The South African Residential Developers Association (SAARDA) was formed to address the affordable housing industry challenges through constructive and collective bargaining. SAARDA has grown from small beginnings to a significant role player in the affordable housing sector.
The goal is to create an environment between Government, Local Authorities, Communities, industry professionals, financial institutions and developers to effectively deliver much needed housing, thereby creating:
- Economic growth;
- Infrastructure delivery;
- Sound communities and a better future for the next generation.
Over the past year SAARDA achieved success through constructive engagement, representing the interest of its members on various forums to deliver our input and express our concerns through participation.
The affordable housing industry is facing numerous new challenges through new legislation initiatives and local authority policy changes in a continuous changing society and economy.
The Property Practitioner Bill
The Bill was tabled to replace the current Estate Agent Affairs Board (EAAB) to include virtually everyone involved in the property industry including:
- Selling of property;
- Bond Facilitators (originators)
- Private funders (excluding Banks);
- Developer in-house sales teams;
- Rental Management etc. to name a few.
The Act would require everyone involved in these activities together with its directors to meet the minimum requirements set for an Estate Agent and Principal under the current Act.
The proposed Bill directly impacts a number of our members. We delivered our input and expressed our concerns on the practical implication thereof. We expect the amended Bill to be published soon and continue to monitor the impact on the Industry.
Inclusionary Housing Policy
The City of Johannesburg was the first to table a new Inclusionary Housing Policy (Policy) and it is expected that most Local Authorities are already drafting their own policies in terms of SPLUMA.
We engaged with the City of Johannesburg and objected to the policy on various grounds including the constitutionality of the proposed policy. After numerous consultations the City of Johannesburg tabled an amended policy, one that we believe is a practical policy for developers in general, although it did not make provision for the affordable space.
After constructive engagement with the City of Johannesburg we agreed that JHB and SAARDA would enter into a Memorandum of Agreement, specifically relevant to the affordable housing space, under which SAARDA members will comply under the new Policy. This will provide clear and specific guidelines for affordable housing, taking the uncertainties out of the equation when planning a new development.
We are engaging with other Local Authorities during the drafting process of their Inclusionary Housing Policies.
We commenced discussions with the NHBRC for the reduction of the enrolment fees, especially in the affordable space where price sensitivity is always relevant. We trust that collectively we can make positive progress in the coming months.
We are also engaging with the NHBRC to find an effective way forward to deal with the Adjustment of Enrolment values. The NHBRC issued a circular on the 20th of July 2018 whereby they advised that “the market value fluctuations over time is not an under declaration and therefore no price adjustment should be effected”. This was a result of declaring under values when enrolling properties at commencement of construction by developers and then later correcting the values to align with the bank bond amounts.
We are in discussion with the NHBRC to adopt a suitable policy where significant property value increases do take place and that within reason the price adjustment can be effected. This might also include punitive measures where blatant under enrolment took place.
The issue of developer contributions in the affordable space is always a contentious matter. We are in the process of gathering accurate information and statistics from our Developers to show that the consumption and usage of bulk services in affordable developments are indeed less that general developments and thus should have a lower contribution levy.
SAARDA envisage that this will result in effective agreement with Local Authorities that could be included in future Memorandum of Agreements for the benefit of SAARDA members.
Tshwane Development Forum
The City of Tshwane municipality recently introduced an innovative forum to engage with the role players in the property development industry. SAARDA is represented on the forum and is attempting to establish an affordable housing sub committee to deal with the unique challenges in our industry.
We are starting to engage with other Metropol Councils to establish similar forums to have open communication channels to discuss and resolve issues and stumbling blocks.
SAARDA membership is open to all role players in the property industry including contractors and suppliers, engineers, town planners, architects, surveyors, environmental consultants, attorneys, financial institutions and bond facilitators. Our membership also extends to National and Provincial Government and Local Authorities.
We have numerous events per annum and attempt to have guest speakers at our events to address interesting and relevant matter in our industry.
Please visit our website www.saarda.co.za for more information on membership, events and newsletters.