IRR challenges overreach into community schemes as BEE looms as key 2024 issue

Aug 28, 2023
The IRR has over recent weeks written to prominent stakeholders in the community schemes economic sector about the concerning remarks by Minister of Human Settlements Mmamoloko Kubayi on extending damaging and unconstitutional race-based policies to community schemes like residential complexes and old-age homes.
IRR challenges overreach into community schemes as BEE looms as key 2024 issue

The IRR has over recent weeks written to prominent stakeholders in the community schemes economic sector about the concerning remarks by Minister of Human Settlements Mmamoloko Kubayi on extending damaging and unconstitutional race-based policies to community schemes like residential complexes and old-age homes.

The Minister's comments suggest a push to enforce Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policies on such community schemes, a move the IRR views as a potential infringement of the rights and economic aspirations of countless South African homeowners.

The letter, penned by IRR campaign manager Mlondi Mdluli, underscores the gravity of such a policy shift, especially for the country's multi-racial middle class who have invested large parts of their life savings into homes within these community schemes. Imposing BEE policies on this sector would create more opportunities for corruption, and add to South Africans’ financial burdens when they can least afford it.

Hermann Pretorius, IRR head of strategic communications, says: "The latest jobs numbers show how twenty years of BEE policies have, at best, failed to ensure broader economic participation and, at worst, undermined socio-economic upliftment. With the 2024 elections on the horizon, South Africans are increasingly open to ditching policies that promised much but delivered little. Minister Kubayi's concerning intervention comes, perhaps ironically, at a crucial moment for South Africans considering who should govern the country.

"As such, the IRR is committed to ensuring that the merits of race-based policies – and the Minister's new scheme to interfere in South African communities – are thoroughly debated, with a view to exposing their failure to bring about fundamental reform. It's therefore likely that the proposed BEE enforcement in community schemes is, beyond being unconstitutional, also a political risk to the performance of the ANC in the context of the upcoming elections."

The IRR's letter has been sent to the following entities, seeking clarity on their stance regarding the Minister's proposed changes:

- Simbith Eco Estate

- Community Associations Institute of South Africa 

- National Association of Managing Agents

- Association of Residential Communities 

- Plumage Property Group (Steyn City)

- Val de Vie Estate

- Waterfall Management Company (Waterfall Estate)

- South African Landscapers Institute 

- Atlantic Beach Golf Estate

- Silver Lakes Golf Estate

- Pezula Golf Estate

- The River Club

With the public's interest at the core of the democratic assessment of BEE, the IRR has made it clear that both the letter and the responses received will be disclosed to its members and the broader South African public.

Pretorius adds: "It's essential that stakeholders in the community schemes sector voice their opinions on this matter and join the debate on how to move on from BEE's failures."

The IRR awaits responses from the addressed stakeholders within the next few weeks.

 

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