, he is also committed to growing the economy to address poverty; that requires the confidence of foreign and domestic investors that their property rights will be respected. Therefore, white-owned farms, which dominate commercial agriculture, will likely be protected in the interest of the economy.

South Africa is now about 60 percent urban, and urbanization is proceeding rapidly. Further complicating forced expropriation is the fact that African small-scale farming is not popular. Of those South Africans compensated for apartheid-era expropriation of their land, nearly all of them chose financial compensation rather than the return of their land. Of the land that has already been redistributed by the state, a credible estimate is that 70 percent of it is no longer in production.

Nevertheless, land reform is an emotional and symbolic issue, especially in rural areas, and it is easily exploited as an issue by populist politicians. Where the practical need for land reform is most pressing is in urban and suburban areas, where there is substantial pressure from people leaving rural areas to look for work. Hence the emergence or expansion of informal settlements, mostly on government-owned land. State-owned land and tribal trust lands provide a possible venue for land redistribution without an impact on investor confidence or agricultural production. By and large, however, tribal chiefs would not like that approach because their control of tribal lands is basic to their local power. These chiefs were an important political constituency of former president Jacob Zuma, whom Ramaphosa has driven from office. This could spell an end to vetoes on land redistribution by tribal chiefs.



The 5 most popular car brands in SA

Naamsa has released its latest vehicle sales and exports report, with over 92,124 vehicles sold in the first two months of 2018.

In an analysis of the data, Absa said that this amounts to a 6.6% decrease when compared to the 98,587 vehicles sold in the first two months of 2017.

Of these cars sold, Absa said that 84% were sold by dealers to the public, 9.7% went to the rental industry, 2.6% were sold to government and 3.7% were sold to corporates.

Cars sold in South Africa

Of the 46,347 new vehicles sold in South Africa in February 2018, passenger vehicle sales accounted for 67.3% (31,200) of the sales.

When looking at the five brands which were the most popular amongst South African drivers during this time period, Toyota was by far the most popular local brand at 10,264 passenger vehicles sold – with the Fortuner, Etios and Corolla all featuring on the top 10 best-selling cars list.

Volkswagen was second with 7,519 cars sold (more than half of which was made up by the Polo and Polo Vivo), and Ford was third with 5,654 cars sold.

In contrast 27,473 cars were exported in February 2018 with Mercedes exporting 10,891 vehicles, Volkswagen exporting 6,427, and Toyota exporting 5,346.

Bestselling vehicles in South Africa

Below are the 10 best-selling passengers cars of February 2018, as provided by Naamsa:

  1. Volkswagen Polo – 2,847
  2. Volkswagen Polo Vivo – 2,044
  3. Toyota Corolla/Auris/Quest – 1,302
  4. Hyundai Grand i10 – 1,008
  5. Toyota Fortuner – 1,006
  6. Toyota Etios – 990
  7. Ford EcoSport – 814
  8. Ford Figo – 775
  9. Kia Picanto – 686
  10. Datsun GO – 591



Woman mauled to death at ‘lion whisperer’ reserve in South Africa

The 22-year-old was killed at a camp run by a world-renowned “lion whisperer” who has appeared in several films and documentaries.

A young woman has been mauled to death by a lioness at a wildlife reserve made famous by a world-renowned “lion whisperer”.

The 22-year-old was visiting a camp run by Kevin Richardson at the Dinokeng Game Reserve in Gauteng, near Johannesburg, when she was attacked on Tuesday morning.

She had been accompanying a friend for an interview with the manager of the camp, and the pair were taking photos as they prepared to leave before the lioness encountered her.

It had been pursing an impala at the “Big Five” reserve, which is home to lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalo.

Mr Richardson, who has appeared in several documentaries and films as a result of the relationships he has developed with big cats and hyenas, said he was “saddened and shocked” to hear of the incident.

“Myself and an experienced colleague took three lions walking in the reserve, as we do on a weekly basis, as part of their exercise and stimulation regiment,” he explained.

“We assessed the landscape for other Big Five animals and as per procedure sent out a notification that we were walking in the reserve.

“One of the lionesses charged off after an impala and must have run 2 to 2.5km, where she encountered the 22-year-old outside the car.

“I am devastated and my heart goes out to this young woman’s family.”

Paramedics were called at about 11am but the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

She has not been identified but is believed to be South African, according to local media.

Fans of Mr Richardson and the reserve have shown their support for his work on social media, with many expressing hope that the animal would not be euthanised.

In 2015, Mr Richardson defended a decision by The Lion Park – another reserve near Johannesburg – to spare the life of a lioness who mauled a tourist through an open window of a car she was travelling in.

He said it would have been unfair to put it down because the animal acted instinctively, and it was instead moved to an enclosure not accessible by visitors.

Dinokeng Game Reserve has 13 predator enclosures and a large central area in which the animals are rotated through every few weeks, with several camping options for those who wish to visit.



Does South Africa really need a stronger rand?


South Africa’s new president calls the current optimism experienced in the country as “a new dawn.” It’s a sentiment the country’s volatile currency seems to have embraced, pushing below 12 rand to $1 when Cyril Ramaphosa took over the ruling party. The currency, which has risen by some 15% in the last couple of months, maintains its newfound confidence as Ramaphosa became the country’s fifth president and brought back finance minister Nhlanhla Nene—whose 2015 axing first triggered the rand’s downward spiral.

Once pegged to the country’s vast gold reserves, the rand used to be 2:1 to the pound and nearly as strong as the dollar until a generation ago. Today, however, it seems pegged to the anxiety of post-apartheid South Africa. A stronger rand may boost the national psyche, but it’s really not clear if South Africa really wants its currency to keep getting stronger.

A malleable currency
South Africa’s currency is prone to manipulation, though. Last year, the country’s Competition Commision found that 17 banks, both local and international, were colluding on the rand dollar exchange rate to turn a profit.

Like Turkey, Russia and Brazil, South Africa’s economy allows large amounts of capital to flow in, making their currencies attractive to forex traders, explains Dinham. The rand was ranked the 20th most traded currency in 2016, with daily trades accounting for 1% of the global daily currency trading market, according to the triennial survey (pdf) by the Bank for International Settlements.



South Africa’s New President Names Allies and Rivals to Cabinet

CAPE TOWN — President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa announced the makeup of his first cabinet on Monday night, appointing well-respected officials to key positions but naming as his deputy a provincial power broker with a history of poor management.

In forming his cabinet 11 days after being sworn in as president, Mr. Ramaphosa also retained some allies of his scandal-plagued predecessor, Jacob Zuma, apparently trying to balance the competing factions inside the African National Congress, the governing party. Mr. Ramaphosa has pledged to make clean government a priority.

Although Mr. Ramaphosa succeeded in forcing Mr. Zuma to step down as president, the composition of his first cabinet underscored the enduring influence of Mr. Zuma and his supporters, experts said.

“In recent weeks, a lot of people seem to have forgotten that there are many in the leadership that are not enthusiastic about the new direction taken by Ramaphosa,” said Steven Friedman, a political analyst at the University of Johannesburg. “There is a substantial number of people in the cabinet who supported Zuma, though, in the key ministries, Ramaphosa got the people he wanted to get in.”

In a highly symbolic appointment, Nhlanhla Nene, a well-respected former finance minister fired by Mr. Zuma in 2015, assumed the same position in Mr. Ramaphosa’s cabinet.

Another highly regarded official, Pravin Gordhan, who often clashed with Mr. Zuma, was named to lead the Ministry of Public Enterprises, a source of widespread corruption during Mr. Zuma’s nine-year presidency.

Continue reading the main story

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Jacob Zuma Resigns as South Africa’s President FEB. 14, 2018
“In making these changes, I have been conscious of the need to balance continuity and stability with the need for renewal, economic recovery and accelerated transformation,” Mr. Ramaphosa said in a televised address.

But Mr. Ramaphosa also reappointed a handful of familiar figures from Mr. Zuma’s past cabinets, including some linked to cases of corruption and poor administration.

In addition, Mr. Ramaphosa chose as the nation’s deputy president — the post that he himself occupied under Mr. Zuma — the premier of Mpumalanga Province, David Mabuza. A longtime ally of Mr. Zuma, Mr. Mabuza switched sides in the A.N.C.’s election in December, handing Mr. Ramaphosa a narrow victory.

“Ramaphosa wouldn’t have been elected without Mabuza,” Mr. Friedman said.

But Mr. Mabuza, he said, was known for ruling with “an iron fist” and for “consistent allegations of corruption.” His province was also for many years the “epicenter of political killings,” Mr. Friedman said.

The appointment of Mr. Mabuza to the second-highest position in the government — one that has served as a springboard to the presidency in South Africa’s post-apartheid history — could undermine Mr. Ramaphosa’s pledge to root out corruption, experts said.

“How can Ramaphosa claim to be anti-corruption when he is standing next to such a morally compromised figure as David Mabuza?” said Ralph Mathekga, a political analyst and author. “When he talks about being anti-corruption, he’ll just have to sing to the birds, because no one else will listen.”

In his state of the nation address a day after being sworn in as president this month, Mr. Ramaphosa said that “a new dawn is upon us.” He promised to rejuvenate the economy, create jobs and fight corruption.

Earlier this month, Mr. Ramaphosa pushed Mr. Zuma to resign as the nation’s leader, though his term did not expire until mid-2019. Mr. Ramaphosa persuaded the party’s top leaders that getting rid of the unpopular, scandal-plagued Mr. Zuma as soon as possible would help the party rebuild itself before national elections next year.

In December, Mr. Ramaphosa, who had served as Mr. Zuma’s deputy for nearly four years, was elected leader of the A.N.C., defeating Mr. Zuma’s preferred candidate. In a country where the president is chosen by Parliament, the A.N.C.’s top leaders effectively select the nation’s leader.


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How people feel about selling, buying and renting homes in South Africa right now

Positivity surrounding South Africa’s improved political situation, as well as some greater optimism regarding the country’s economic prospects, have carried over to the property market.

This is according to Absa’s latest Homeowner Sentiment Index (HSI), which measures sentiments of South African consumers with regard to various aspects of the residential property market.

The overall HSI score, which reflects the percentage of survey respondents with positive sentiment regarding residential property market conditions, was only marginally higher at 82% in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with 81% in the third quarter.

The main reasons mentioned by survey respondents which impacted their perceptions regarding the property market in the fourth quarter were the following:

  • Property is a secure asset (33%).
  • Property still increases in value (28%).
  • A home is essential (11%).

Buying property

Property-buying sentiment remained on an upward trend in the fourth quarter of 2017, increasing to 70%, after a low of 60% in the first quarter of the year.

The main reasons mentioned in favour of buying property were the following:

  • Property prices are relatively low and there are bargains in the market (29%).
  • Property still increases in value and is a good investment (23%).
  • The rand exchange rate is strong (9%).

Selling property

The positive sentiment towards selling property improved further to 41% in the fourth quarter of last year, rising from a low of 34% in the second quarter.

The top reasons for selling property were the following:

  • Property prices are relatively high and you may get a good price when selling (35%).
  • Many people want to own property, which is supportive of selling (13%).
  • It is a good time to sell property (5%).

Investing in property

As many as 83% of respondents were positive about property as an investment in the final quarter of 2017, which was much in line with sentiment in the third quarter of last year and the fourth quarter of 2016.

Reasons mentioned why it is an appropriate time to invest in property were as follows:

  • It is a good time to investment in property (30%).
  • Property prices are relatively low and there are bargains in the market (15%).
  • There is a demand for rental properties (15%).

Renovating property

A total of 79% of survey respondents displayed positive sentiment in the fourth quarter of 2017 when asked whether it is a good time to renovate or do alterations to a property. The fourth-quarter positive sentiment regarding property renovations was unchanged from the preceding quarter.

The top reasons mentioned in this regard were the following:

  • Renovation increases the value of a property (38%).
  • Building materials are currently well-priced (12%).
  • It is good to constantly upgrade a property, especially if trying to sell (11%).

Buying rather than renting property

The positive sentiment regarding buying rather than renting property was unchanged at 74% in the fourth quarter of 2017 from the third quarter of last year.

The main reasons mentioned in favour of buying versus renting property were as follows:

  • It is better to buy and pay off your own mortgage bond than rent and pay someone else’s bond (29%).
  • Property still increases in value and is a good investment (22%).
  • Property prices are relatively low and there are bargains in the market (22%).