Black owned enterprises have benefited very little and inequitably- Minister Nhleko
Black-owned enterprises have benefited very little and inequitably from the massive growth in commercial returns and rapid increase in new growth areas in the property sector since the inception of the democratic dispensation. This is besides the fact that black people are a significant economic force whose contribution to the business expansion of the property sector is far reaching, Public Works Minister, Nathi Nhleko said on Thursday.
Closing the gap between established, large, predominantly white operators and emerging black-owned enterprises alone could lift employment and growth of other connected sectors. Continued major reliance on established previously advantaged operators, is one of the main inhibitors to fair and equitable participation in the property sector highlighted Minister Nhleko in his address to the South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP) Annual Convention and Property Indaba held at the Houghton Golf Club in Johannesburg.
Nhleko said that the growth in the property sector is attributed partly to the significant growth in the black middle class and the introduction of residential and commercial developments in historically under-developed black areas that were predominantly commercially not serviced.
He said that skills development, innovative approaches, enterprise development and partnerships are needed to scale up black economic empowerment and challenged black property practitioners to be knowledgeable about how properties operate and unlocking their value as economic assets.
Radical economic transformation is about empowerment and shared economic benefits that must cascade through mentorship to reverse the legacy of neglect of public infrastructure and inefficiency, he stressed.
Nhleko said that the hold of dominant monopoly capital must be broken and the pace of radical economic transformation heightened for meaningful and unapologetic empowerment through the property sector.
We must urgently address the skills gap that hampers the participation of youth and women from historically marginalized and root out collusion and fronting that undermine our advance to an equitable society envisaged in the National Development Plan, he emphasised.
He pointed out that although achieving economic empowerment requires sound policy, a holistic approach and long-term unwavering commitment from all industry players and greater focus on implementation will reverse the legacy of exclusion and marginalisation that confined black people to be hewers of wood and drawers of water.
He declared that 25% of new leases for client departments to be allocated by his department will benefit majority black designated groups owned enterprises.
A database of transformed estate agents will also be established as part of the Property Incubator Programme to ensure that leasing activities and sale transaction related activities for the state owned property portfolio benefit the historically marginalised.
Nhleko's department plays a leading role on behalf of government in the Property Sector Charter Council (PSCC) to drive and monitor the implementation of the Charter hence the Public Works Sector decided to utilise its property portfolio of 92,500 immovable properties and 31,300 land parcels across the country and spends approximately R4billion on private leases for the accommodation of government departments to drive the transformation of the sector.
Source: Government of South Africa