SAIBPP | Open Letter to Ramaphosa Following Mooikloof Announcement 

SAIBPP, South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners, notes with concern the announcement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the launch of the Mooikloof MegaCity Development. 

The property and construction sectors continue to be hamstrung by chronic lack of transformation. Black ownership within the R6tn property sector sits at less than 7% and black developers continue to be constrained by lack of access to finance and lack of access to land while companies that demonstrate blatant disregard for B- BBEE and transformation benefit from grants and assistance made possible by public funds. The public endorsement of this development and its inclusion as part of the SIDS targeted list of projects is a slap in the face to all patriotic South Africans who are committed to structurally transforming our economy and demonstrates once again, government’s unwillingness to address the issue of transformation in the property sector and built environment. 

The effect of Covid-19 on the economy has been devastating and while projects like these do have an impact on creating jobs in the short term, the ability to create jobs should not be at the sacrifice of the long-term transformation imperatives that government has set out for themselves and for the country, along with the ambition stated by the President of ensuring that there be a structural change within the economy in order to deal with the economic injustices of the past. 

A project of this magnitude, circa R84bn, that forms part of the state-led SIDS programme should have clear, measurable targets with respect to black, female and youth participation at all levels of the value chain – all professionals and professional teams used during all phases of the development including planning, construction and management thereof going forward. 

We, therefore, call on the Office of the Presidency to ensure that the following is implemented for all approved SIDS projects going forward: 

All companies who participate in the SIDS programme and who have submitted projects as part of the SIDS programme must be able to produce at least a Level 2 B-BBEE certificate. 

Should this not be the case, all companies participating in the SIDS programme should demonstrate how they intend to partner with, JV with or ensure meaningful economic and skills transfer during and after the project 

All companies who submit projects for the SIDS programme must commit to procuring 40% of all materials and professional services from South African owned black and women-owned companies.

Granting of approvals and development rights by local authorities must be contingent on the above conditions being met and on companies participating in the SIDS programme demonstrating a fully transformed professional service provider base and company structure. 

We note that a development of this magnitude, at this advanced stage would have been years in the making but are nonetheless encouraged that so shortly after the announcement of the multi-billion Rand infrastructure investment drive that this project has broken ground with government investing in the infrastructure to make it happen. This is an indication that the SIDS programme is not just a pipe dream and a talk shop but is now coming to life. We continue to support this much-needed investment drive and reiterate that as we rebuild the economy, that no person, especially the many black professionals in the property and built environment sector should be left behind. 

Issued by: The President of the SA Institute of Black Property Practitioners – Mr Tholo Makhaola 

Image sourced from Balwin Properties