Ac­cess to land, cap­i­tal, education and skills will em­power youth

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

“June 16, 1976, rep­re­sented the first time South Africa’s youth truly un­der­stood that in or­der to be em­pow­ered, you must first em­power your­self.

The youth un­der­stood then that they needed to en­sure they could ac­cess education to cre­ate tan­gi­ble re­sults from fu­ture em­ploy­ment and en­tre­pre­neur­ial op­por­tu­ni­ties that would ul­ti­mately lead to their em­pow­er­ment once the coun­try was lib­er­ated.

Forty-two years later, the em­pow­er­ment of South African youth in the prop­erty sec­tor ul­ti­mately lies in their abil­ity to ac­cess land, cap­i­tal and, most im­por­tantly, education and skills.

No op­por­tu­nity within the prop­erty sec­tor can be re­alised with­out all three.

The gov­ern­ment’s re­cent fo­cus on land re­form, if done cor­rectly, will re­sult in black peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly women and youth, ac­cess­ing more land own­er­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties.

To re­alise the eco­nomic ben­e­fit of those op­por­tu­ni­ties, a strong ed­u­ca­tional base will be needed to un­der­stand the var­i­ous driv­ers of prop­erty and prop­erty development.

Fee- free education has cre­ated an open­ing for young peo­ple to be­gin build­ing that base be­cause it cre­ates ac­cess to uni­ver­sity de­grees like prop­erty stud­ies and con­struc­tion stud­ies, which are of­fered at Wits Uni­ver­sity and the Uni­ver­sity of Cape Town.

The pri­vate sec­tor has also be­gun con­tribut­ing to the im­prove­ment of skills among youth.

The re­cently an­nounced Vuk­ile Development and Train­ing Pro­gramme, led by vet­eran prop­erty ex­ec­u­tive Sedise Moseneke, is a won­der­ful step for­ward in the re­al­i­sa­tion of youth em­pow­er­ment in prop­erty.

The pro­gramme is fo­cused on pro­vid­ing youth with prop­erty ideas with the skills and men­tor­ship sup­port needed to turn their ideas into real­ity.

A crit­i­cal el­e­ment to the suc­cess and growth of any sec­tor lies in its abil­ity to be in­clu­sive. The gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor are both try­ing to con­trib­ute to­wards cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for youth, but ul­ti­mately youth must be re­spon­si­ble and grab them.

The short­age in num­bers of young black peo­ple pur­su­ing prop­erty as a ca­reer has con­trib­uted to the poor lev­els of youth em­pow­er­ment.

This is due mainly to the poor lev­els of aware­ness about prop­erty as a ca­reer and en­tre­pre­neur­ial path, given the apartheid his­tory of our coun­try when black peo­ple were lim­ited in their ac­cess to prop- erty own­er­ship.

Ini­tia­tives such as the YIPA Job Shadow ini­tia­tive, in part­ner­ship with UCT100UP and the Western Cape Prop­erty Development Fo­rum, as­sist in in­creas­ing aware­ness about prop­erty- related de­grees among dis­ad­van­taged youth in Khayelit­sha and Mitchells Plain.

As the 32nd pres­i­dent of the United States, Franklin D Roo­sevelt, said “We can­not al­ways build the fu­ture for our youth, but we can build our youth for the fu­ture.”

Skills and education are key com­po­nents to en­sur­ing young peo­ple are built to take hold of the fu­ture and em­power them­selves.

YIPA chair­man Le­fakane. Monedi

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