Permanent resident not sure of property rights | Fin24
 
  • Going down

    ‘Massive’ fuel price drop on the cards for December - AA

  • Good neighbours

    Zimbabwe must be supported, Ramaphosa has told a meeting of EU leaders

  • Postbank

    The state bank in the making has singled out customers at the bottom of the pyramid

Loading...

Permanent resident not sure of property rights

Feb 18 2015 17:36

A Fin24 user is a permanent resident in SA and is not sure if he can still own a house or flat after what President Jacob Zuma said in his State of the Nation address on foreign land ownership. He writes:

I am a permanent resident in South Africa and hold a South African ID. As per the new ownership law am I allowed to buy a house or flat in this country?

READ: Zuma lost GPS signal on land ownership - business

Lew Geffen, chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, responds:

The South African Government News Agency has put out a statement about the proposed regulation of land holdings bill, which we expect to come before parliament this year.

It states that: “In terms of the proposal, foreign nationals and juristic persons would not be allowed to own land in South Africa, but would be eligible for a long-term lease with a minimum of 30 years."

According to the bill, foreign nationals and juristic persons are understood to be non-citizens as well as juristic persons whose dominant shareholder or controller is a foreign controlled enterprise, entity or interest. Therefore, not all immigrants to South Africa will be excluded from land ownership.

What this means in future for citizens of other countries with permanent residence in South Africa, though, remains unclear.

READ: Foreigners won't be allowed to own SA land

That will have to be clarified in the wording of the legislation, which I expect will face several challenges before it is passed – if indeed it does eventually get written into law.

What the government has made clear, though, is that applying this law retrospectively – in other words stripping current foreign owners of their land – would be unconstitutional.
 
The bill is not yet before parliament and it has certainly not been promulgated, so my advice would be if you want to buy residential property in South Africa, buy it now before the government promulgates this bill, because once you own the property it cannot be taken away.

* UPDATE: In the meantime President Jacob Zuma said in Parliament on Thursday February 19 that the ban on foreign land ownership only relates to farm land.

ALSO READ: Confusion over ban on foreign land ownership

Disclaimer: Fin24 cannot be held liable for any investment decisions made based on the advice given by independent financial service providers. Under the ECT Act and to the fullest extent possible under the applicable law, Fin24 disclaims all responsibility or liability for any damages whatsoever resulting from the use of this site in any manner.

Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

lew geffen  |  money  |  money clinic  |  property
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Company Snapshot

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

Would you switch to a bank that rewarded you for 'good' financial behaviour?

Previous results · Suggest a vote

Loading...