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Convention to address transformation in property industry

Oct 25 2016 17:31
Carin Smith

Cape Town - The annual convention of the South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP) will take place on November 2 and 3 at CedarWoods of Sandton.

This year marks SAIBPP’s 20th anniversary and the theme of the convention is “the property sector as a key driver for sustainable economic growth and wealth redistribution”. SAIBPP's objective is to drive transformation within the SA property sector by facilitating economic participation and skills development for previously disadvantaged individuals and ensuring more representative participation in the property industry.

“The convention is a strategic, solutions-orientated event where we try to deal with challenges facing stakeholders in the property sector. Apart from legislation, we look for practical interventions to apply in order to see radical transformation in the property sector,” SAIBPP president Nkuli Bogopa told Fin24 on Tuesday.

“This year’s theme will open up a strategic dialogue about the specific interventions that are required to achieve radical transformation in the property industry in the next 20 years. There is a lot of value in coming together with like-minded people and sharing ideas and information.”

In her view, black people are still largely excluded from the entire value chain in the property industry. She said SAIBPP has been pivotal in ensuring that black businesses and black professionals grow in the property industry.

SAIBPP plans to share the results of a transformation report at the convention, for instance. The convention will also offer opportunities to hear from and interact with organisations like the Women's Property Network and the Green Building Council of SA. SAIBPP also works closely with the Black Business Council (BBC) to address issues relating to government policies and legislation i the built environment.

"The overarching behind the scenes purpose of this convention should be to present opportunities for our members and to speak to areas of opportunity for our members," said Bogopa.

That is why major banks, for instance, were invited to attend this year to address delegates on how to make it easier and innovative to ensure participation of black professionals are not limited in the industry.

"We look at the last 20 years where transformation was limited. So, banks can consider the constraints we are presenting to them and come up with innovative ways for our members to get to the other side," said Bogopa.

Apart from encouraging greater participation by women in the property industry, she would like to encourage more young people to get involved. Since she became president, there has already been a marked increase in youth participation, even on the board of SAIBPP.

"When property companies do their BEE scorecard, it should show meaningful contributions in the sector. It should not just be about seeing black people in the industry, but about what their level of participation is," said Bogopa.

She emphasised that, since many SMMEs are members of SAIBPP, the organisation has tried to make attending the convention as accessible as possible, including having a special student price and planning to allow ten students doing internships to attend for free.

The executive gala dinner, taking place before the convention, is another first where the focus will be on interacting with industry experts in order to ensure change happen.

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