Berry Everitt, the chief executive of the Chas Everitt International, said they were excited by the announcement of several initiatives, which if they came to fruition, would not only reduce the social housing shortage but significantly increase the number of South Africans who were able to build their own homes and/or enter the formal housing market.
These initiatives included the release of state-owned land in strategic locations that were close to work opportunities for a housing development that would be integrated with the provision of all necessary transport, schooling and health facilities.
“We assume this initiative will run alongside plans for more than 500000 new social housing units to be built over the next five years and R30bn to be spent on fixing, improving and expanding municipal infrastructures.
“At the same time, the 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,” he said.
Rudi Botha, the chief executive of bond originator BetterBond, echoed some to these sentiments.
Botha said the establishment of the bank had real potential to solve South Africa’s social housing shortage within a few years, especially if its plans were integrated with those to release large tracts of state-owned land in strategic urban locations.
John Jack, Galetti Corporate Real Estate chief executive, hailed the focus on investment and plans to boost the economy saying it would bolster the entire real estate sector.
He said this would be a major boost for the real estate sector as both local and global businesses prepared themselves for expansion.
Samuel Seeff, a chairperson of Seeff Property Group, was more cautious, stressing that there was no “magic bullet” and economic recovery was likely to be gradual because there was much to be done.
“the property market will continue to trade fairly flat with mostly sideways activity during the early part of this year,” he said.
Herschel Jawitz, chief executive of Jawitz Properties, welcomed the address, saying, at last, there were some concrete proposals on the real issues facing the country.
But he said the real key was going to come down to the execution and implementation over the next year although, for the first time in a decade, the country had a direction to fix the problems, which was encouraging.