Property Practitioners Bill to make sector inclusive

Pretoria - A draft Property Practitioners Bill will be published by the Department of Human Settlements for public comment with a purpose of establishing a more inclusive, representative sector, towards radical economic transformation.

President Jacob Zuma made the announcement when he was delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA) to a Joint Sitting of Parliament on Thursday evening.

President Zuma said that government is actively involved in the property sector, having provided more than four million houses since 1994.

“This sector in our country is valued at approximately seven-trillion rand, with the subsidised sector being valued at one-point-five trillion rand,” he said.

However, the President noted that less than 5% of the sector is owned or managed by Black people, and Africans in particular.

Issuing of title deeds

Among key priorities this year, the President said, government will also address the increasing delays and backlogs in registration and issuing of title deeds to beneficiaries of housing projects funded by the capital subsidy.

He reiterated that radical economic transformation should mean moving beyond share ownership schemes only, adding that government would like to see black people involved directly in business, owning factories.

“The development of the Black Industrialists Programme is thus critical. The programme has from inception supported more than 22 entrepreneurs. Government has further opportunities in the property maintenance projects of the Department of Public Works.”

The President also announced that the Department of Public Works will invest approximately R100 million this year on critical capital and maintenance programmes to modernise harbours.

“They will also continue generating revenue from letting state owned harbours and coastline properties, which will benefit black owned SMMEs (Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises).

“Government will also continue to pursue policies that seek to broaden the participation of black people and SMMEs, including those owned by women and the youth, in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector,” said President Zuma.

He further assured the youth that the lowering of the cost of data is uppermost in government policies and plans.

The theme for this year’s address is: “The Year of Oliver Reginald Tambo: Unity in Action Together Moving South Africa Forward”. – SAnews.gov.za