DEVELOPERS TRAINING PROGRAMME: Enhancing the Capacity of Micro-Developers, Delivering Small-Scale Rental Units in Townships

Micro-developers provide affordable rental accommodation for households which cannot afford inner-city residential property prices, those waiting for government housing and those who earn too much to benefit from a subsidy. Currently in South Africa, the innovative micro-developers and homeowners are seen as the backbone of the township economy as they play a vital role in the township economy, through job creation and spatial transformation.

Over the years, DAG’s Contractor, and Developer Academy (CDA) has been engaging with micro-developers particularly in Cape Town to see how best they can support the thriving and scaling up of these micro-developers and homeowners. Through these engagements, the CDA team discovered that most of the entrepreneurial homeowner/ micro-developers were struggling because they did not have a background in the built environment or had previous experience in the ‘formal’ property development sector. Hence, DAG initiated the developer training programme in 2022.

DAG’s CDA customised developer training programme is specifically tailor-made to enhance the capacity and capabilities of the micro-developers that are delivering small-scale rental units in the Cape Town townships. The targeted two-month programme is presented through a hybrid model, involving both virtual and face-to-face sessions.

Our first programme ran from the 7th of May to the 18th of June 2022. The participants of the programme included aspiring developers and seasoned micro-developers from different professional backgrounds such as accountants, community facilitators, retail managers and town planners among others. This eye opening and much needed developers’ training programme was developed in partnership with seasoned property practitioners and lecturers at the University of Cape Town (UCT), namely Rob McGaffin and Prof Francois Viruly. The programme consisted of eight (8) modules exploring a range of topics in collaboration with guest facilitators.

After one month of theoretical and practical sessions, the DAG’s CDA team acknowledged the hard work and dedication of the pilot group of micro-developers by holding a celebratory closing ceremony for all the participants who completed the training programme towards the end of June 2022. The ceremony saw participants presenting and sharing their pitches of funding proposals, receiving participation certificates as well as networking.

Prior to the pitch presentations, participants were split into groups of three/four people. Each group had to;
👉Identify a site,
👉Key design issues,
👉Market demand that needed to be considered,
👉Legal obligations,
👉Break-down of the costs
👉and share how the building will be managed and maintained post construction.

It was inspiring and satisfying to see how the participants were applying the knowledge and skills learned in the past two months of the training programme. The pitches were appraised by a panel of key industry players including, Deon Van Zyl from Western Cape Property Development Forum (WCPDF), Cebo Nikelo, Nedbank senior associate of Property Finance and Gershon Manana Director of Mafulo Design solutions. The ceremony was also graced by special guests from financial institutions such as Umastandi Nomfundo, Bitprop and uDondolo.

Special thanks to our co-partners, guest facilitators and the CDA team for developing and hosting this empowering training course. It will go a long way in realising one of our objectives of delivering a wide range of affordable housing solutions as a way of addressing the housing crisis.

Check out how the day went in the slide show below…
Photo credit: Je’nine May Photography 

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