Property and fibre network entrepreneur Rali Mampeule yesterday flew out to Davos, Switzerland.
He was invited to the prestigious 54th World Economic Forum’s event set to take place between January 15 and 19.
At the annual meeting, Mampeule will be rubbing shoulders with some representatives from 100 governments, major international organisations and 1 000 forum partners.
He was invited in his capacity as the founding donor of the Global Surgery Foundation.
“My family foundation – called the Mampeule foundation – was the founding donor of the Global Surgery Foundation, which was launched in Davos in 2019.
“The Global Surgery Foundation is associated with Red Cross and Malaria Foundation.
“Most people don’t know this, but surgery kills more people than HIV and malaria combined because every year you find people having medical complications, and they go into surgery without funding, and they die. So, the Global Surgery Foundation deals with that.
“I lost my own sister a couple of years ago because she was not given an option to do caesarean section when she was delivering a baby.
“She and the baby passed on because there was no surgeon before the delivery. If that option was there, she and the baby probably would have survived,” he said.
“This where our relationship with the WEF and the UN comes in. We are mainly there to connect with people and see what the new trends in the world are and what to look out for,” he said.
He said his family business started off in real estate but moved into the property sector’s affordable housing space.
“The model is to accelerate affordable housing in SA as there is a serious shortage of housing and we are trying to address that,” he said.
“What is unique is that we buy land, service it and go through the environmental impact assessment study, install bulk services like water and sewer.
“In Ekurhuleni’s Donato, we have created about 28 000 housing opportunities in terms of making land available to that area where development has already started and people are building top structures.
“We went and unlocked 28 000 house opportunities. We have also created land opportunities in the Vaal’s Eagle Nest, where there are 2 200 land opportunities,” he said.
Mampeule’s company is also invested in the digital infrastructure space through his family business Metrofibre, which has offices in five provinces and has installed a fibre network that can accommodation 500 000 houses.
He said Metrofibre also raised R5-billion from Standard Bank to fund its expansion into under-serviced areas across the country.
“We are obviously growing, and we want to build a network so that we can connect more people in the emerging market,” he said.
“We got into Metrofibre because we have realised that internet connectivity in the continent is very important.
“We then bought shares at Metrofibre. We install the [bulk]services, we can also install fibre. Whenever people have got the money, they can connect to fibre and internet.
“So, we are really trying to address the issue of affordable housing and internet connectivity across the continent,” said Mampeule.
He hopes his trip to Davos will results in business engagements that will raise funding.
“Part of what we aim for is to network and raise funding and get to know other funders around the world so that we’d be able to grow our fund and come back home and deliver affordable housing and connect people to the internet,” he said.
“We’ve already lined up appointments with funders and we hope to network with more and more people,” he said.