Black businesses benefit from partnership

2020-11-16T12:08:09+00:00November 17th, 2020|News|

The Property Sector Charter Council (PSCC) has formed a partnership with business accelerator Property Point (PP) to develop and fast track the participation of 50 black entrepreneurs in the Property Sector.

This is a critical step in consolidating SMME support, ensuring that a design-centred approach is demand-led and results in tangible impact, while bringing small, micro, and medium (SMME) businesses into the value chain.

Portia Tau-Sekati CEO of the PSCC and Shawn Theunissen, Property Point’s founder, sign MoU. Image credit: PSCC

Portia Tau-Sekati CEO of the PSCC and Shawn Theunissen, Property Point’s founder, sign MoU. Image credit: PSCC

The partnership is given relevance through the transformation framework as envisaged in the Property Sector Code, and will enable PSCC and Property Point to drive transformation in the sector through the incubation and acceleration of black property (with a focus on women and youth) businesses. It creates a platform that accelerates transformation beyond compliance.

In the initial phase of partnership, 50 black property businesses will be placed in the two-year programme, with the prospect of further impact through the creation of jobs, and downstream services. The PSCC represents 25 industry organisations and associations that are members and are signatories to the Property Sector Code. In addition to the 50 businesses to be identified for the first phase, the partnership also provides for PSCC member organisations to partner up with Property Point for implementation of their enterprise and supplier development needs. Current funding partner of Property Point are Growthpoint, Attacq, Fortress REIT, Pareto Holdings, Public Investment Corporation and SEDA.

With additional partners more support will be available leading to a dramatic increase in the number of black businesses operating in the sector. The increase in sustainable black businesses would have a cascading effect on economic growth, as well in the households and communities.

The property sector has taken a serious knock due to the Covid-19 pandemic and requires a step-change and a brave set of strategies to ensure business sustainability and growth. The pandemic offers an opportunity to adopt the lessons of lockdown – The power of collaboration, beyond competition – the advantages being shared risk, reduced costs and additional resources which inevitably lead to greater impact to the benefit of all.

According to the PSCC’s report on Transformation presented in 2019, there is still a lot to be done to achieve substantial change in racial and gender composition of ownership, control, and management.

Portia Tau-Sekati CEO of the PSCC said South Africa needed an ecosystem of support for businesses in the Property Sector. “We need to go beyond box ticking and compliance to affect purposeful and impact-based transformation. We understand that times are tough in the sector and will remain so for the foreseeable future, however now is the time for resetting our thinking and focus on how we build our economy and stimulate the Property Sector through supporting entrepreneurs and proving market access – leveraging on the power of collaboration.”

Shawn Theunissen, Property Point’s founder said, “This milestone is significant to us as it moves our organisation to the next phase of  harnessing the power of collaboration with partners who are equally matched and can drive more inclusive growth and participation in the sector as well as the broader economy. In recent past, the industry had focused on businesses outside the property value-chain which was a problem in that the large technical aspects and contracts still went to relatively untransformed businesses, therefore as Property Point we believe in the value of doing Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) in the correct way, by creating a solid pipeline of transformed businesses across the full spectrum of the value-chain. This is what we consider transformation beyond compliance.”

He adds, “The 2020 data from the B-BBEE Commission released just a few months ago, in their generic form, are clear that we are seeing low to stagnating levels of black empowerment across industries. Together with our new partners, we aim to debunk this trend and apply the tried and tested methodologies which have previously resulted in 270 black businesses becoming sustainable and profitable over the past 12 years. We aim to work together as an industry to create a solution that will lead us to the desired transformation results under ESD.

“As the property sector we must develop solutions that will solve the challenges that face South Africa on its path to an inclusive economy. Whatever solution we choose, one thing is clear – corporate, industry bodies and entrepreneurs need to see each other as partners in building South Africa. The industry needs to be part of the solution that brings entrepreneurs into the mainstream of the economy,” Tau-Sekati concludes.