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Friday, 10 January 2014

Land Makes You Rich

We have been hearing it for over 2 decades now - give the "people" "their" land and they will suddenly be as rich as anything. If you have ever spent any time on any of the EFF message boards or Facebook groups you will know that they hold Mugabe up as some shining beacon of light - the ideal to which all South African politicians should aspire. You will also know that the evil white man has impoverished the black man by stealing his land *eye rolling* and that if only the land were given back to the inept masses "rightful owners" then poverty would magically vanish, all blacks would suddenly be stinking rich and would have white maids and garden boys - you know, because its the actual rock and dirt that make you rich - not business savvy, intelligence and a crap load of hard work - and that's why whites have black maid and garden boys - because of the stolen land in their hands.

Nice story huh? Too bad for them there is actual hard data showing that Zimbabwe - one of the wealthiest Sub-Saharan African countries a mere 13 years ago is now actually poorer than they were in 2000. When they decided that they didn't need whites and chased all of the income producing farmers out, decimated the economy and all round destroyed what had once been a functioning country. Something South Africa should aspire to huh? Good to see that the land that was so important to them is worth so much and has spring-boarded the entire black population (the ones that couldn't afford to bribe their way past border control into SA) is now disgustingly rich and living the high life... EFF supporters must not say that we didn't warn them.

Zimbabwe: How the mighty have fallen

0 Jan 2014

In 2000, Zimbabwe was one of the wealthiest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa on a wealth per capita basis, now the country the worst performer.

 Back then, Zimbabwe was ranked ahead of the likes of Nigeria, Kenya, Angola, Zambia and Ghana.

This is according to the Wealth Statistics in Africa report by New World Wealth, a global wealth consultancy firm.

Wealth analyst, Andrew Amoils, explains that in terms of wealth growth, Angola has been the top performer in Africa since 2000 with growth of over 500 percent.  

“Interestingly all four of the countries at the bottom of the growth rankings (with the exception of Zimbabwe) have experienced uprisings, which resulted in a change in leadership since 2000.”

These uprisings may well have been fuelled by discontent related to the poor growth in these countries, he says.

  “Looking at the figures, it is surprising that Zimbabwe still remains under the same ruler, while leadership in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt has changed.”

Amoils says contributing factors to Zimbabwe’s poor performance since 2000 include:

- The erosion of ownership rights (land, business etc) in the country which has led to a significant loss of currency value and hyper-inflation.

- The banning of independent media in the early 2000’s which has created a situation where it is impossible for investors to tell what is happening there.

Africa: Wealth per capita growth 2000 - 2013
Country % growth Wealth per capita 2000 (US$) Wealth per capita  2013 (US$)
Angola 527% 620 3 890
Namibia 289% 2 700 10 500
Nigeria 275% 360 1 350
Zambia 223% 360 970
Ethiopia 189% 90 260
Ghana 181% 430 1 210
Botswana 170% 2 440 6 580
South Africa 169% 4 200 11 310
Ivory Coast 149% 470 1 170
Algeria 127% 2 750 6 250
Mozambique 115% 200 430
Morocco 113% 2 710 5 780
Uganda 100% 180 360
Kenya 89% 620 1 170
Tanzania 80% 250 450
Tunisia 56% 5 400 8 400
Egypt 44% 3 020 4 350
Libya 4% 10 600 11 040
Zimbabwe -10% 630 570
Source: (numbers rounded to nearest 10 and refer to year end).

Zimbabwe’s GDP growth between 2000 and 2012 was 47 percent and its economic position has weakened further in 2013 with the new indigenisation plans expected to bring GDP per capita down to below US$700 at the end of 2013, according to the report.

The report further reveals that South Africans are the wealthiest individuals in Africa with US$11.310 in wealth per person, while Zimbabwe recorded US$570 per person with Ethiopia being the poorest with US$260 per person.

Property investments
Despite the country being the worst performer, people in that country continue to buy and sell property.
For example, a quick look on reveals luxury homes sell for as much as $980 000 for a three bedroom home located in the prime Avondale suburb in Harare.

In Bulawayo, it is quite possible to buy commercial property for $950 000 for a lodge.

Like any struggling economy, Zimbabwe offers opportunities to savvy investors, the trick is to know what to look for, find good deals, but importantly, know the lay of the land.

According to Kura Chihota, chief executive officer of Ascendant Property Fund, an unlisted fund in Zimbabwe, buying land and building is one sweet spot for investors.

Chihota explains that the economy, although functioning, is small, pointing out that multi-currency in Zimbabwe is a reality in future.

For property buyers and investors, funding remains a challenge as there is limited mortgage funding for both residential and commercial, however, property yields average between 8 and 15 percent.

He notes demand for property but constrained supply, with Diaspora remittances being a major source of currency.

For residential property specifically, he says demand is leading to densification with stock shortages in some locations.

On commercial property, he says, the trend being observed is that of declining demand for property in the CBDs, an increased appetite for office parks with retail property in some parts of the country performing better than office and industrial property.

The listed property sector in Zimbabwe is also very small with a market capitalisation of less than R1 billion (as of August 2013) with low yields of between 6 and 8 percent.

So if you are an investor wanting to enter the Zimbabwean property market, he says look at land developments – best to choose serviced land, subdivide then sell in order to make real money.

Retail stand-alone properties yield between 10 and 12 percent and attract astute investors.

He says residential and hi-tech industrial property developments are also a sought-after sweet spot for investors.

In the end, he adds, it’s all about price. With an ailing economy and the ever increasing cost of living, Zimbabweans have mastered the art of stretching the dollar further.

So if you were selling property and yours was priced in line with the market and ticks the buyer’s list, it’s unlikely you will go wrong. – Denise Mhlanga


  1. About time that something is said about that hellhole Zimbabwe. You know GG, I was in the then Rhodesia , doing my service for both RSA and Rhodesia. At that time, all blacks who I met, was satisfied with the government. After independance the whole world wanted to prove Ian Smith wrong. They had their win at that time. As your post says, since 2000 everything started to get in reverse. I want to know where are these gloaters who proved Ian Smith wrong, or is it what a country must look like. With no hope for no one. Not even the animals. Everyone today knows that Ian Smith was so right. As far as I am concerned all of them can starve a slow death. I won't be bothered by that. It is my deepest and truest feelings. They wanted it to be like that. Let them eat their freedom. It surely must taste very good. Sorry for this rant but all these hypocrates are as silent as the grave.

    1. I know what you mean - my dad also did a portion of his service in Rhodesia (and a bit up in Angola from what I know). Its the same thing here - better opportunities and living conditions for blacks and whites and all in between in SA - and the older generation knows it. Too bad the liberals never like to be told the truth about their African utopias. I even had a chat with someone who tried to tell me that the only reason that Zim is falling apart is because of western sanctions - forget about the blatant human rights abuses.