SAIBPP calls out government for lack of transformation in property sector

Tholo Makhaola, President of the SAIBPP.
Tholo Makhaola, President of the SAIBPP.

The South African Institute of Black Property Professionals have issued a statement following their concern with regards to the recent launch of Balwin Properties’ Mega Mooikloof City by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The property and construction sectors continue to be hamstrung by chronic lack of transformation” noted Tholo Makhaola, President of the SAIBPP.

Black ownership within the R6 trillion property sector sits at less than 7% and black developers continue to be constrained by the lack of access to finance and the lack of access to land while companies that demonstrate blatant disregard for B-BBEE and transformation benefit from grants and assistance made possible by public funds.”

The public endorsement of this development and its inclusion as part of the Sustainable Infrastructure Development System (SIDS) targeted list of projects is a slap in the face to all patriotic South Africans who are committed to structurally transforming our economy and it demonstrates once again, government’s unwillingness to address the issue of transformation in the property sector and the built environment.”

The effect of Covid-19 on the economy has been devastating and while projects like these do have an impact on creating jobs in the short term, the ability to create jobs should not be the sacrifice of the long-term transformation imperatives that government has set out for themselves and for the country, along with the ambition stated by the President ensuring that there will be structural change within the economy in order to deal with the economic injustices of the past” he said.

A project of this magnitude, circa R84 billion, that forms part of the state-led SIDS programme should have clear, measurable targets with respect to black, female and youth participation at all levels of the value chain – all professionals and professional teams used during all phases of the development including planning, construction and management thereof going forward.”

The SAIBPP has called on the Office of the Presidency to ensure that the following is implemented for all approved SIDS projects going forward:

  • All companies who participate in the SIDS programme and who have submitted projects as parts of the SIDS programme must be able to produce at least a Level 2 B-BBEE certificate.
  • Should this not be the case, all companies participating in the SIDS programme should demonstrate how they intend to partner with, joint venture or ensure meaningful economic and skills transfer during and after the project.
  • All companies who submit projects for the SIDS programme must commit to procuring 40% of all materials and professional services from South African owned black and women-owned companies.
  • Granting of approvals and development rights by local authorities must be contingent on the above conditions being met and on companies participating in the SIDS programme demonstrating a fully transformed professional service provider base and company structure.

We note that a development of this magnitude, at this advanced stage, would have been years in the making but nonetheless, we are encouraged that so shortly after the announcement of the multi-billion Rand infrastructure investment drive that this project has broken ground with government investing in the infrastructure to make it happen” Makhaola said.

This is an indication that the SIDS programme is not just a pipe dream and a talk shop but is now coming to life.  We continue to support this much needed investment drive and reiterate that as we rebuild the economy, that no person, especially the many black professionals in the property and built environment sector should be left behind” he concluded.