The residential housing problem in South Africa is primarily a black problem – but it is mostly solved by white men.
And this not only limits the volume of work done, but potentially results in an outcome not suited to our black communities.
After all, only those who have lived life in these areas can truly make impactful changes.
This is one of the statements made, and considered later, at the South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP) annual convention this week, which saw the transformation issues – both in the sector and in real estate in general, in the spotlight. .
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“Blacks must be opinion leaders, and not just be hired as employees,” said SAIBPP President Tholo Makhaolo. “We have to lead opinion.”
Likewise, Polo Letaka, president and founder of entrepreneurial financier and consultancy firm IDF Capital, says more black professionals are needed in leadership positions in powerful organizations – such as banks.
“Once black people are in these decision-making positions, they can decide where the money goes. “
However, she points out that many of those already in these positions just assimilate once there, instead of making sure services get to the right places.
“They forget that they have to use their positions to drive the transformation.”
While it can be easy for people to blame their white counterparts in terms of creating obstacles to the advancement of blacks to leadership positions, Letaka says he’s more of a concern than once those barriers are broken and these positions reached, “we are not using them”.
“Sixty percent of our population still resides in the townships, but there is very little investment where the people are. Shouldn’t we, as banks and insurance companies, be looking at how we deploy infrastructure development in these areas?
“We don’t have conversations with people in townships and rural economies to find out what they need and then see how we can invest there responsibly. Now that we can, we are not using our positions to drive growth where it is needed, where it was not before. “
For example, she asks how much money is spent on black involvement in fintech start-ups and states that the typical South African still did not have access to these products in the 4th Industrial Revolution.
“We are not leveraging what we have to effectively drive the transformation. We are not up to the occasion as black professionals.
And until then, she believes black economic growth prospects will “always be stifled.”
Regarding the state of the transformation of the South African economy, Khulekani Mathe, Senior Managing Director for Financial Inclusion at the Banking Association of South Africa, believes that “we have reached the limit of what we can do in a economy that is not growing. ”.
“Lack of growth is what holds us back on many levels, and what has kept us trapped over the past decade … When you let growth weaken, a lot of things go wrong in the economy.”
He says the country lacks effective leadership and other issues have become more important. Therefore, we did not have time to improve government initiatives.
“We are not a competitive economy because we are not investing in the right infrastructure to create growth … Unless we grow this economy, we have reached our limits. “
Because not enough attention was paid to it, Mathe says problems arose.
“We have reached a situation where a large number of our people have become so desperate that they can be recruited for looting… We have not invested enough to tackle the high levels of inequality, and this is leading to the fact that we saw in July (and more). “
Although he recognizes the effects of the BEE agreements that have been signed, black people must eventually be able to leave these agreements and diversify.
“With the right kinds of policies in place, this industry can do more to finance homes in black hands.”