‘Land reform needs solid implementation strategy’

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While the Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP) supports calls for land reform and transformation in the property sector, it says proper programmes and clear time-based implementation will be required.Picture Gallo Images

 

While the Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP) supports calls for land reform and transformation in the property sector, it says proper programmes and clear time-based implementation will be required.

This follows last week’s state of the nation address (Sona) in which President Jacob Zuma highlighted several economic policy shifts.

“The term ‘radical economic transformation’ is entrenched in our political rhetoric but without a solid implementation strategy and measurable targets, it is unlikely we will see results,” the institute said yesterday.

The institute said it is encouraged by pronouncements on and the commitment to prioritise the transformation of the property sector by reviewing the Property Practitioners Bill, which addresses land reform and access to housing.

Notably, private residential property ownership accounts for only half of the value of the property sector. The commercial sector still remains frighteningly untransformed, with less than 10% being black-owned, managed and controlled. Less than 10% of the buildings occupied by government departments are black-owned, managed and controlled, resulting in 80% of government lease spend going to BBBEE-compliant but untransformed companies.

Of the 40-plus JSE-listed property funds, less than 10% are black originated and managed.

“This is unacceptable given the abundance of skilled and capable black property professionals, many of whom make up our membership. The only way to catalyse black ownership in the property sector and grow the industry is for government, as a key stakeholder in the sector, which is valued at approximately R6-trillion to urgently cease lease renewals for untransformed companies and replace these with long term leases for black-owned, managed and controlled (OMCs) property funds and new entrants. This will send a strong message that government is pro-transformation – a necessary catalyst for the transformation of the property sector,” the organisation said.

The institute is also calling for government to commit to increasing total procurement spend to at least 50% for black-owned, managed and controlled companies within the next two to three years. “This will have a positive impact on the entire property industry value chain, stimulate black industrialisation and create sustainable jobs/” Institute president Nkuli Bogopa said: “We are committed to seeing the adoption of the property incubation programme within the Department of Public Works that will give new entrants access to the property industry and encourage growth and competitiveness.”

Making land available to previously marginalised groups, black people, women and youth, is key to ensuring equitable redistribution and growth of the sector and the economy at large.

To this end, SAIBPP supports the call for land reform and the re-tabling of the Expropriation Bill to facilitate access to land for human settlements and for commercial development in townships and urban centres by blackowned and managed companies.

SELLO RABOTHATA | sellor@thenewage.co.za

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