Leadership Spotlight – Theodore Yach, Zenprop Property Holdings

1. Tell us about your company and your role?

Zenprop Property Holdings develops and invests in corporate real estate in South Africa. Our portfolio is currently valued at approximately R12billion. My role is to acquire and develop real estate and facilities in the best positions in the Western Cape for our corporate tenants.

2. What, in your view, is the best thing about running a business in Cape Town?

No question – the lifestyle – especially as an ultra marathon sea swimmer.

3. What areas do you think need to be improved to enhance the business environment in Cape Town?

The City and Province can still do much more to act as facilitators for the region. Red tape is still an issue exacerbated by too few professional staff at the City. A peer review system would alleviate much of the pressure in our City and Provincial Planning departments.

4. How would you describe Cape Town’s business community?

Increasingly diverse and committed to the region.

5. Accelerate Cape Town is committed to developing a long-term vision and future strategy for the region, and Vision 2030 described the business vision for the region in 2009. What would you say are currently the most important parts of “Vision 2030” for the city and region?

We need to regenerate the ‘lost suburbs of Cape Town’ – Elsies River, Manenberg , Lavender Hill, Nyanga, Gugulethu, Phillipi, etc. Also District 6 has to be resolved. Besides District 6 being an emotional blot on our collective consciences, it is also retarding economic development in the area of Woodstock, Salt River, Maitland and the East City of the CBD. Concurrently, we need to protect the urban edge so that our agricultural, winelands and rural areas are protected. These are the reasons we have so many visitors, after all.

6. For how long have you lived in Cape Town?

55 years

7. What is your favourite place to visit in Cape Town?

Besides the sea between Robben Island and Cape Town, the Company Gardens are very special.

8. How would you describe your ideal Saturday afternoon in the city?

Walk on Signal Hill with my German Shepherd.

9. What would you choose as a tag line for Cape Town (as a business city)?

‘Business with a view’

10. Whom do you most admire in the business world?

Bill Gates – he did it all and is now giving it back!

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