The South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners’ (SAIBPP) annual convention geared towards looking at the new normal in property, with discussions about land reform, urban land expropriation, spatial transformation and inner city development at the fore.
The institute focuses on driving transformation within the South African property sector by facilitating economic participation and skills development for previously disadvantaged individuals and ensuring more representative participation in the property industry.
Part of the convention is the popular inner-city tour that took place on 7 August, led by the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) where a large group of members was taken on a tour of an affordable-housing project.
The institute’s CEO, Vuyiswa Mutshekwane, said it is really exciting to see that there is a drive and focus to redevelop the cities. “It has been heartbreaking to watch the cities degenerate over the years.”
But she believes there is a new era for not only development but also developers.
“Property is not done. I think there is going to be a boom in the inner city. With a concerted effort and investment from both local government and private sector, what can this place look like in the next 25 years?”
She said local government has a very important role to play in creating an environment that is conducive and attractive for investment.
“When you start hearing such a strong message coming from the top office, it also sends a message that the public sector has a plan and [invested] money will not go down the drain.”
Mutshekwane also highlighted that whatever happens from an investment or development point of view, the transformation agenda must remain at the heart.
“We must seize the opportunity to create new developers and entrepreneurs.”
The City of Johannesburg has been calling for inner-city investment and council recently made 71 city-owned properties available for housing in the inner city. These have been released for the purpose of creating quality low-cost income housing.
Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba said buildings will be provided on a long-term lease basis, ensuring that the buildings are developed and that rentals cater to low-income households.
“The revitalisation of the inner city has been a critical component of our administration. Undoubtedly, one of the highest challenges we face in the Inner City is access to affordable housing and the increase in hijacked buildings,” Mashaba said. “Through the Inner City Housing Implementation Plan, we are set to make the inner-city housing market work better for the poor.”
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