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Property industry undergoing a challenging period – council chair
Dr Sedise Moseneke was recently elected chair of the Property Sector Charter Council (PSCC).
He is an executive director of Vukile Property Fund, heading up Investments and Acquisitions for South Africa. He also heads up the Vukile Academy.
“I have a deep passion for an equal and fair society that looks after its people. I believe in the triple H’s – Hard Work, Humility and Honesty,” he tells Fin24.
Moseneke is a qualified non-practicing dental surgeon who then became a military doctor before turning into a real estate executive. He has a love for motivational speaking and sharing knowledge, while at the same time believing in learning from others.
“The property industry is undergoing a challenging period in relation to performance and delivering returns seen previously,” says Moseneke.
“The challenges are compounded by a weak economy, political uncertainty, corruption and a massive inequality gap in our country. Some of the challenges are self-inflicted as we have seen in the media.”
He says the retail environment seems to be holding its own, but slowing down nonetheless.
In his view, the main trend in the retail space seems to be the advance of technology versus the traditional shopping malls.
“My view is that there is scope and sufficient room for the co-existence of both in South Africa. We cannot ignore technology growth, but our country is still a developmental state which will take time to adapt fully to online/technology encroachment,” he says.
“The office market is struggling with near record levels of vacancies, the industrial market is confusing with pockets of good performance, even though not explainable with a tough economic environment.”
Moseneke explains that the purpose of the PSCC is to enhance and promote transformation in the property sector. Its role is to actively promote a transformed, vibrant and globally competitive property sector, that aims and strives to reflect the demographics of South Africa and to contribute towards an equitable society.
The PSCC has a statutory role to monitor the performance of the property sector in relation to transformation and to compile an annual progress report and to provide tools to assist transformation in the sector for meaningful participation. The other key role is to monitor and implement amendments and changes to the sector codes.
Successes of the council include achieving an average level 3 BBBEE level for the sector as a whole; Gazetting and monitoring of the Property Sector Charter Codes (with subsequent amendments); releasing the annual State of Transformation Research Reports and other relevant industry reports; and training and education programmes in partnership with other industry bodies.
At the same time, he sees three major challenges in the industry. These are a lack of sufficient skills development; a lack of a balanced employment equity profile; and a lack of funding for new entrants/black entrepreneurs.
“My role for the next three years is to create solutions which can be implemented to deal with these challenges. This we are going to achieve through the utilisation of legacy projects,” says Moseneke.
“We are busy creating a skills development foundation (an academy for black students, graduates and entrepreneurs). The skills development foundation will improve the employment equity gap through the internship and learnership programmes we intend to create and implement.”
The council further aims to create partnerships with government-based funding institutions as well traditional banking institutions to close the gap needed for the equity portion of funding property transactions.