Events News Partner Content

Micro-development a highlight at upcoming property conference

For the first time since the Western Cape Property Development Forum (WCPDF) launched in 2008, it will be featuring micro-development on its annual conference programme, in recognition of the way in which this sector is making significant strides in addressing the affordable housing market.

As policies for inclusionary housing are developed and debated at various government levels and anticipated with some trepidation by property development at large, we believe that micro-developers are quietly solving the challenge of delivering affordable housing on a scale that government will never be able to achieve“, says Deon van Zyl, chairperson of the WCPDF.

Van Zyl, a panelist at the recent Housing Indaba, hosted by the City of Cape Town in April, voiced his concern that although the City has undertaken to release large tracts of land for affordable housing within the year, it would still take years for actual houses to materialise. With a waiting list in the hundreds of thousands, the WCPDF believes this is untenable, and it would indeed be up to the private sector to step in, but in innovative ways.

However well-intended they aim to be, the inclusionary housing policies being conceptualised by government are not the answer and will only solve a very small percentage of delivery in the affordable market. While our industry is not opposed to new thinking, we need to move much faster. We believe it is the private sector, many of whom are micro-developers already delivering housing in townships, who are not only stepping up to the challenge but who are also ticking many economic and financial boxes“.

These include job creation, densification, delivery against predictable timelines, entrepreneurial development and transformation of an industry, all while also delivering among the best yields of any property sector today.

The conference, under the theme of “From Surviving to Thriving in the Built Environment”, is being held from the 26th to 27th of May, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), and “The role of micro-development in delivering affordable housing” taking place during the second session on Day 1.

This session will be facilitated by researcher Rob McGaffin, renowned for his work in affordable housing, and a founding member of the Urban Real Estate Research Unit (based at UCT). He will be joined by John Spiropolous, a researcher known for his work on the financing of residential rental stock within the micro-development field, and Chuma Giyosa, project coordinator at the Development Action Group (DAG).

Giyose will be presenting groundbreaking work DAG has recently undertaken in collaboration with the HSRC, around ways in which municipalities could incentivise micro-developers. These speakers will be joined by Lisolethu Ntoyake, who is not only a township developer but the chairperson of the recently formed Township Developers Forum of Western Cape (TDFoWC). Ntoyake will present his own experiences with micro-development, including the challenges this sector currently faces.

The session will be rounded off with a panel discussion including Velda Derrocks, Regional Manager for TUFH (PE, Eastern & Western Cape), as well as Mark Schonrock, the Property Development Executive of Concor Developments. Concor is currently developing the 22-hectare Conradie Park mixed-income, mixed-use housing development in Cape Town, in partnership with the Western Cape Government.  

With the TDFoWC having recently joined the Management Committee of the WCPDF, on which DAG already sits, we believe this session on micro-development is a formal acknowledgement of the incredibly important role this sector will play in South Africa’s future. It’s high time these developers get the recognition they deserve – also by the public sector which must come up with the right solutions to assist this sector with the compliance and legitimacy is now seeking“.

The two-day conference line-up has been carefully crafted to discuss and deliver a number of other solutions to the challenges that face the property development and construction industry today. Other sessions include topics such as:

  • The importance of partnerships to mobile a ‘movement’ (to be addressed by keynote speaker, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, Founder, Gift of the Givers).
  • Are government’s infrastructure procurement policies and supply chain management regulations fit for purpose?
  • Which Western Cape municipalities are strategising to attract investment? (This discussion will be facilitated by Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, with the Executive Mayors of Drakenstein, Overstrand, George, Saldanha Bay and Stellenbosch).
  • The rise, pandemic-fall and rise again of commercial, residential, retail and industrial property  (with keynote speaker Dion Chang, Trends Expert & Founder of Flux Trends).
  • Time for ratepayers and taxpayers to set the scorecard on their needs (this session includes Wayne Duvenage, CEO of Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse – OUTA).
  • The importance of long-term planning for bulk infrastructure at local government level.

Along with key players from private property development and construction, and influential decision makers in local and provincial government, the lineup also includes an address at the end of Day 1 by Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, followed by a Networking Function to be hosted by the City of Cape Town.

For more information on the WCPDF’s 9th Annual Conference: please visit the website.