The term refers to the suitability of a property for human occupation. A property needs to be safe and free of any defects that could endanger the health and lives of the tenants before it can be deemed habitable. Dangerous building defects and a broken sewerage system are among many things that would make a property uninhabitable.
This term refers to a written document that denies legal responsibility and limits the scope of rights that may otherwise have been claimed. Websites usually have a disclaimer on the site, for example: “ The information contained in this web site is believed to be accurate at the time of posting, however the company does not warrant the completeness nor accuracy of the information at all times…”
Innovation is not something that can be demanded or predicted, that is what makes it all the more attention grabbing when it happens. An inventor, Richard Kgwahla, has come up with an idea to prolong the life of mud houses.
He has invented a building material for these mud houses that is stackable and and acts as a barrier that protects the mud from becoming water logged and washing away when it rains.This is not the only thing Mr Kgwahla has invented, he holds the record for winning the most awards from the SABS for design/prototype by a black inventor.
Amongst his other inventions are a wheelbarrow that can convert into a chair that can be used to transport sick or elderly people from rural areas to receive medical attention or just within the community. He has also designed a table top for trolleys that is intended for use by sidewalk hawkers to enable them to sell and display their goods in an easier way.
Using mud as a construction material is an eons old technique that has been found throughout the world and countless civilizations. It may sound like a step back but with all the hoopla these days about going Green it may be something to consider.
The construction is extremely inexpensive as it utilises naturally occurring materials such as soil and discarded natural fibres that aid in the bonding process, and then of course water. They can be built in many different ways and are usually comfortable all year round, cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Mr Kgwahla has developed something that may aid many people who need to improve their living situation, the South African government has a huge backlog when it comes to providing housing and services to poor communities. Many of the government housing projects already built have a terrible reputation and have been built with substandard materials that make the homes unsafe to live in. These failed projects are then certainly a great waste of money besides prolonging the indignity of the very people they are supposed to uplift.
Hopefully we see more innovative people emerging in the future, it can only be a good thing.
What do you think? Should mud houses even be considered?
Trevor Manuel has gone on the record saying that South Africa is not in a recession. He is referring to certain economists saying we are already in a recession, who are pointing to evidence indicating that we are in a recession, despite it not technically being accurate.
Manuel has said that although certain economic factors are there we are not technically in a recession.All the experts are getting rather confusing with everyone eager to voice their own opinion on the matter. ANC President Jacob Zuma has also warned against retrenchments as a kneejerk reaction by businesses.Usually businesses cut jobs when there is trouble on the horizon.
If more people are unemployed there will be even less spending power in the market and will make an economic recovery even more difficult. Zuma also said that business and government should come to an understanding that would encourage and utilise innovative methods to prevent joblosses.
Many people were hoping for an emergency rate cut by early next week but that seems less and less likely as the week progresses. There we had experts on both sides of the fence too, some saying it would be a great idea and would improve our situation immediately and then others who say it would be a terrible idea that would bring negative consequences further down the line.
What do you think? Is South Africa already in a recession?
We are all hearing about Green this and Green that, but how will it affect us and how can we implement these changes effectively in our homes? Here are some tips on how to go Green.
- One tip we are all aware of is to install solar panels on our home instead of relying on Eskom and the coal burning that they practice. They may seem expensive to install but they should pay for themselves over the years.
- Don’t waste water! This means fix all your leaky taps and pipes.More water is lost by a slowly dripping tap than you would think. Some people will go so far as to advise you to urinate outside in your garden so as to save water by not flushing the toilet. But I think very few people would actually go that far.
- Choose finishes in your home carefully. Bamboo grows incredibly fast and is easily renewable. Many homeowners and designers are using it alot as flooring because of this and it is actually pretty fashionable at the moment. Don’t choose rare woods or species that take hundreds of years to grow
- Select carpeting that is made from natural fibres, like cotton or wool, that have not been chemically treated by things like pesticides.
- Insulate your geyser to decrease your electricity consumption.
- Plant water wise plants in your garden instead of those that need alot of water. Also choose to plant indigenous species instead of alien species from other countries. Plants that evolved for our climate should be easier to maintain and they usually use less water.
If we start building these ideas into homes from the beginning rather than ripping out all the old stuff and installing new eco-friendly products it will be easier to live with. It is a new era where we are encouraged to think about how every action we take and every product we buy is going to effect future generations.
Many of us may feel as though we don’t have a choice in the matter and all this Green stuff is a bunch of nonsense, but if we make a decision to accept that change does happen and that we don’t want to be left behind it may make the transition easier.
The risk of an investment decreasing in value due to market fluctuations. This applicable to assets,such as a home, or investments in such things as the stock market. It can also be known as systematic risk.
The total amount that is paid annually to satisfy the obligations and agreements of a loan contract. This amount will consist of all the principal and all the interest that is paid over the year.
According to Auction Alliance the number of bondholders under severe stress has risen to 35 000 in the fourth quarter of 2008, this is a sharp increase from the 8000 reported in the second quarter.
They went on to say that an estimated 80% of these bondholders would have to rid themselves of their homes either voluntarily or not. The bad figures are continuing to grow, despite some rather large rate cuts, due to other factors such as joblosses and a generally negative economic climate.
The US has given itself an estimated 2 years to recover from the terrible economic situation it is currently in but many economists are saying this is wishful thinking and the damage to the country’s economy will run far deeper than expected. The problems in the US started with a mortgage crisis and then bled through to many other sectors causing widespread financial damage to individuals and the country as a whole.
In South Africa there has been an increase in distressed sales and properties in possession that are auctioned off by creditors to recoup some of their loses. Although some lending institutions are less inclined to repossess properties due to the fact that there are increasingly fewer buyers in the market.
This is leading them to consider alternatives such as negotiating a lower monthly repayment that will enable the bondholder to keep paying for the property. This is surely preferable to them having thousands of repossessed properties on their books that they are unable to sell to cover the outstanding amount owed them.
One thing that may help is a very major rate cut in the near future that will actually free up cash in consumers’ pockets. Smaller rate cuts may be safer but they don’t immediately alleviate enough financial pressure from everyday people in any demonstrable way.
What do you think? Would a major rate cut be a good thing or would it hurt us in the long run?
Many people are speculating as to whether or not we may be in for an emergency interest rate cut.
This is because of South Africa’s poor economical performance in the last quarter of 2008, showing a 1.8% contraction in output. Many people are concerned that we are entering a recession and could soon follow in the steps of the United States where they are experiencing very serious financial problems despite plans of huge bailout packages.
Perhaps an emergency rate cut will work and stimulate some more consumer spending, however many people are already under so much pressure that a rates cut would merely decrease their monthly budget deficit and not give them any real money to spend.
It may just be too little too late and more drastic action may need to be taken as we watch basic commodities such as bread and milk skyrocket in price when they should have been becoming more affordable.
According to a Citigroup economist the Monetary Policy Committee is only likely to call an emergency meeting if the GDP drops by between 2% and 2.5% . So although there are many rumours it is unlikely that anything will happen before early next week.
What do you think? Will there be an emergency rate cut and will it help.
Bankruptcy is when a person or organization has insufficient assets or funds to repay their debts. Once they have surrendered all the assets they may have they are relieved of the responsibility of repaying their debt (by court order) and declared bankrupt.