While today’s Budget again makes billions of rands available for housing and infrastructure that would substantially improve the lives of millions of South Africans, there is a serious question mark over government's ability to convert such funds into actual product, according to Dr Willie Marais, national president of the Institute of Estate Agents (IEASA).
"It was with this in mind that IEASA recently joined the International Housing Coalition, the organisation that co-ordinates efforts around the world to address the issues of housing provision for the poor, and is now in a position to offer much practical information and advice to government to help speed up housing delivery, in line with the Millenium Development goal of eradicating squatter camps by 2014.
"To achieve this goal, and to enable the delivery of sufficient low income housing to meet the growing demand, it will be necessary for government to look beyond itself and draw in as many players from the private sector as possible.
"Meanwhile, we heartily welcome the provisions in this year to make life easier for small businesses in tax terms. More than 75 percent of the real estate industry is made up of small operators and the increase in the VAT threshhold and the possible introduction of a simpler tax system for those with a turnover of less than R1m is most welcome.