Students launch Youth In Property Association

Students launch Youth In Property Association

YIPA co-founders Toza Macozoma, Khensani de Klerk, Monedi Lefakane, Imran Mohamed and Curtis Rooibaatjie.

Increasing the participation of youth, in particular black youth, in the property industry at the levels of ownership, management and skills development, is the aim of the Youth In Property Association (YIPA) which was launched last month at the University of Cape Town.

YIPA was started by 22-year-old Monedi Lefakane and co-founders Toza Macozoma, Imran Mohamed, Curtis Rooibaatjie, Khensani de Klerk and Priscilla Nthai, all of whom are built environment students at UCT.

YIPA’s focus is promoting the active participation of young people from 18 to 35 in the property industry. The organisation aims include representing, protecting and advancing the interests of members in the property industry in terms of ownership, management and social development. The strategic intent of the organisation is to transform the industry and provide access to opportunities of entrepreneurship, education, enterprise development, employment and networking to all South African youth in property.

The launch event was attended by the Honourable Deputy Minister of Public Works, Jeremy Cronin, who presented the keynote address along with Paul Serote, Property Management Trading Entity CEO, the Managing Executive of Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, Robin Lockhart-Ross and CEO of the Delta Property Fund, Sandile Nomvete, who was also a guest speaker for the evening.

“Congratulations on launching something as bold as this. I’m inspired by what I see here today. As a department, we really look forward to engaging with YIPA as a new partner. YIPA is what South Africa needs, it is what the Department of Public Works needs and we look forward to an ongoing relationship with you,” said Cronin in his keynote address.

YIPA chairman, Lefakane, said: “YIPA cannot and will not work without the minds and ideas of all youth in property – blacks, whites, coloureds and Indians.”

He also made a call on other stakeholders to participate in YIPA’s initiatives, saying that government and the private sector, are needed to amplify the voice of youth in opportunities for entrepreneurship, education and enterprise development in property.

“In time, we want to create a property development and investment company, for youth, by youth and to do this we need the intellectual and financial support of the older generation.”

Nomvete highlighted the need for YIPA to have a strong value add proposition in addition to being young, saying that the members of YIPA must also do their best to understand the property industry and contribute more than just their youth.

The launch was sponsored by Pareto Limited, Real Estate Investor Magazine, Western Cape Property Development Forum, UCT Department of Construction, Economics and Management (CEM) and the Association of Built Environment (ABES).

Lefakane said YIPA looks forward to partnering with the Department of Public Works as well as UCT Department of CEM and ABES to begin increasing the numbers of black property professionals and young people studying property related degrees.

With a national shortage in student accommodation of almost 200 000 beds, the organisation is also keen to plan the creation of a youth owned and managed property company that will help address this problem.