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Talking property without talking about property

This week I would like to talk about peripheral issues that normally impact your ability to grow and possibly own property.

People often say South Africa has problems with housing, roads, water and electricity.

Well it does not really have problems with these.

What it really does have is a problem of too many people trying to access these with no corresponding expansion.

If we imagine that a family has four children and that life expectancy is 80 years then this means that the two parents become six people if they have four children in 20 years and 24 within 40 years if their children have four children and 96 people in 60 years.

They could reach 382 after 80 years.

It’s important to note the two original parents that die at 80.

So, just two people can have so many descendants in 80 years that they could fill a small school.

Do you still think that we have a shortage of water and electricity?

What we are lacking is the capacity to expand these basics, particularly decent housing.

People need to have the means to build their own houses.

Wealth is created by educated people.

The way I see it, most people here would not have the slightest hope in hell of putting their children through anything but basic junior and secondary school.

Even if they were bright enough to get good matric results many parents could never afford to send their kids to university.

The reality is that those families that have a small number of children are far more able to offer them a better standard of education plus the opportunity of going to university.

These children will tend to have better qualifications that their parents and have a huge leg up when it comes to their career path.

My father was a counter salesman and later factory worker, but he helped me to go to North East London Polytechnic where I qualified in Radar Maintenance and Telecommunications.

I spent five years in the Royal Navy which was a wonderful education in discipline and focused through.

I had only two boys, and they earned their pocket money by running the accounts for me at our offices.

One went on to be a specialist information technology internal auditor, the other became a chartered accountant and one of the youngest national directors of KPMG.

He is now the group financial director for a Chinese gold mining company and does such things as issuing shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Sending them both through university was a major financial burden for us, but that is what we wanted to achieve.

Could we have done it if we had four children?

I really don’t think so.

So if you are thinking about life choices, maybe less is more.

Remember they are making more people but are not making more land.

  • Mike Spencer is the founder and owner of Platinum Global. He is also a professional associated property valuer and consultant with work across the country as well as Eastern Europe and Australia.

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