Let’s talk numbers. If you accept that price of a commodity is influenced by availability, you can conclude that the more scarce an item, the higher its value. And of course, there has to also be demand for it.
Is there demand? There is already pressure on this land – demand exists, and will continue to exist while the cities of Pretoria, Johannesburg, Midrand and Krugersdorp thrive.
Scarcity? Of the Department of Environmental Affairs’ medium term target for land to be under conservation, only 0.5% of land that land may have a residence built on it .
This tiny percentage does not even consider the desirability of this lifestyle in such close proximity to the economic hub of the country.
Yes, you will have a small target market into which to sell. Yes, that target market will need to be affluent. This means access to cash or the security required to obtain a bond (presently, a significant obstacle to acquiring land in this area).
How is that different from the situation at the moment?
Some of the people buying in the area are speculators. They unwisely assume that they will be able to build houses, conference venues, farm, resorts, etc. to the extent of their dream. They do not consider the policies and guidelines. So they either proceed at great cost and in the face of concerted opposition, and perhaps get approval (Monaghan Farm and Blair Athol are examples of approved developments now managed as “anomalies” by the local authority).
Some people have bought hoping the development pressure from the city will result in different policies. Long term planning and the pressure on the environment favours conservation not development in this area. The region is also identified in an environmental strategy as ideal for expansion of protected areas. It means that these “investors” have to take a very long term view (or participate in this project!)
The buyers attracted to the area for these reasons, and for the country lifestyle, still factor uncertainty into their decisions, as do financiers and bondholders. This project will change that.
 The Strategic Plan for 2011 to 2016 by Department of Environmental Affairs identifies that 6.4% of land in South Africa is PROTECTED. It aims to increase this percentage to 9% by 2016. In this project, the target is to have 3-5% development footprint. If that were applied nationally, South Africa is 121 909 000 hectares in size, meaning the target is to protect 10 971 810ha of which development may take place on no more than 548 590ha.