Once upon a time he was a hawker selling boerewors rolls, now real estate mogul Rali Mampuele fasts-tracks young black people into the sector

SELLO RABOTHATA

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EVER heard of someone telling you they were in the right place at the right time? While it doesn’t happen to everybody, for real estate mogul Ralebalo “Rali” Mampuele, 37, that is exactly what happened. A chance meeting for the amiable Mogoebaskloof-born Mampuele 17 years ago saw him shoot up the entrepreneurship ladder – being a hawker selling boerewors rolls on the roadside – in the property environment. In 2000, Mampuele was funding his B Com studies with Unisa and other day-to-day needs when he met Charles Everitt, who owned the Chas Everitt International Property group branch based in Bryanston, Johannesburg. Everitt offered the 20 year old a job as an assistant real estate agent and, as the saying goes, the rest is history.

There was no looking back for the young man from Limpopo as he found a new passion. While the industry is widely regarded as a predominantly white domain, Mampuele was not deterred. Granted, he had difficulties as a black person in that environment but believes that’s what helped him realise he had to give back to the underprivileged and previously disadvantaged community. Four years after the encounter with Everitt, Mampuele opened his own Chas Everitt franchise in Midrand and has never looked back.

He is now the founder of Phadima Group Holdings and one of a few black real estate entrepreneurs making a difference in the property landscape. With over 15 years experience in the industry, in the past 10 years, Mampuele has diversified into integrated real estate services, ranging from property funding and development, assets and facilities management, leasing and private property funding in commercial and residential properties. “I call it the art of dreaming big,” he said. It is also this vision that saw him initiate the Rali Mampuele learnership programme.

It offers scholarships to promising individuals to study a professional real estate course (NQF Level 4) – and to mentor them while working in real estate. His purpose is to fast-track the entry of young black people into the industry. He says he wants to “bring new blood into old veins”. “It has always been my dream to change the lives of young black people and open the window of opportunity they need,” Mampuele said.

The learnership has trained almost 100 estate agents and created a number of real estate company owners in the last 10 years. “I have learned that you do not need money to own real estate. The reality is that you can use other people’s money. You just need to listen when people talk about possible opportunities and structure those deals. “Gearing is the name of the game after ‘location, location, location’,” he said. Mampuele has won many awards and his achievements have not gone unnoticed.

He won the 2008 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year for Africa Heritage Society, in 2006-07, received the Nedbank Property Professional of the Year award and prior to that, in 2005, he walked away with the Nedbank Young Lion award. He is also a much sought after speaker at property events and workshops around the country and internationally.

Mampuele is CEO of Mampuele is CEO of Phadima Holdings and is reportedly obtaining astonishing turnovers. This after the property slump of 2008 hit South African businesses hard but created new emerging markets opportunities that the likes of Phadima Group Holdings is now tapping into. It is also becoming one of the major players in mixed-use and integrated residential development. The project in the pipeline is estimated at more than R10bn – based on the number of hectares which still needs to be developed. This project includes the Dunnottor integrated estimated at R3.5bn, the Carnival City integrated development at R3bn and the Middelburg integrated development estimated at R3.8bn. The integrated market approach entails catering for fully subsidised, social housing, rental housing, entry-level affordable housing and finance linked bonded housing, all in one project and leading to the integration of different markets.

Mampuele is also the acting CEO of Landworth, a newly launched subsidiary of Phadima Group Holdings. Landworth is projecting a yield of at least 68000 units over seven years. “In the past three years, we have been able to acquire more than 1 900 hectares of land valued at more than R700m and 856 hectares of it has already been sold to the government for R204m as part of our fundraising. “The rest of the land is to be developed in partnership with the government and the private sector,” Mampuele says.

Mampuele and his team are currently conducting a roadshow to raise funding to implement these projects in partnership with the government and the private sector. “We will be also quoting off-screen, using the over-the-counter fundraising method with the new South African Financial Exchange to raise further funding for the business plan,” he said.