This is thanks to new CEO Anthony Thamsanqa Ngcezula, who is bristling with new and innovative ideas to catapult the entity to a new level in its quest to alleviate the housing shortage among Johannesburg’s low-income population groups.
The entity, which was established in 2004, provides affordable, modern and sustainable rental housing for residents in the R3 500-R7 500-per-month income bracket, a level that puts them in a difficult position to qualify for bonded housing units.
Ngcezula hit the ground running when he took over JOSHCO’s reins on 1 March 2017, declaring that he was ready to propel the organisation to new heights.he is using the first month of his tenure to study the municipal-owned entity’s culture so he can infuse some of its positive aspects into the new way of doing things.
“I want to use the first month to analyse the whole company to see where it can be tweaked and where it can be recalibrated for the growth, agility and speed.
“Our strategy will be two-pronged. It will focus on greenfields and buildings refurbishments. Many buildings are dilapidated. The Johannesburg inner city is deteriorating. JOSHCO’s role will be to rejuvenate and bring South Africans back into the inner city, not to buildings that are falling apart but to quality, safe and secure buildings. We’re currently refurbishing quite a few,” he says.
“My plan is to ensure that JOSHCO delivers, at pace and scale, affordable and sustainable rental units to qualifying tenants, improve customer service and enhance the company’s image. I want to inculcate a high-performance working culture among employees,” he says.
Ngcezula is not new to the social housing space. He is the former CEO of Housing Company Tshwane and Imizi Housing Company in Port Elizabeth.
Ngcezula believes JOSHCO is central to giving people in the lower end of the market their dignity back. He sees his role as improving the lives of people in the subsidised target market by creating quality estates with a strong community development focus.
He says, to this end, JOSHCO is streets ahead of other landlords. “We’re going to differentiate ourselves by not only giving a tenant a unit but ensuring that there’s a comprehensive community development strategy to enrich the lives of our tenants, play areas that are more enhanced, financial literacy and training to manage their finances, sport and recreation.
“We want JOSHCO to co-ordinate these with the tenants. That will separate it from sector-private landlords because we’re, by our nature, a social landlord. We must take keen holistic interest in families who occupy our units.”
When talking about corruption his facial demeanour changes. “Corruption is not the culture of JOSHCO. If we find it, we will root it out. There are people who masquerade as our officials who collect cash. We don’t take cash.
“Tenants deposit their rent into our bank account and bring receipts to us. Our business is not conducted in the streets. I’m also hearing that in some of our projects there are undocumented foreign nationals living there. The question is: How did they get in there in the first place?” asks Ngcezula.
Ngcezula, who says he cannot stand people who are not committed to their work, says things are changing at JOSHCO.
“It’s not going to be business as usual. We have to improve our performance. What is needed is a high-performing workforce. My blood boils when people don’t want to work. I believe I’ve been employed to work,” he says.
He is, however, keenly aware that JOSHCO as it has been known for the past 13 years might change within the next 18 months or so when all council-owned entities are reintegrated into City’s administration.
“JOSHCO is ready, willing and able to assist the City to be a city that works by developing or managing rental and social housing stocks in whatever legal form it reconfigures the entity,” he concluded. Additional reporting by Moses Moyo