SAPOA CEO Neil Gopal
On Thursday 22 October 2015, SAPOA met with key government stakeholders to foster relationships between public and private sector on issues affecting property owners, managers and developers in the Capital City.
The event was well attended by key figures within the property industry. They included Councillor Subesh Pillay, MMC: Economic Development and Planning, Jason Ngobeni, City Manager: City of Tshwane, Joshua Ngonyama, MMC: Housing and Human Settlements, SAPOA President, Michael Deighton and CEO, Neil Gopal.
In the opening address, SAPOA President, Mike Deighton, also Managing Director of Tongaat Hulett Development, highlighted the four pillars of his tenure as presidency. “The 4 pillars of SAPOA are relationships, education, advocacy and leadership”, Deighton told attendees. “Relationships play a strategic role in bringing together key stakeholders in our vision as a country. Education is a fundamental step needed to flood our society with great young talent. With regards to advocacy, the industry is faced with huge challenges as a result of legislation impacting on us. We need to start talking about how to advocate for a business environment that is conducive to investment, growth and success in a constructive way. And lastly, leadership is required in our country; it is what is needed right now to take this country forward”. Deighton further highlighted the tough period that the country is facing amidst the countrywide student protests against proposed tuition fees increase for 2016, and mentioned that it is a perfect opportunity to reflect.
Councillor Subesh Pillay, MMC of Economic Development and Planning in City of Tshwane shared the city’s vision, called Vision 2055. “The vision for the City of Tshwane, is to be a liveable, resilient and inclusive whose citizens enjoy a high quality of life, have access to social, economic and enhanced political freedoms and where citizens are partners in the development of the African Capital City of excellence by 2055. The current population in the city is close to four million people, and is expected to rise to about 8,5 million people by 2055. In light of this vision, the city does envisage some challenges, including the requirement of additional infrastructure across the areas of water, sewage, solid waste, electricity and transport to ensure that growth is sustainable”.
Members addressed concerns around stimulating green industrial development, improvement of transport routes and the delay in approval processes, with capacity problems from the city being a key issue.
Counsillor Pillay addressed the concerns, saying that there are several major interventions that the city will implement to crate efficiency and fast-track processes in the City of Tshwane, especially the Inner City regeneration, including the introduction of incentives to attract investments, and well as quickening the approval processes and will continue to engage with the various sectors to understand how to do things better.
“It’s all about partnerships. There is so much more that we can achieve together’, said Neil Gopal in closing.