Electricity supply worries home buyers

A NEW factor has entered the South African property buying equation – the worrying issue of power supply problems.

“Feedback from our agents on the ground is that buyers are increasingly asking whether the area they are considering buying into has a stable power supply,” said Gerhard Kotzé, CEO of the ERA South Africa property group.

“Clearly, it’s becoming an increasingly important factor in the minds of potential buyers, although it may not yet rank quite as highly as security, proximity to work and school, or the quality of the local shopping facilities, medical services and sports amenities.

“And it is set to take on even greater significance in the home buying process if the country’s power problems are not transparently acknowledged and speedily addressed.”

The difficulty, of course, is to identify areas with problems and estate agents are being placed in an invidious position, he suspected.

“The Western Cape’s recent power supply problems have no doubt been the catalyst for all this, with Eskom introducing a rota of power cuts affecting all major areas at different times, so that virtually everyone shared the disruptions.

“This means that no particular area in the Cape can currently be singled out as being any worse affected than any other, but the situation in other provinces is much more difficult to call, because power outages there have struck intermittently and unpredictably.”

On the one hand, notes Kotzé, some older suburbs are experiencing repeated problems that are apparently due to aged distribution infrastructure. On the other, some newer suburbs are faced with lack of capacity and delivery problems blamed on the country’s residential building boom.

“In addition, questions are starting to arise now about water reticulation systems and availability, sewage system capacities and road maintenance; as well as traffic volumes, all of which are of concern to potential home buyers and ratepayers – and to developers who have to market a product with all the necessary services.

“Consequently, we can only hope that government assurances given both inside and outside parliament about infrastructure development and delivery will translate speedily into fact.”

Article from: www.go.co.za