MAIN IMAGE: Steven Ngubeni, PPRA chairperson
PPRA chairperson Steven Ngubeni is a lifelong learner (as his CV proves) with several degrees, diplomas, and certificates under his belt. These include an MSc Degree in Property Economics and Valuation from NMMU, an LLM Degree in International Business Law from the University of Cambria in the UK, and now a PhD in Real Estate from the University of Pretoria.
While anyone who’s gone through the gruelling process of obtaining a PhD knows how demanding it is, this achievement is even more remarkable because Ngubeni is the first black South African to obtain a PhD in Real Estate.
A passionate reformer of the real estate industry, Ngubeni has been outspoken about the need for change in terms of transformation, as well as the professionalization of the profession.
Ngubeni delivered these calls at several industry events this year and again emphasised that it is imperative, saying that of the more or less 48 000 practitioners across the board, only 12 000 are black agents (as defined by the legal framework of South Africa – Africans, Indians and, Asians), meaning that the bulk of current estate agents are white, and most of them are male.
“It is our intention to turn around that situation effectively. Turning it around does not mean barring people from participating it means allowing more people to participate. It means we must create new markets. We must begin to recognise that Soweto is booming, that Mamelodi is booming…that KwaMashu is booming, and therefore, there should be agents that operate in those areas”, said Ngubeni.
In terms of professionalisation, Ngubeni has urged candidate practitioners to obtain their required qualifications, urging them to make use of programmes like the Rebosa Accelerated RPL programme, and establishing the Property Sector Research Centre (PSRC) in partnership with the National Research Foundation (NRF) to conduct market research in order to improve it. With his PhD, Ngubeni not only merits hard earned academic recognition, but serves as an inspiration within the industry, encouraging agents to finalise their qualifications.