This year has been a busy and eventful one for the Property Sector Charter Council (PSCC). The council, which monitors and evaluates transformation in the South African property sector, has embarked on several collaborative projects which expand its scope significantly. At its annual seminar, the PSCC released its 2019 State of Transformation of the Property Sector Report and announced a new intervention for addressing transformation challenges in the sector.
“The quality of our engagement with the many participants in the property sector this year has shown a tremendous improvement,” says PSCC chairman, Sedise Moseneke. “Overall, we are seeing far more collaboration in almost every area. This is important for us to work effectively and synergistically as a sector, and we are very encouraged by it as it allows us all to do so much more,” he adds.
2019 State of Transformation of the Property Sector Report
PSCC CEO, Portia Tau-Sekati, present the findings of the transformation report, which shows a mixed picture of the sector’s B-BBEE performance over the past year. Transformation remains a key element of economic transformation in the country, especially given the contribution that the sector makes to overall GDP. Yet, progress towards certain transformation milestones is still limited and slow.
The 2019 report is based on two pieces of legislation: the 2012 Property Sector Code, and the 2017 Amended Property Sector Code. The report reveals that property sector is at Level 5 in terms of its transformation B-BBEE recognition level – dropping from level 4 in the 2018 report. Although this is not the best performance, it was a reasonable effort considering the change in the recognition levels which took effect during the year.
“Although it is encouraging to see continued transformation efforts in the sector, progress in certain areas has been slow and we believe that the situation is still less than ideal,” notes Tau-Sekati.
Analysis based on key elements of the 2012 Property Sector Code reveal that the ownership score, which has an overall weighting of 20 points on the scorecard, shows that the industry improved overall from a score of 16,67 to 17,04 weighting points – a change from 83% to 85% in this category. “Whilst this is encouraging, funding models still need to be further considered and reviewed, as the long nature of the process translates into limited progress,” she explains.
Encouraging results were seen in the category of employment equity, where the industry showed an improvement from a very poor 33% in 2018 to a 49% performance achievement against target in the 2019 report. In the areas of skills development and management control, results were much the same as last year, with the industry’s performance in these areas being rated at 65% and 56% respectively. “We are pleased that even in the areas of the scorecard where performance is poor, the overall direction is still positive,” says Tau-Sekati. “However, much more still needs to be done.”
The report forms one of the cornerstones of the PSCC’s work, tasked as the industry body responsible for measuring and monitoring transformation. It is widely acknowledged by the industry as an important tool in this respect, as evidenced by its generous sponsorship by SVA Architects. “We are proud and honoured to be the sponsor of the 2019 State of Transformation of the Property Sector Report, it is an important partnership in the property sector and shows how committed we are as SVA about transformation,” says SVA MD, Sandi Mbutuma.
New minister and chairman to be introduced
The event saw two new appointments introduced. The first was Dr Sedise Moseneke, who stepped into the role of PSCC chairman on 1 March. Moseneke takes over from industry veteran Saul Gumede, who was the PSCC’s founding chairman, and who has done sterling work to advance transformation in the industry in this role. “Being chairperson of the PSCC will allow me to give back to the industry, to contribute to the process of making meaningful changes in transformation, and to help drive change to address the gaps that exist,” says Moseneke.
The second introduction was that of the new Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille. Her appointment came after the recent government restructuring by President Cyril Ramaphosa, which saw the combining of the Departments of Public Works and Infrastructure, in an effort to reduce government’s wage bill. In this new role, Minister de Lille will be the line minister which the PSCC reports to, and the leader of the industry from the public sector’s point of view.
Property Sector Skills Foundation launch
An exciting component of the seminar was be the official launch of the Property Sector Skills Foundation. The aim of this foundation is to enhance the overall level of skill in the industry, building a pool of talent which provides a resource for property companies in South Africa from which to draw on.
The project is one which PSCC chairman, Sedise Moseneke, has highlighted as critical for transformation going forward. Excellent work has already been done to promote property careers to school-leavers and students. What is needed now is to assist new entrants, nurturing talent and growth into the industry with developing the right platform to allow them to advance their careers, and prepare them for senior roles. This is important given that there is still a lack of black and more particularly female representation at ownership, control and participation levels in the industry.
The PSCC believes that through the launch of the Property Sector Skills Development Foundation, the body can lead the change that needs to take place. “We believe that through taking a holistic and structured integrated approach, we can address skills development in the industry comprehensively,” says Tau-Sekati. “There is power in collaboration – we can do it better if we do it together.”
An industry first: Property Portal SA
In a first for the property industry in SA, the PSCC will also launched the Property Portal SA – a digitally-driven platform which will function as a single resource for industry information. “With so many different sources of information available, it can be confusing for anyone to know where to begin,” says Tau-Sekati. Whilst all the original sources of information will remain, the Property Portal is intended to be a first point of reference, which will then direct users in their search process to the appropriate platform. With its tag-line of: “Your platform and gateway to everything property in South Africa,” the one-stop-shop portal will enable access to relevant industry content.
The Property Portal SA can be accessed at https://propertyportalsa.co.za/