Diepsloot upheaval raises property jitters

Posted On Friday, 09 July 2004 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Pundits warn that more incidents could follow unless urban management caters for the lower end of the market

Herschel Jawitz CE Jawitz PropertiesPROVIDED it was an isolated incident, the violence that erupted in the Diepsloot informal settlement this week would not depreciate the value of residential property of nearby suburbs Dainfern, Douglasdale, Cedar Lakes and Fourways, property pundits said yesterday.

But they warned that an urban management policy that included the lower end of the market should be put in place.

About 22 people were arrested during the protests earlier this week, following rumours of planned forced removals.

The Gauteng government reiterated yesterday that residents would not be moved elsewhere, saying it had no plans to relocate people to Brits.

Since the outbreak of violent protests on Monday, protesters have burnt down two council offices, blockaded the R511 road and hurled stones at cars.

A nine-year-old girl was taken to hospital after being shot in the face by police firing rubber bullets to disperse protesters .

Ronald Ennik , chief operating officer of Pam Golding Properties, said yesterday that the residential property market in the areas surrounding Diepsloot was strong enough to weather any negative influences .

"But I believe there needs to be an in-depth look into what happened here because there doesn't seem to be real justification for the turmoil," he said .

Ennik said if the Diepsloot protests were a "once-off situation", the residential property market in nearby suburbs would "easily survive ".

But he warned that repeated flare-ups of violence in the area could eventually result in the value of property depreciating .

Herschel Jawitz , CEO of Jawitz Properties, also believed that the Diepsloot incident would not immediately a ffect property prices in the area, but said it might create uncertainty in the market.

"I think the bigger issue is land ownership for disadvantaged communities, and this needs to be addressed in a sustainable way," Jawitz said.

Adrian Saville, chief investment officer at Cannon Asset Managers, said that because the violence had been contained, it was unlikely to have any "longlasting negative effect (on residential property prices)".

Property economist Francois Viruly, of Viruly Consulting, said the future success of the South African residential property market could not be separated from the housing and the property sector at the lower end of the market.

He also stressed the importance of putting in place an urban management policy that was inclusive of the lower end of the market.

"While we speak of land restitution on big farmlands, we could find ourselves with land restitution issues in the urban environment," he said.

"The future of the market, whether the high or low end, relies on our success in addressing poverty and more specifically the housing needs of all the sectors of the population."

Viruly did not believe property prices would be affected in the area surrounding Diepsloot, but warned that if land issues were not handled responsibly, "land invasion can become an issue".

Meanwhile, Gauteng housing MEC Nomvula Mokonyane yesterday lashed out at the illegal occupation of reconstruction and development programme houses in Diepsloot.

Last modified on Tuesday, 27 May 2014 12:54

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