SA’s prop­erty sec­tor ‘still too white’

CityPress - - Business - JUSTIN BROWN busi­ness@city­

The lo­cal prop­erty sec­tor re­mained dom­i­nated by white busi­ness and this needed to change, Qedani Mahlangu, Gu­ateng MEC of health, said this week.

“We don’t own the prop­erty sec­tor and we re­main an un­equal so­ci­ety,” Mahlangu said at the SA In­sti­tute of Black Prop­erty Prac­ti­tion­ers’ an­nual con­ven­tion held in Jo­han­nes­burg. Mahlangu stood in for Gaut­eng MEC for hu­man set­tle­ments Paul Mashatile at the con­ven­tion.

“Sig­nif­i­cant black play­ers don’t own much of the prop­erty sec­tor. We need to ad­dress the is­sue of fronting,” Mahlangu said.

Mahlangu called for an end to the “bank­ing mo­nop­oly” in the coun­try that de­nied peo­ple ac­cess to fi­nance.

She said there was a need to end apartheid-era spa­tial city de­sign that sees peo­ple live far from where they work.

“Poor peo­ple spend about 60% of their in­come on trans­port,” Mahlangu added.

He­len Botes, Joburg Prop­erty Com­pany CEO, said the prop­erty sec­tor needed to be trans­formed.

The Joburg Prop­erty Com­pany has a prop­erty port­fo­lio worth about R34 bil­lion.

This prop­erty port­fo­lio in­cludes 30 000 parcels of land cov­er­ing 77 000 hectares.

“About 90% of the play­ers in the prop­erty sec­tor are not black play­ers. Trans­for­ma­tion is about rad­i­cal change,” she said.

“Twenty-two years into democ­racy there needs to be rad­i­cal and bold change.

“The pri­vate sec­tor does not play ball,” she said. Com­pa­nies like Growth­point and JHI had to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for new en­trants, Botes said.

“We need to change the ap­proach to this in­dus­try,” she said.

Por­tia Tau-Sekati, Prop­erty Sec­tor Char­ter Coun­cil CEO, said that there had been “mixed re­sults” achieved in the trans­for­ma­tion of the prop­erty sec­tor.

“The pace of trans­for­ma­tion is ex­tremely slow and lim­ited, and in some ar­eas has re­gressed,” Tau-Sekati said.

Tau-Sekati put the value of the lo­cal prop­erty sec­tor at R5.8 tril­lion, which in­cludes R3.9 tril­lion worth of res­i­den­tial prop­erty. Look­ing ahead, Tau-Sekati said that the prop­erty sec­tor BEE codes were about to be gazetted.

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