AWCI Property the brainchild of the management of AWCI Investments, is a black women-owned, full-service property group dedicated to providing excellent, professional and top-class services. We speak to the Chairperson Ms. Elizabeth Sangion on embarking on a mission of education through the launch of this new magazine – Transform Real Estate.
According to the AWCI mandate, its mission is to enable black individuals to participate in the property economy. While restoring dignity and hope, creating wealth and allowing you to leave
a legacy for the next generation.
The first issue of Transform Real Estate is an extension of AWCI’s dedication to the upliftment and empowerment of black people.
According to Ms. Sangion transformation is synonymous with equality and one of the primary reasons AWCI decided to create this magazine is to educate and advise people. “Our core mission
is to transform society and level the playing field. According to the World Bank, our country is one of the most unequal countries in the world. We need transformation to address economic
and social inequality in everyday life.”
Sangion goes on to say: “Having a property company that integrates all elements of the industry will help bridge the gap in property ownership in South Africa. Black people own very little
of the property in South Africa, and that in itself presents an opportunity as a business to make a change and get previously disadvantaged South Africans to invest in property.”
“Through our research, we found that the reason why there is such a low percentage of black property ownership is that the culture of property ownership does not exist amongst black South Africans. This is largely due to historical reasons, but also out of fear of the unknown, intimidation and apprehension about long-term debt.”
“Unfortunately,” she says: “We also found that there is a high level of indebtedness amongst our people – useless debt like clothing accounts, cash loans etc. This knowledge drove us to develop an educational campaign and teach people why they should own property, which translate to having an asset and developing a culture of generational wealth for the future.”
The company embarked on an educational campaign to spread their message which is done through having presentations to company employees and having Home Ownership Conversations
(informal gatherings). Through this campaign they realised that there is a huge number of people that have very limited knowledge in guiding their decision to buy property.
And so, Transform Real Estate – the magazine – was born. “We want to reach more people and get our message out.”
The other element of what AWCI does is to empower women economically. The real estate sector gives us the opportunity to do that. “We are developing a network of women business owners/Brand
Partners. In doing this we are empowering women who want to be business owners in the sector. To this end AWCI Property has already set up 20 Brand Partners under the AWCI Homes brand. Furthermore, we are currently grooming 80 more women for the network.
The AWCI Property Institute, which is a SETA accredited institution provides women, (and some men) with Real Estate training for their NQF4 and NQF5 qualification whilst they are being
mentored in the Network until they are ready to own their own business through AWCI Homes. This is our way of addressing some important elements of transformation.”
There is definitely a gap in the market for this kind of publication because most real estate magazines are aimed at showing highend property and giving the impression that property is for the
rich and therefore out of most people’s reach. This publication is primarily for black people who want to enter the property market and don’t know where to start.
“All we want is to get the message out there… Home ownership is for everyone; you just need to know where to start. We want our people to start thinking about how they spend their money and
know that property is a great savings account. We want to share everything we have learned over the years, and we hope that this first issue of our magazine as one of our various communication
channels is a step in the right direction.”
“We have heard the President and are saying Thuma Mina”