The local economy may be moribund – with interest rates rising and the situation made worse by a lot of reckless political posturing – but the gloom can be dispelled and hope restored if government, through the Reserve Bank, could drive policy changes that take into account the country’s urgent development agenda and the transformation of the economy, with property being one of the key drivers of economic growth.

This is the view of Xhanti Payi, head of research and economist at Nascence Advisory & Research. “The essence of transformation is getting as many South Africans as possible participating in the economy. A way of doing so is through wealth creation, and property is central in this effort. For example, when a home you own grows in value it’s easier to raise collateral in order to do whatever business you are interested in. That’s how you get into the system. So property ownership is one of the key mechanisms of including people in the economy,” Payi says. “Property is important for economic activity and economic growth. In addition, owning your own home creates a sense of pride.”

When it comes to the transformation of the country’s economy, Payi feels that more focus should be paid to wealth creation rather than wealth transfer. “I don’t think we are ever going to succeed with wealth transfer. We’ve tried taking that route for a long time and, frankly, it hasn’t worked. Even philosophically this approach is built on shaky ground. But in the wealth creation space, there’s a lot of opportunities. Organisations such as SAIBPP need to lobby for means of wealth creation, in this case using property as a vehicle.”