20 years of Democracy in South Africa, less than 5% black shareholding in listed property

Newsletter Issue 84 Introduction: 20 years of Democracy in South Africa, less than 5% black shareholding in listed property

The dawn of the April 2015 deadline for the property sector to adapt its charter to align with BEE codes revised in October 2013 seems to have awoken the big elephant in the property room. The sector has been found wanting in terms of transformation in ownership and in the decision making pillars. 

According to Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto: "Given that, nearly 10-years down the line, the property sector is nowhere near its halfway mark of 3.75% of black ownership."

Whilst the sector blew its own horn for having been proactive in coming up with the property charter, it really remained just a glossy booklet with fancy vocabulary and no action. Government is equally to blame as it remained indecisive on its leasing and property management structure. The uncertainties have stifled growth in black owned listed property funds and has possibly cut out emergence and support of black property landlords in the commercial property space.

A vigour approach and investment into educating the masses about listed property is really required to get black ownership up.

The Stokvel industry which is predominantly black participating, is a multi billion rand industry which could be channelled to invest in the listed property space. Perhaps share schemes, having gone through their trials and errors, could provide the kickstart empowerment in property needs.

Mduduzi Ngwenya, eProp Commercial Property News MD

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