Rudi Botha, CEO of SA’s leading bond originator BetterBond, says the SONA was very wide ranging and covered a huge number of initiatives, but that there were definitely some highlights for the real estate market.
Essentially, higher home ownership and the increased personal wealth that this brings is dependent on three things: investor confidence, economic growth and job creation, and the SONA made it clear that President Ramaphosa and his team have been working very hard to increase all three.
“They have openly addressed and taken action on things that make potential investors nervous, such as a previous lack of clear policy direction in mining and land ownership, rampant corruption and the near-collapse of State-Owned Enterprises like Eskom. They have also been very open to working with the private sector to accelerate the implementation of many new projects that will stimulate economic growth and job creation.
“And looking ahead, we are particularly pleased by the establishment of the new R100bn National Infrastructure Fund to leverage private investment into the revitalization of existing infrastructure and the development of new roads, railways, dams, harbours, hospitals and schools – as well as the provision of urgently needed student housing at tertiary institutions. Thousands of jobs will be created in the process.”
In addition, he says, the establishment of the new Human Settlements Development Bank has real potential to solve SA’s social housing shortage within a few years, especially if its plans are integrated with those to release large tracts of State-owned land in strategic urban locations for housing development, and to recapacitate local authorities and rebuild local infrastructures.
“We also applaud the high-level plan to reduce the level of economic concentration in SA so that small businesses can compete on a more equal basis and create millions more jobs in agriculture, tourism, the oceans economy and other entrepreneurial sectors.
“Also exciting are all the measures being taken to ensure that SA will be positioned as a global competitor in a digital future, including the establishment of a special Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The aim is to ensure that young South Africans will not be left behind in fields like IoT, AI and robotics, and will have all the skills and qualifications necessary to thrive – and become the homeowners and property investors of the future.”