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updated 6:54 AM SAST, Mar 14, 2031
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Freedom Property subsidiary sells noncore residential units

Zambesa Investments, a wholly owned subsidiary of JSE-listed Freedom Property Fund, has agreed to sell eight residential units and 33 service stands, collectively called Tubatse Homes, in Burgersfort. The purchase consideration is R12.6-million and comprises a deposit of R2.52-million, which is payable by August 20, and the balance of R10.08-million, which is payable by August 27.

Freedom said in a statement on Wednesday that the sale was in line with its strategy of divesting of noncore assets. The proceeds will be used to reduce debt in the group, in particular, mortgage bonds held with Nedbank

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Emira delivers positive FY18 performance with 2.53% distribution increase

Real estate investment trust (Reit) Emira Property Fund’s distributions for the financial year ended June 30, increased by 2.53% year-on-year, despite persistently tough trading conditions. This increase, CFO Greg Booyens said on Wednesday, reaffirms the company’s turnaround and return to positive dividend growth. With its rebalancing and reinvestment strategies “firmly in place and gaining momentum”, he pointed out that Emira plans to further improve on the distribution growth achieved for the current year in its forthcoming financial year.

Emira’s “solid set of results”, CEO Geoff Jennett added, delivered on its market guidance and advanced its strategies of rebalancing its portfolio out of offices and successfully recycling underperforming capital into yield-accretive international investment in the US. During the period, Emira significantly reduced its portfolio vacancies from 5.7% to 3.4%, with office vacancies down substantially from 12.5% to 7.1%. Emira also had a high retention rate of 85% compared with 72% in the previous financial year.

Like-for-like net income growth of 7.5% was achieved on the back of new letting, Jennett noted. However, the rebalancing of the company’s portfolio saw Emira dispose of about R530.6-million of assets at a combined 14.8% premium-to-book value. Of the 13 properties sold, seven were offices, which reduced Emira’s office exposure to 35.7% from 38.7% of the total assets.

Emira’s US investments contributed R22.6-million to its distributable income, and the company intends to continue its steady investment process into the US in the year ahead. Income from Growthpoint Australia (GOZ) decreased by 5.9% for the year owing to Emira having sold down 9% of its holding in GOZ to take advantage of the Australian Reit’s record-high share prices.

It brought the proceeds back to South Africa at a good exchange rate and deployed them into a higher-yielding investment, Jennett said. Locally, however, Emira closed the year with 104 directly held South African properties valued at R12.5-billion and reduced its gross cost-to-income ratio from 37.2% to 36.8%, which Jennett said shows that the company’s income grew faster than its expenses.

Emira further increased its international exposure to 10% of its balance sheet during the year, with its new US investment venture representing 3%. Commenting on the residential sector, Jennett told media on Wednesday that it is a “great diversifier for Emira’s portfolio” and that the company is actively pursuing opportunities to co-invest with sector specialists that cater for the lower middle-class retail residential property markets.

Should suitable opportunities arise, he said Emira will consider other residential conversions, especially since the company is aiming to grow its residential property to between 5% and 10% of its total portfolio. 

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Besix chosen to lead $1.1bn Cameroon dam project

Belgian contractor Besix has been chosen to design and build the $1.1bn Nachtigal dam on the Sanaga River in the centre of Cameroon, about 65km northeast of the capital of Yaoundé. It will work with French infrastructure company Nouvelles Générations d’Entrepreneurs and Morocco’s Société Général des Travaux de Maroc on the project.

Mathieu Dechamps, general manager Besix’ International Business Unit, commented: “We’ve already carried out a number of reference projects in the country. These include the Yaoundé hospital buildings, various ministries, the Pont de l'Enfance bridge, a spillway on the Sanaga River, as well as various docks in the port of Douala.

“With our participation in the Nachtigal hydropower project, we are proud to contribute to the development of sustainable solutions.” The 420MW project is being developed by the Nachtigal Hydro Power Company, a consortium made up of French utility EDF, the State of Cameroon and the International Finance Corporation, a division of the World Bank Group.

The World Bank is putting $300m in loans and guarantees towards the cost of the scheme with the remainder being advanced by a pool of international and local lenders. Work will begin before the end of the year and is expected to last 57 months. When complete it is expected to boost the West African country’s generating capacity by 30%.

Besix will design and build a 2km long, 14m high dam in roller-compacted concrete, as well as digging a 3km supply canal and carrying out the installation of the electrical generating equipment, consisting of seven 60MW turbines) and water intake facilities.

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Maxiwall Pro, the free Terraforce design software is now live!

Terraforce’s new state of the art design software, Maxiwall Pro, a private labelled version of the most comprehensive and widely used Segmental Retaining Wall (SRW) Design software in the industry, the Vespa Mechanical Stabilized Earth (MSE) Design Suite, is now online.

Maxiwall Pro allows Designers to produce complete Wall Designs utilising the award- winning Terraforce line of Concrete Retaining Wall Block (CRB) wall products. With all Block and Geogrid information preloaded, designers can select from a wide range of proven Terraforce systems from easy-to-navigate drop down menus.

Compared to other MSE Design Software options, Maxiwall Pro increases design efficiency, improves accuracy, and promotes a seamless flow of information between design stages and parties. It generates full wall layouts with accurate quantity estimates and comprehensive reports. The Calculation Engine can simultaneously run Static, Seismic, and Internal Compound Stability (ICS) Analysis in accordance to National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Standard for Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD), AU (Australian Standard), and British Standard Design Methodologies.

With the DXF output feature, CAD cross sections and elevation views are automatically generated and ready to import into AutoCAD. Users of the Maxiwall Pro package will also have an option to purchase a copy of the AWall CAD Tool that allows the user to accurately represent the plan and elevation views of a retaining wall on their grading plan.

AWall takes into account the variable heights along the length of wall, wall batter (inclination), and wall width to generate a plan view, representing the “real” footprint of the wall and can create elevations and generate quantities. Once the Design is complete, Maxiwall Pro also allows you to export the wall geometry, soil conditions, and loading conditions to select Global Stability software programs.

Maxiwall Pro is a professional analysis tool and should be operated by Designers and Engineers that are familiar with the Design Methodologies and well versed in the design of CRB Structures.

Simple, easy to follow Design Tutorials will be provided. These cover the generic version of Vespa MSE Design Software but generally apply to Maxiwall Pro.

Try out the free, state-of-the-art design software, exclusively for Terraforce walls, MAXIWALL PRO:


100% discount Coupon code: USETHEFORCE

Tutorials: www.ctiware.com/tutorials. Please contact us if you need any assistance with the software.

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DMC Firewall is developed by Dean Marshall Consultancy Ltd