On 28 July 2022, the Gauteng Partnership Fund in collaboration with the Youth in Property Association hosted a sold-out Guest Lecture at Wits University’s School of Architecture and Planning’s John Moffat building.

Dr. Sitsabo Dlamini addressing a packed hall . Image credit: GPF

Dr. Sitsabo Dlamini addressing a packed hall . Image credit: GPF

The event, which formed part of the GPF’s 20th-anniversary celebrations, saw both organisations bring key stakeholders under one roof to empower youth in the built environment.

The GPF is an agency of the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements and is mandated to serve as funding and implementing agent for integrated sustainable human settlement developments in the province. One of its various products is the Empowerment Entrepreneur Property Fund, which was designed to promote the participation of historically disadvantaged individuals and companies in the affordable rental property market. Of particular focus for this programme are first-time property developers, especially women and youth.

Award-winning property Mogul and CEO of Rebosis and Billion Group Dr Sisa Ngebulana delivered a stirring keynote address marked by a standing ovation at the end.

Between the two companies, about 22 students receive bursaries annually, a school is built every three years, and churches have also been built. Ngebulana mentioned that he is also overseeing the development of, “[A]bout 55 000 apartments across six different cities around the country.”

He urged the youth to, “Always aspire to make a difference. Never settle for just living.”

He finished by saying: “Above all, I want to say, always keep God first. If nothing else, it keeps you humble. The chances you take today and onwards, the dreams and goals that you set, and the hard work and discipline that you apply will define your destiny. I thank you and I wish you all the best in your careers.”

The programme, which was moderated by YIPA’s vice chairperson for Gauteng, Priscilla Nthai, also featured esteemed academic Dr. Sitsabo Dlamini, award-winning property developers Dandy Matamela, the founder and group chairman of Muma Architects and Property Investments; and Tshepo Lekgau of Tshellaine Holdings, who participated in a panel discussion on making a career in the property sector; as well as the GPF’s Investment Officer, Shiraaz Lorgat.

The GPF CEO, Ms. Lindiwe Kwele said: “We are a country of great contradiction. We are beset by many ills and shortcomings. But we are also a country of great potential. To be in a room packed with driven young people was reassuring because we want to see a vibrant and transformed property sector that can come up with unique and innovative solutions to our housing crisis. We are grateful to have had many of our key stakeholders join us tonight to celebrate our milestones and look ahead to what we hope to achieve as an organisation.”

YIPA CEO, Lwandle Matsinya, spoke briefly about the initiatives and programmes available through the organisation. He added: “When we think of our members and youth, we always say we want to enlighten, empower, and encourage the youth to actively participate in the property industry and the broader South African landscape. Our core pillars are education, empowerment, and entrepreneurship.”

The GPF has planned various seminars and project site tours throughout its anniversary year to revisit and showcase some of the organisation’s milestones over the past two decades.

You can watch the entire GPF x YIPA Guest Lecture here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dVgH2AXnOY&t=1079s