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SAIBPP annual conference focuses on transformation

The South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP) has worked towards property-industry transformation for 21 years. The body’s 21st Annual Convention & Property Indaba, held at Houghton Golf Club on 2 and 3 August 2017, aptly focused on the theme of “possibilities”.

SAIBPP Victor Kgomoeswana

This year’s event, attended by around 250 industry experts and media, provided a platform for open discussion about pertinent issues in South Africa’s property industry, with a focus on creating an inclusive sector “for the sake of a sustainable, successful and equitable economy”, according to SAIBPP.

Key industry players participated in a wide range of presentations, talks and panel discussions.

The Joburg Property Company (JPC) had a strong presence at the conference, with a prominent display stand and information about its transformation initiatives over the past year, current developments and future plans.


Conference participants had access to groundbreaking industry research, leading economists, business leaders and stakeholders, as well as property-sector trends and discussions around inclusive growth strategies. There was also plenty of discourse about investment trends in the property sector and built environment.

Access to land and land-redistribution models were key topics dominating the conference, with much discussion on how to achieve transformation and the ideal outcomes.

There were also briefings on new developments in sustainability, the impact of the “internet of things” on the property industry and factors affecting the public sector and access to finance.


Minister of Public Works Nkosinathi  Nhleko and African National Congress Treasurer General Dr Zweli Mkhize addressed delegates on the second day of the conference.

Nhleko addressed transformation in the property sector, focusing on the need to close the gap between “white establishment” and black up-and-coming property businesses to speed up radical economic transformation.

“This indaba also needs to address the skills gap that hampers participation of youth and women from historically marginalised backgrounds,” said Nhleko.

He reflected that the department’s property management strategy around Black Economic Empowerment (BEE), job creation and poverty alleviation adopted in 2002 led to the establishment of its 2009 property incubator programme. However, despite the adoption and implementation of the strategy, transformation of the property sector remained sluggish.

“Hence we [decided] to review our BEE strategy, [culminating] in the Property Management Empowerment Policy,” he added.

In his keynote address, Mkhize stressed the property sector’s pertinent role in transformation, referring to it as radical economic transformation.

“Transformation has to address the major constraints of the economy … the patterns of ownership and the institutions that run our economy are so concentrated that it is not possible to considerably grow the economy on such a double base, which basically still represents the racial patterns of the past and the very narrow base from which South Africans are able to contribute,” said Mkhize.

“In that context, we feel it is important for us to start addressing what needs to be done to broaden participation and ensure that whatever growth we get becomes inclusive growth, so that it takes us to a point where we have a prosperous country,” he added.

The JPC, a Silver partner of the event, addressed many of the gathering’s hot topics in its Land Strategy presentation.

SAIBPP Sipho Mzobe

JPC’s senior manager: internal audit in the Office of the CEO, Sipho Mzobe, who is also a director at SAIBPP, explained the City of Joburg’s Land Strategy and how it would address transformation in the property sector. The strategy, which is still in draft form and not yet formally approved, highlights land as a key resource. It will be fundamental in shaping desired spatial, social and economic objectives, according to the JPC.

Access to land is crucial to absorb the urban poor in a rapidly growing city and to provide them with basic services, the JPC believes. Land is also needed to sustain important environmental processes and ecosystems within the city.

Since the JPC manages around 29 700 parcels of land worth about R34-billion and one of its focuses is facilities management, the body is in the perfect position to drive the land strategy, it says.

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The JPC aims to leverage public-sector land to achieve socio-economic objectives, with a focus on job creation and transformation; small, medium and micro-sized enterprises and youth development in property; the development of women in property to achieve gender parity; and partnerships between the private and public sector to work towards achieving the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

“The Land Strategy [aims] to respond to all these issues,” said Mzobe, as he outlined JPC’s guiding principles, which are:

  • Creating jobs and livelihoods
  • Expanding infrastructure
  • Transitioning to a low-carbon economy
  • Transforming urban and rural spaces
  • Positioning Johannesburg in South Africa and in the world
  • Developing human settlements
  • Building safer communities
  • Improving education, innovation and training
  • Social protection
  • Providing quality health care
  • Building a capable state
  • Fighting corruption and enhancing accountability
  • Transforming society and uniting the nation

Financial services and funding, and investing in less affluent areas, were deemed among the best ways to get the property sector to be inclusive.

Mzobe’s appointment as a director at SAIBPP further establishes the long-standing relationship between the entity and the JPC as they work together to transform the property industry.