Green features help to sell homes

21 Apr 2015

More and more home buyers in today’s property market are becoming interested in homes that offer green elements.

 FetchImage (1)
More and more home buyers in today’s property market are becoming interested in homes that offer green elements, and there are a great deal of green products available to homeowners, says Goslett.

This is according to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says the term ‘green’ home has become somewhat of a buzz word in the housing market, as a growing number of home buyers consider energy efficiency as a highly important factor when searching for the perfect property.

“Buyers are looking for both energy-saving features and environmentally-friendly features...

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Home renovations & your insurance policy

30 Mar 2015

Thinking about making some long overdue home improvements? Before you get started, there are some important points to consider.

Visser says to make sure that your building plans are pre-approved, as your insurance company could repudiate your claim if your building does not conform to the required building standards and laws.
This is according to Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure, who says if you are planning home renovations, it is essential to inform your insurer that your policy remains in full effect during this time.FetchImage

He says most policies also require that the home remains occupied while it is insured. Your insurance company obviously feels that your house is less likely to be burgled as long as there’s someone living in it.

If you have to leav...

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Banks Make Buying Property Easier

21 Nov 2014

Back in the pre-2007 property heydays it was quite easy to obtain a home loan at favourable rates – even as a first-time buyer. Since then it’s been tough going with local banks increasing their scrutiny of applicants, tightening their lending procedures and offering fewer, smaller home loans.

Since the pre-2007 property boom, local banks increased their scrutiny of applicants, tightened their lending procedures and offered fewer, smaller home loans. However, all this is changing.

This is according to Bruce Swain, MD of LeapfrogProperty Group, who says based on new data released from home loan originator BetterBond, it seems that this situation is changing, with the latest bank policies painting a rosier picture.

Banks are willing to lend

“It’s certainly been harder for buye...

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Sea views and servitudes: Neighbours at war

31 July 2014

The recent Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment of Robarts v Antoni NO(327/2013) [2014] ZASCA 64 underlines once again the need to properly record any and all agreements relating to your property.

Game of Homes

neighbors fighting

    • Cape Town (Bantry Bay) neighbours – let’s call them A and B – whose houses “enjoy spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean which contribute significantly to their huge value” came to blows when A (the neighbour in front of B), started building without municipal plan approval and in breach of restrictive title deed conditions and zoning scheme requirements.
    • At a “settlement” meeting, B agreed not to object to the planning applications for departure and title deed amendments that A needed.
    • According to B, A had then (in exchange for these concessi...
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24 April 2014: For immediate release


The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) has set up an observer team of 275 attorneys and
candidate attorneys to observer the National Elections on 7 May 2014. ‘They will serve as the
eyes and ears of our citizens,’ say LSSA Co-Chairpersons Max Boqwana and Ettienne Barnard.

They add: ‘When South Africa was a nascent democracy in 1994, we had the eyes of the world
on us. In that first historic election and in the following elections, many international and regional
bodies and NGOs sent observers. As we mature in our democracy, the perception has developed
that our electoral process is free, fair and transparent. We believe that to be so. But as the
interest of foreign observers and monitor has waned and turned to other juris...

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Register as an interim Estate Agent

27 Mar 2014

There are regular inquiries to the Institute of Estate Agents, Western Cape, as to what to do when one wants to register to become an intern agent, whether this is necessary, and what steps to follow once registered to become fully qualified.

Over the six month period the intern or new agent will learn the principles of real estate, property law and ethics, sales and marketing techniques needed, and how to run his business.

This is according to Annette Evans, regional manager for the Institute, who says there are three basic things that need to be done, the first being the actual registration with the Estate Agency Affairs Board, which needs the following:

– The fully completed and signed application form (which can be downloaded);

– A certified copy of a valid ID book;

– A...

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Trouble with trusts

Whether or not 2014 lives up to the forecasts of accelerating strength in the property market, you need to know that your sale or purchase of land will be invalid unless it complies strictly with these legal requirements –

    1. The sale must be recorded in a written agreement of sale, and
    2. The sale agreement must be signed by both seller and buyer, either personally or by an agent authorized in writing to sign on that party’s behalf.

The twist with truststrusts
There’s an additional twist to be borne in mind when one of the parties is a trust – trustees must act in accordance with the requirements of the trust deed, and where they are required to act jointly (which will be the case unless the trust deed provides otherwise), a trustee acting alone must be properly authorised to do so by the ot...

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Real Growth in Metro Areas

23 Jan 2014

According to Francois Venter, director at Jawitz Properties, the metropolitan areas are likely to see real property price growth compared to rural and coastal areas.

Priced at R1.675 million, this three bedroom home in Wellington has picturesque views of the Boland mountains and vineyards, an open plan living area with beautiful wooden floors and a fireplace. Click here to view.

Well priced properties in the metro areas will sell fairly quickly, whereas in rural and coastal areas the time it takes to sell a property is much longer.

“The weak Rand will continue to put pressure on inflation which will in turn impact on prices across the board and particularly on food and petrol, making affordability an issue for some,” he says.

However, he says interest rates wer...

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A Short-Lived Pardon Under The Credit Amnesty

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What is Tax Crime?

Tax crime is manifested in many forms. Here are some prime examples:

  • People don’t declare income in order to not pay the tax on that income.
  • People lie about their expenses to reduce the tax they pay. For example they may lie about their business mileage, business expenses or even medical contributions.
  • People simply don’t submit a tax return to SARS or fail to truthfully respond to our questions.
  • Employers sometimes deduct tax from employees and never pay it over to SARS.
  • Businesses sometimes charge VAT and never pay it over to SARS.

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Property Valuation Bill 2013

30 May 2013



    1. A central feature of the land redistribution and land restitution programme has been the acquisition of land on the basis of the ‘willing buyer willing seller (i.e. demand— driven and market —based) model, predominantly based upon the historical value at the time of dispossession. Through these programmes, Government has set the target of delivering 30% of commercial agricultural land, or about 25 million hectares, by 2015. To date only a quarter of the 30% target has been reached.
    1. A critical issue in both restitution and redistribution is that of escalating land prices. Escalating land prices have contributed significantly to the slow pace of land redistribution...
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Ekurhuleni valuation deadline extended

Ekurhuleni valuation deadline extended The deadline for inspection and lodging of objections to the valuation roll has been extended, and property owners now have until 17 May 2013, to do the aforementioned, according to the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM). The closing date of the public inspection period for the valuation roll for the financial years 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2017 was initially advertised as 19 April 2013 but has been shifted due to the post office strike and possible late delivery of section 49 notices to property owners. The roll was published on 4 March and is available for inspection at the selected municipal offices on Mondays to Fridays during office hours from 08:30 to 15:30 or visit for more information...

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Risk Alert Feb 2013

First a conveyancing scam alert

warninglogo5Bad news! After going quiet for a short time, the scamsters are now back and operating in various jurisdictions.

Please warn your conveyancing staff not to allow the seller to change the details of the bank into which the proceeds of the sale must be paid. If the seller insists for a valid reason, then s/he must provide you with written instructions AND proof that the new bank account is hers/his.

Where the property sold belongs to a married couple or more than one owner, then instructions MUST be obtained from both the joint owners. Too often we have the situation where the conveyancer assumes that the husband/wife will agree with his/ her spouse’s instructions. This is very often NOT the case! For the full article please click on the source link below:

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Destruction or damage of property

Destruction or damage


There are three instances when a building (or buildings) is deemed to be destroyed, i.e. as provided for in section 48 of the Sectionals Titles Act 95 of 1986 (the Act):

  1. Upon the physical destruction of the building
  2. When the owners by unanimous resolution so determine, and
  3. When the court makes an order to that effect.

From the above it can be assumed that in the first instance the building is physically destroyed, i.e. the building is no longer intact.  It is therefore not actually ‘deemed’ to be destroyed, but physically destroyed.  In the other two instances the building is still intact and not really destroyed in the true sense of the word.

Section 48(3) of the Act provides for the authorisation of a scheme for the rebuilding and reinstatement ...

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Effect of death of an heir

It often occurs that an heir of a deceased testator dies before or after the death of a testator, who died testate or intestate. The question begging an answer is what effect does the death have on the devolution of the inheritance of immovable property bequeathed or inherited by such heir.

Where the testator died testate or intestate and an heir predeceases the testator, the provisions of section 2C(2) of the Wills Act 7 of 1953 or section 1(6) of the Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987, respectively, apply.

The referred to sections read as follows:

“Section 2C. Surviving spouse and descendants of certain persons entitled to benefits in terms of will.

(2) If a descendant of the testator, whether as a member of a class or otherwise, would have been entitled to a benefit in terms of the p...

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Banks Bonds and Home Loans


24 Jul 2012

Banks are granting more 100% home loans but they have raised the deposit requirements for those buyers who do not qualify for 100% loans.

The average home price paid by first-time buyers in June was R615 000 (compared to R597 000 in May), and the average percentage of purchase price required as a deposit by such buyers who did not secure 100 percent home loans rose to 11.5 percent from 10.3 percent in May.

This is according to the latest statistics from BetterBond, South Africa’s biggest mortgage originator, which represent 25 percent of all residential mortgage bonds being registered in the Deeds Office and includes applications to, and bond grants from, all the major lending banks in South Africa.

Rudi Botha, chief executive officer of BetterBond, says these figu...

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Why you should invest in property

Investing in property is one of the ways to make money, and commercial property is said to be offering good returns. 

“These fundamental differences between property and other asset investments are often not acknowledged by commentators and analysts.” In particular, he says, these people tend to overlook the huge advantage of being able to gear a property investment, thereby effectively maximising the investor’s return on equity.

Surprisingly, says Jason Lee, Rawson Commercial National Manager, the “obvious” advantages of investing in property are often not fully understood or appreciated by many people, even though they may have been highly successful in other fields. 

He says the simple fact that most of us live and work in buildings, one would think would give us a basic under...

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Justice Minister Jeff Radebe announced that the Legal Practice Bill has been tabled in Parliament after it was certified by the Chief State Law Adviser. He said the Bill is a milestone in the history of the profession. It opens doors of access to the profession and guarantees accessible legal services, by creating a framework for the determination of reasonable and affordable fees.

According to a recent press release:

The Law Society has welcomed the Legal Practice Bill and commits to engaging in discussions with other stakeholders The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) welcomes the publication of the long-awaited Legal Practice Bill...

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Reporting the estate of a deceased person

last will and testament

A deceased estate comes into existence when a person dies and leaves property and/or a document that is a will or is intended as a will. The estate must then be administered and distributed, either in accordance with the deceased’s will or, if the deceased did not leave a will, in accordance with the provisions of the law. The Administration of Estates Act, 1965, prescribes the procedure to be followed for administering a deceased estate.
The estate of a deceased person must be reported to the Master within 14 days of the date of death. The death can be reported by any person who has control or possession of any property belonging to the estate of the deceased, or who has control or possession of a document by the deceased that is or purports to be a will.

When must a death be reported t...

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Your rights and responsibilities as the client of an attorney


As the client of an attorney, you have the right

• to professional, honest and unbiased advice at all times;
• to be treated with professional courtesy, respect and fairness, regardless of your race, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability;
• to privacy and attorney-client confidentiality;
• to agree the type of service you can expect and receive;
• to clear explanations in terms you can understand;
• to find out from the start of the consultation what you are hoping to achieve, and aim to make sure that your expectations are realistic;
• to know who will be handling your matter;
• to be advised on the likely success of your matter and not to do unnecessary work that will lead to unnecessary expenses;
• to an explanation of the cost implications a...

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Good News From The 2012 / 2013 Budget

23 February 2012 Lew Geffen, chairman of Sotheby’s International Realty in SA, says: “Today’s Budget holds out excellent prospects for the speedy improvement of the real estate market and the sustainability of that recovery. “The most important macro aspects include Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s strong stance, re-iterated throughout his speech, against corruption and financial mismanagement which, together with the fact that he has managed to contain the expected Budget deficit this year to 4,4%, will undoubtedly boost the investor confidence that is the lifeblood of the economy – and of the property sector...

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Chief Registrar’s Circular 1/2012

26 January 2012

Registrar’s Circular No 1 of 2012 – Rectification of title deeds and updating of deeds registry records regarding the vesting of state land.

This Circular contains procedures for the rectification of title deeds and the updating of deeds registry records with regard to the vesting of immovable state land.  Since the procedure contained in CRC 9/2008 is not correctly implemented in all the deeds registries – many title deeds incorrectly reflect amongst other things a government department or the ‘Republic of South Africa’ as the registered owner of state land –  they must be rectified.

Such deeds must be endorsed in terms of section 3(1)(v) of Act No. 47 of 1937 to reflect that the relevant property / right / asset vests in the:

“National Government of the Republic of Sou...

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Holiday Season Office Hours

Season’s Greetings from Louwrens Coetzer and Partners

Wishing you a happy and safe holiday!

Our office will be closed for the holidays:

Wednesday, Dec 21th, 2011 – and will reopen @ 8:00 AM on Wednesday, January 4th, 2011

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How to buy a distressed/repo property?

How to buy a distressed/repo property?

09 Nov 2011

Now is a good time to buy distressed and repossessed properties thanks to low interest rates and available stock in the property market.

A distressed property can be defined as property that is under a foreclosure order or is advertised for sale by its mortgagee.

Brad Allen, distressed property specialist from Investment Property Specialists (IPS) says the property cycle is currently experiencing tough times and growth is expected to pick up towards the end of 2012 depending on the global economy.

“The lack of financing to buy property for many is hampering growth, making this a buyers’ market for those who can afford it.”

On distressed property sales, he says he has negotiated deals from 50 to 80 percent of bank valuation (not mark...

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Social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter and MXit are becoming the easiest way to prove marriages have irretrievably broken down in contested divorces.

NIVASHNI NAIR | 10 October, 2011 00:44 – Times Live

A wealthy Durban doctor created a fake Facebook profile as a “hot young thing” to gather evidence against her husband in their divorce battle.

A Johannesburg businessman installed cameras in the study where his wife logged on to social networking sites so he could capture her “wild affairs”.

Cape Town divorce lawyer Bertus Preller said it would be wise for unhappy couples to watch what they post because it could come back to haunt them.

“Posting status updates and uploading photos of otherwise fun-filled events on social networks have led to an overabundance of evidence in divorce cases,” he said.

“According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 81% of its members have used or faced evidence plucked from Facebook, MySpace, Twitt...

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Destruction of a scheme

29 September 2011

Section 48 of the Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986 (the “Act”) provides inter alia that the owners may by unanimous resolution agree to the destruction of the building, comprising a sectional title scheme. Section 49 of the Act, furthermore, provides that where the owners may also by unanimous resolution resolve not to rebuild the building, in which case:

  • the owners shall cease to be separate owners of sections, but shall remain co-owners of the land in undivided shares proportionate to the quotas of the respective sections previously owned by them; and
  • any rights to the extension of the scheme referred to in section 25, together with any mortgage bonds registered over the said rights, shall be surrendered to the registrar for cancellation.

The above two section...

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Start building a healthy credit record

24 Sep 2011
It’s never too early to start building a healthy credit record.

It is also important for potential borrowers to pay attention to the implications of the National Credit Act, which provides that lenders must ensure, before they grant any new credit, that borrowers will not be committing too much of their income to debt repayment.

That’s the advice of Young Carr, CEO of the Aida property group, who says: “Most homebuyers need home loans, but what many don’t appreciate is that the process of obtaining this credit actually needs to begin years in advance of the decision to buy property.”

The first thing banks will do on receiving a home loan application, he says, is to check the prospective borrower’s credit history, which means that good management of monthly bills, inc...

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Property buyers return to Johannesburg

12 Sep 2011

The inner city of Johannesburg is attracting property investors with some snapping up bargain buildings for refurbishment and redevelopment at auctions.

This property in New Doornfontein in Johannesburg was sold at an auction in August for R18.7 million.

Auctioneers report an increase in the number of investors, developers and savvy property buyers buying commercial buildings as they are beginning to see value in this area.

According to Auction Alliance, property buyers and investors still regard property as an asset class as revealed in the commercial multiple auction held across the country in Johannesburg.

The South African commercial real estate market returned to double-digit annual performance in 2010 with a 13.3 percent total return from the 2009’s 11 year low of 8...

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If you can afford it, buy that home!

09 Sep 2011

Currently, low house prices and interest rates offer a once-in a lifetime opportunity for buyers to enter the residential property market.

A low interest rate environment allows individuals to qualify for larger loan amounts or pay lower instalments on a loan than would otherwise be afforded.

Standard Bank Home Loans reports that while house price growth remains lacklustre, the current property market conditions do present an opportunity for buyers who can demonstrate affordability.

This follows the banks Median House Price Index report that indicates that house prices grew by 1.6 percent year-on-year (y/y) in August from 2.4 percent y/y in July.

Research analyst for Standard Bank Home Loans, Sibusiso Gumbi says house prices are still way off their boom levels in most areas and...

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Capacity of an insolvent

18 August 2011

Conveyancers and examiners should take cognizance of the fact that even though an insolvent has been rehabilitated, a right to property acquired by such rehabilitated insolvent prior to, or during, his or her insolvency, continues to vest in the trustee despite the rehabilitation (see section 25 of the Insolvency Act 24 of 1936).  However, this does not apply to automatic rehabilitations in terms of section 127A of the Insolvency Act (see discussion infra).

Section 20 of the Insolvency Act provides that as soon as the estate of an insolvent has been sequestrated, such insolvent is divested of the estate which is then vested in the Master and, on appointment of a trustee, in such trustee (see also the definition of owner in section 102 of the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 19...

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Can I get out of my lease early?

A Property24 reader asks: I am a tenant and I have signed a fixed period lease agreement with the landlord. I can no longer afford to stay at the premises. I have once forwarded my lease cancellation notice and the landlord representative informed me that, since I have signed a fixed term lease agreement with the landlord, I cannot make any lease terminations, prior to expiration of the lease. As per information from her, I am liable for rent until the lease expiration. Please advise if I honestly don’t have a way of terminating the lease agreement? I am in a bad financial situation and I am afraid the situation is getting worse. Your assistance will be much appreciated.

Marlon Shevelew, specialist rental and eviction attorney at Cape-based legal firm Marlon Shevelew and Associates repli...

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Selected building statistics of the private sector as reported by local government institutions May 2011.

The value of recorded building plans passed by larger municipalities (at current prices) increased by 5,3% (R1 250,8 million) during January to May 2011 compared with January to May 2010. The biggest increase was reported for non-residential buildings (13,6% or R708,0 million), followed by residential buildings (6,9% or R699,3 million). A slight decrease was reported for additions and alterations (-1,9% or -R156,6 million). The value of buildings reported as completed to larger municipalities (at current prices) decreased by 3,9% (-R695,5 million) during January to May 2011 compared with January to May 2010. The biggest decrease was reported for non-residential buildings (-13,5% or -R660,5 million), followed by residential buildings (-5,3% or -R448,1 million)...

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Clarity on the Property Rates Amendment Bill


ALEC HOGG: It’s Tuesday July 19 2011 and in this Boardroom Talk special podcast we speak with Yunus Carrim, who’s the Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. Deputy Minister, the proposal for a hike in rates on second properties has released a firestorm. You have come out with a statement to clarify; perhaps you can share with us what the reality is?

YUNUS CARRIM: Well, it’s absolutely clear to us that we have no intention whatsoever to charge those people, who own more than one house, commercial or business rates on their additional houses...

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Big 5 mistakes to avoid when selling

06 Jul 2011

Staying emotionally detached is one of the biggest challenges for any home seller, but necessary if you don’t want to put buyers off and lose the sale.

Staying emotionally detached is one of the biggest challenges for anyone selling a home.

“Once you decide to sell your property, it’s a mistake to see it as anything more than a commodity to be packaged, priced and marketed,” says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group.

He says this might sound callous, but the truth is that potential buyers are going to come in and ‘kick the tires’ and you can’t afford – emotionally or financially – to get upset if they make negative comments or fail to appreciate all the hard work it has taken to get the property into good condition.

Everitt has th...

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Mission Statement

Our Mission

Louwrens Coetzer and Partners is a family owned law practice that strives to achieve results that exceed expectations through Our Commitment to Our Clients by

  • Adding maximum value to their transactions.
  • Being accessible, efficient, responsive and knowledgeable.
  • Our Commitment to Our Communities Providing extensive and worthy pro bono and public service.
  • Promoting active involvement and leadership on the part of our firm and ourselves.
  • Building an enriching environment through diversity and teamwork.
  • Assuring career opportunities by sustaining growth and financial strength.

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Congrats Zancha!! LLB in the bag

We just wanted to take a moment to congratulate Zancha on earning her LLB degree. Zancha, you must be so proud of yourself. School is always such a huge commitment. It can be a full time job in itself! But you proved that you were more than equal to the task.
We know this is a very exciting time for you, full of new opportunities. We hope you’ll make the most of your new degree and welcome you as a partner to the business.

P.S.  Don’t forget to do something special to celebrate this fabulous achievement!



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