Johannesburg – It is important to remember that the commercial property sector contributes about R50bn to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Gauteng, Kobus van der Vyver, property development manager at Urban-Econ Development Economists said on Wednesday.
The commercial property sector employs almost 350 000 people, accounting for 7.84% of all the jobs in the province.
He spoke at the annual convention of the SA Property Owners Association (Sapoa) about the role and impact of the commercial sector in Gauteng.
“Commercial property makes a huge contribution to the economy and we have to see that any restrictions in the industry are removed,” emphasised Van der Vyver.
“For this to happen the privat sector should be able to trust municipalities and the other way round. Better use can be made of platforms in the industry to understand each other and benefit the market. The public as well as the private sector should avoid being over-sensitive to their own limitations.”
He cautioned that if property developers and municipalities cannot work well together it is to the detriment of all. He also pointed out that a shortage of skills at municipalities is often a challenge as well as a lack of an overall municipal management structure relating to commercial property.
“Dialogue is certainly needed in order to find the best solutions between developers and municipalities,” he said.
The Urban-Econ report found that the relationship between the private and public property sectors in Gauteng has a significant role in terms of property development.
“Apart from the administrative function of the public sector by means of processing development applications, the public sector also has a responsibility to provide guidance to the private sector through policies and strategic planning initiatives,” the report found.
“It is the public sector’s role to ensure that the development goals and visions are transpired to the private sector in order to ensure that any property development that takes place is cooperative.”
At the same time the role of the private sector is largely pro-development and investment driven.