Affirmative Action & BEE Status

Aziz Tayob Architects has a certified 135% BEE Procurement Recognition and has a Level One BEE Status

The practice has throughout it's existence trained more than 60 people from disadvantaged background.  It continues doing so. 



1971 TO 2020



Aziz Tayob graduated as the countries first black architect in South Africa in 1969.  At that time, all black people required permits to study at universities.  It was a case of a double edged sword, where a person might get accepted by the university, but not granted a permit or one would be granted a permit, but not get accepted by the universities. The firms financial director first career choice was not possible due to the university having exhausted their allocated quote for black students in 1983.  The firms other principal who started university in 1989 was fortunate to get accepted in one of the four 'english' universities that permitted black students.   



Once graduated, Aziz Tayob had to battle for internship opportunities. Most firms were not willing to employ a black graduate.  Some of the remarks were as crude as "...we do not have toilets for non-white professional staff...".  Aziz Tayob was able to find opportunities though friends and lecturers he had befriended during his studies.  Even then there was animosity from fellow white workers around salaries being equal to or more than theirs.  Any hopes of promotions and rising through the ranks to assume greater responsibility was going to be a tough and unlilkely achievement.   Sensing this, Aziz Tayob felt that the only way through this was to start his own practice.



The challenges facing any black architect, let alone the first graduate were enormous.  

State work prior to the 1990's was out of the question.  The few municipal projects were limited to the 'group areas' Aziz resided in.  Where Aziz did go into project association or partnership with other architects,  the face of a lead designer being a Black architect had to be downplayed.  Some of the work done under this period, included whites only cinemas and housing units in areas that Aziz could be jailed for frequenting or living in.


In terms of work from ones 'own community', the comments were also as crude as '...why should we pay an indian architect when we can employ a white...".

Despite these hurdles, the firm was able to complete a number of works.




For a long period, the firm was the first stop for black graduates seeking internship due to the hurdles of obtaining decent employment under apartheid conditions.  Prior to the 1990's, the firm had employed more than 25 black architects, most of which have gone on to establish their own successful firms.


Understanding the need for proper design and architectural services for marginalised communities, the firm has done and continues to do numerous community projects throughout the country, this is either 'pro-bono' or in kind.