COVER PROFILE

Transforming the Real Estate industry

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BBQ magazine sat down with self-made real estate entrepreneur, Rali Mampeule who aims to bring new blood into the old veins of the real estate industry

REAL estate entrepreneur, Rali Mampeule is jetting to Davos, Switzerland in January 2020. He is the founding donor of the Global Surgery Foundation while his passion extends to speeding up the delivery of affordable housing.

Mampeule believes that the Global Surgery Foundation will become as significant as the Aids Foundation and the Red Cross eventually.

The business dynamo’s original motivation for funding the Global Surgery Foundation was personal. His melodious voice goes down a notch with sadness as he shares that one of his sister’s passed away giving birth a few years ago. “Surgical procedures kill more people than TB and malaria combined,” he says quietly.

Those who know Mampeule’s track-record may not find this latest venture surprising. He has transformed himself in the space of 18-years: from part-time Unisa student and then BCom graduate, selling boerewors on the side of the road, to an entrepreneur who is attracting world acclaim.

At the tender age of 22 Mampeule purchased R26 million worth of property development in Midrand with no funding, rather using the method of bootstrapping.

The young real estate entrepreneur needed cash to fulfil his property development dreams. Soon he realised that there was no prospect of getting financial backing through conventional means as a start up with no track-record. He approached friends and family who became angel investors, as he puts it “those were good times when with one salary you could buy four units.”

He continues, “Cash-flow is the biggest challenge for any start-up company,” says Mampeule. “Getting financial backing is difficult without a financial track-record, and a challenge many in South Africa face today.”

With ambition fuelling him, Mampeule needed to act fast (a skill he has perfected), or the opportunity would be lost. “Bootstrapping is the way to go,” he advises, quite solemnly considering the value he has added to business from the beginning.

He operates within real estate development in the residential and the commercial market. A lot of his efforts are currently focused within the affordable housing space.

A fortuitous meeting with the Everitt’s, the founders of Chas Everitt International Property Group, 15 years ago helped launch his career. That is when the bug bit and Mampeule became an estate agent.

“My first job was dropping off real estate pamphlets in the Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg so it wasn’t all a bag of roses,” smiles Mampeule.

But important lessons were learned such as “discipline, mentoring and giving back at Chas Everitt. Mentoring other people in the world makes a big difference and can be quite impactful.”

Mampeule’s ambition led him to open his own estate agency at the age of 24 where he employed “just under 40 estate agents.”

In 2005 Mampeule founded the Rali Mampeule Learnership Foundation and with the aim of bringing “new blood into the old vein of Real Estate.”

Accelerating Delivery of Affordable Housing

Mampeule started the South African Housing and Infrastructure Fund in July 2019 (SAHIF).

SAHIF is about acquiring vacant and unused land near the centre of towns and cities for conversion into zoned and serviced stands. “This enhances the speedy delivery of these serviced stands for the poor and working class to build their own homes close to shops, parks, schools and clinics, public transport and places of work,” explains Mampeule.

There is a shortfall of two million proper housing units in South Africa. SAHIF is attending to this housing crisis with founders utilising their extensive experience to provide fully serviced stands, management expertise and successful track record to achieve the pipeline target within three years.

SAHIF is planning to yield over 100 000 stands over the next three years which will impact over 430 000 South African lives. The fund size of SAHIF is R15.3 billion and shareholders have invested R1.7 billion of their own land value into the fund.

SAHIF has previously created over 4700 jobs and still plans to create just under 7 000 jobs in future.

A lot of money is spent on affordable and RDP housing in South Africa and Mampeule says that he would like to see “houses of good quality being built that are also sustainable.”

The facts and stats all agree with Mampeule.

The population growth rate across African cities continues to grow at an exponential rate with an estimated 57 million housing unit shortage.

It has become pertinent that the development of sustainable and effective housing delivery strategies take place.

Further estimates suggest that 62% of Sub-Saharan Africans currently live it what can only be described as ‘slum dwellings’. Africa’s largest two economies, Nigeria and South Africa have a combined housing shortage of $97 billion while only 15% of Africans can afford to buy a house or qualify for a mortgage.

These statistics are frightening on the face of it but much can be done about it, as Mampeule has already begun to show.

Global Surgery Foundation

Mampeule has a clear passion for the less fortunate and giving back is something he prides himself on.

Through his Rali & Makentse Mampeule Foundation he contributes to the Global Surgery Foundation as a founding donor which in essence ensures that there is safe and affordable surgery available to all people.

The stats speak for themselves.

There is currently no coordinated research or funding strategy to support the development of surgical and trauma care in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) such as that which exists with the Global Fund for HIV, Malaria and TB.

The Global Surgery Foundation (GSF) is hosted by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Accolades and Transformation

Mampeule is the first African to be selected to be on the Forbes Real Estate Council while other awards have never been too far behind.

Learning also never stops with Mampuele and he recently became a Harvard graduate with an Advanced Management Development Program (AMPD) in Real Estate.

In 2006 he was the recipient of the Nedbank Property Professional of the Year award and more recently his work was recognised by the South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners when he won the Socio-Economic Impact Award.

He is doing a great deal to transform the industry and established Rali Mampeule Learning in 2005 where they train PDI’s who want to become real estate professionals and handout bursaries to deserving candidates.

Embarking on a Legacy

Mampeule recently celebrated his 40th birthday in style at the Rand Club, a historical building in inner city of Johannesburg. The theme of the night was embarking on a legacy as he looks forward to the next few years of his life, both professionally and in business.

“One of the ‘take-homes’ of the night was how to think— both professionally and in business—a century ahead and how to leave a lasting legacy.”

Conclusion

In his time away from the office Mampeule enjoys the bushveld and going on safaris. His other great passion is to enjoy skiing with his family.

Success is something that Mampeule was never given; it was earned through bold choices and hard work. He has walked the long road and done the hard yards to create was is an exceptional South African story. Importantly, Mampeule has never forgotten his roots; the boy from rural Limpopo still shines brightly while perhaps his most endearing quality is his willingness to give back in so many ways.

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