The Gauteng Partnership Fund hosted a successful stakeholder forum at The Galleria, Sandton, on the 23rd of February 2022.
The purpose of the event was for the GPF to reintroduce itself to key stakeholders, while also using the opportunity to present the revised GPF strategic plan 2020 – 2025, encourage borrowers to pay their loans, and explore the various opportunities available to developers at the GPF.
In opening, the chairperson of the GPF Ms. Hlengiwe Bhengu-Motsiri stressed the importance of cultivating strategic partnerships between the private and public sector, saying it would enable the GPF to continue to deliver on its mandate post the Covid-19 pandemic. She also used the opportunity to introduce the newly appointed CEO of the GPF, Ms. Lindiwe Kwele, and backed her to successfully steer the organisation on its path to delivering on its mandates.
Ms. Kwele presented the revised strategy of the GPF and reiterated that the priority of the organisation was to pool resources from the private and public sectors to realise the goal of seeing decent housing close to amenities.
“We aim to build cities where people can work, live, and play,” she said.
Furthermore, she made a call for women-led entities to apply for funding to build affordable rental housing and student accommodation. “We are passionate about empowering and encouraging women to participate in property development,” she added.
Thereafter, a panel discussion featuring Ms. Kwele; Chief Investment Officer, Ms. Leah Manenzhe; Gauteng Department of Human Settlements’ Acting DDG in Programme Management, Ms. Phumzile Maseko Seipobi; and the Acting Chief Financial Officer of the GPF, Mr. Godfrey Mathabathe was held. The plenary session explored opportunities available for property developers, the relationship between the GPF and funding partners, as well as the importance of a healthy loan book. Attendees were afforded opportunities to seek advice and put forward possible solutions to various issues.
Ms. Manenzhe also took the opportunity to speak briefly about a new product in the works known as Kasi-4-Real, saying: “The kasi-4-Real will focus on funding property developers interested in building backrooms. The details around the funding criteria will be released once its finalized.”
Three property developers who had received funding from the GPF to deliver mega projects, rental housing, and student accommodation were also invited to speak on their experiences of working with the GPF and the respective challenges in implementing their projects.
They lauded the GPF on the efficient and quick payment of invoices which they identified as being key to ensuring that construction progressed smoothly. The co-owner of The Opal student accommodation, Mr. Mulalo Tshitema attributed the completion of Bono ahead of schedule due to this. First time property developer Mabana Makhakhe, from the Phahamo Property Group, thanked the GPF for the support provided to her and her partners during the development of their project.
“The fact that we are now talking about future projects and working with the GPF again means we are clients in good standing,” she said to raucous applause.
The stakeholder forum was well attended both in-person and virtually.