Sihle Lindiwe Vilakazi, founder of Kelo Group

Sihle Lindiwe Vilakazi, founder of Kelo Group, has always been passionate about all property-related things, especially the building and maintenance of properties. Based in Johannesburg, this growing property development company reuses materials from demolition projects and helps reduce their carbon footprint by repurposing and recycling.

Sustainable development

The group’s focus is on sustainable property development, and it also offers additional services in facilities management. Vilakazi assists property investors to get the best use from their property investments through subdivisions, extensions, refurbishments and the maintenance of their properties. Their aim is to reuse as many materials found on site as possible when they build – targeting an urban redevelopment zone, as identified by the City of Johannesburg and funded by the likes of TUFH.

Making the old new

“We love redesigning existing buildings because when you don’t build from scratch, you contribute to lessening the exhaustive carbon emissions that the construction industry is known for,” says Vilakazi.

Interior architecture is used to change the use of a building, breaking down certain walls and carving out new spaces without necessarily changing the outside of the building, or having to rezone the property. This allows them to minimise the impact on the environment by re-imagining and redesigning builds for a higher density.

Urban renewal programmes

Kelo Group aims to run a business that is in line with some of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. Urban renewal programmes are intended to address issues of urban decay, which occurs when land or buildings fall into disrepair, often because of deindustrialisation and economic restructuring. Cities in the developing world are growing, both in numbers and size, which is making high-density construction better for the environment.

Reuse, recycle, upcycle

Vilakazi believes that in property, finding ways to reuse building materials or fittings in rental properties or when flipping homes, makes sense and even more cents. “Building in redevelopment zones minimises new resources required to manufacture piping, pavements and building materials, as they can reuse, recycle and upcycle what is found in the existing building.”

Issue: Combatting urban decay sustainably.
Solution: Alternative building solutions move low-density (single-family) housing to higher-density developments with less impact on the environment.

For more information, contact Kelo Group:
Tel: +27 12 345 6789

Click here to watch the interview with Siphesihle Vilakazi and Rali Mampeule – an inspirational interview:

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