The effect of SONA on the South African property sector
February 6, 2019

A highlight on South Africa’s political calendar kicks off tomorrow at 17h00. The State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2019 marks the official opening of Parliament for the new year and will give President Cyril Ramaphosa an opportunity to address political policies and key challenges that lie ahead. This address will have a direct impact on various business segments, and of course investor confidence.

Why should we be watching it?

A successful property market relies heavily on a strengthened economy for investment. Investors need to believe that their money will be secure and protected, and this security is encouraged by positive policies and sustainable taxes. President Ramaphosa’s address will give an indication of the direction that the economy will progress and investors will be watching it closely. If you are in the property game, you too should be watching this very closely.

Comments John Jack, CEO of Galetti Corporate Real Estate, “Everyone will be watching the address tomorrow hoping that the message gives clarity to the business sector as a whole. Clear policy allows occupiers and investors to take decisions related to their real estate portfolios. From an occupier perspective, whether to expand to new premises or consolidate their footprint into a smaller building will be front of mind. This is driven by changes in their employee count and/or inventories held. For investors, the decisions would be whether to sell or hold on to their portfolios in anticipation of reduced vacancies and capital growth. International investors will be watching it closely and so should you. South Africa needs foreign investment, but international investors need security and we need to give them confidence. There is a lot resting on tomorrow’s SONA address.”

A key topic of interest will be the matter of land expropriation without compensation, which hopefully will be addressed in such a way so as to reassure foreign investors.
Another main focal point will be corruption. President Ramaphosa has already been under fire from the governments of Germany, the United Kingdom, the USA, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The memorandum written to the presidency – signed by all five countries – spoke of a concern about the challenges of foreign investment and so this part of the SONA address is an important one.

SONA will be televised on various broadcast networks such as eNCA and SABC from around 17h00. Parliament’s Youtube Channel will also be airing the address and various media outlets will be sharing highlights of the events as they unfold.

Don’t forget to tune in.