Post-SONA commentary from CEO of Jawitz Properties, Herschel Jawitz

Posted On Friday, 14 February 2020 11:35 Published by
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Herschel Jawitz has cautiously welcomed President Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address, which addressed most of the critical issues facing the country but not necessarily in enough detail.

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Jawitz believes that the key to restoring economic growth is confidence by business to invest and consumers to spend. Key comments by the President in his address that may start to restore confidence include decisive action on Eskom, load shedding and the need to accelerate the inclusion of alternative energy sources.

In addition, his comments regarding the finalisation of the amendment to Section 25 of the constitution that affects land expropriation are welcomed. It is, however, the uncertainty around the amendment which is causing the damage and not necessarily the bill itself. Jawitz welcomed the release of further government land for agricultural use. Many of the land issues could be solved through allocation of government-owned land and the issuing of title deeds to people who have been living on their land for extended periods rather than resorting to expropriation.

Markets and investors don’t like uncertainty and the sooner this bill is finalised the better. Once again, the key test for the implementation of the many initiatives highlighted by the President was summed up in his comments that ‘we will embrace change and fear nothing’. If confidence is to be restored, South Africans will have to see action on the ground.

From a residential property market point of view, the current market in terms of bank lending, interest rates and property prices offers the best buying opportunities since 2008. The lack of confidence to think long term and invest long term in residential property is what is holding the market back rather than affordability. The state of the residential market is a crisis of confidence.

Last modified on Friday, 14 February 2020 11:56

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