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What will we create during this pandemic? – Editor’s letter

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I was so heartened this week by the story of a KZN couple who were refused a home loan by a bank for a house in the suburbs, but instead of giving up they decided to build their own mansion in the township, Madadeni, where they lived.

It took them two years, but now they have a double-storey home that is worthy of the cover of a magazine. I love how we as South Africans are thinking out of the box. Not everything is going to sit right, or be the best plan of action, but we are being innovative and stretching the boundaries – and we are taking control of what the future can look like.

We see it with property professionals taking to TikTok to sell properties and we see it with families considering life in a caravan estate. While economists and trend analysts may be able to help us chart the way forward, ultimately what we do with this moment in time and how we reimagine property and housing is very much in our hands.

It is an exciting time even if it may appear dark and gloomy. Indeed, looking globally, it is clear markets have been hard hit by the pandemic and that there have been devastating social and economic consequences. It has also highlighted deep and longstanding fault lines in housing throughout the world.

In South Africa, and globally, we have seen the rise of homelessness, of non-affordable homes languishing on the market and of affordability issues for the lower and middle class. It is in dark times that creative thinking comes to the fore. What will we choose to do?

Perhaps like the KZN couple who built their own mansion, we can roll up our sleeves and create something amazing during this time. What do you think?

Warm regards

Vivian Warby


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