We bought an apartment in Simbithi EcoEstate, and signed the offer to purchase contract on 29 July. …

We bought an apartment in Simbithi EcoEstate, and signed the offer to purchase contract on 29 July. The apartment is owned by 4 people – 1 of which resides in Australia. It took the sellers 2 weeks just to get everyone’s signature on the offer to purchase contract (in effect breaking the deadline on the contract). then the Australian seller was supposed to send a power of attorney so that the documents can be finalised and lodged. He started the process on 31 August, and sent the POA to South Africa on 14 Sep. He was advised by the conveyancing attorney to send this important document via courier. However, he decided that it was to expensive and cumbersome to do this, and sent the document via Australian post on 14 Sep. The letter still has not arrived in Ballito, and according toAustralian post sits at customs (for more than 1 week). There appears to be a real chance that the letter (POA) has been lost. This unreasonable delay is putting us (the buyers) in a terrible financial
dilemma. We bought the apartment for our business – we rent out apartments to holiday goers – and we had estimated that we would have the apartment ready for business on 1 Nov (given that we signed the contract on 27 July!). We have contractors waiting to start, and they have indicated that we will loose their slots, and they will only be able to do the work after 15 January (it is impossible to get contractors in and materials available at the end of the year – everyone shuts down by the 1st week in Dec). This means that we will lose income from holiday renting the flat during peak November, December and January, and we’ll also have to pay interest on the bond we took. We estimate that, conservatively, these losses will amount to ca. R450000. We want to know our rights – can we get out of this contract due to the delays of the sellers (in particular the Australian seller who ignored the requests from the attorneys)?

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