Nomzamo Radebe takes up reins at the South African Council of Shopping Centres and is named president elect of the property owners association

Nomzamo Radebe, CEO of JHI Properties.

Nomzamo Radebe, CEO of JHI Properties – part of Excellerate Property Services Group, has been appointed as President of the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) and named President Elect of the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) for 2016/7.

The highly regarded CA(SA), with an impressive career in finance and property, will bring her valuable experience, sharp focus and energised vision to driving South Africa’s property, retail and shopping mall industries into the future.

Marna van der Walt, CEO of Excellerate Property Services, comments: “Nomzamo is a talented leader and a skilled professional. By undertaking these important roles for the real estate sector she is putting into action our commitment to industry leadership. I have no doubt that she will leave her mark on the property industry, to the benefit of all its stakeholders and future generations.”

Both van der Walt and Radebe are leading and inspirational women in the property sector. Van der Walt herself is the immediate Past President of the SACSC. She is also a former President of SAPOA.

Radebe remarks: “We can all benefit by being more involved in our industry. It opens up important opportunities for information sharing that will drive our sector forward with shared strategies and purpose. As a collective, we are better off.”

She took up her new position at SACSC at the beginning of July and is already finding new ways to leverage off the council’s strong foundation.

“In the coming year, our focus will be to grow the value we give to members, so everyone can rise up. We’re in a difficult economy. While retail fundamentals are the same, they are becoming more complex. We’re dealing with more competition and game-changing technology. This means getting up to speed, and staying up to speed, with the latest developments,” says Radebe.

She adds that, as a result of its increasing sophistication, the property and retail industries are also seeking to attract skilled people. “Our industry is hiring. To flourish, we need more expertise and better skills. It also means that we offer good career prospects. This is an area where SACSC can play a valuable role for the industry.”

Radebe believes upskilling within the shopping centre management structure is an important opportunity. As a result, SACSC will be assessing the education courses needed, and even working in alliances with other bodies, to offer training in the necessary skills. “We want to help members respond to today’s challenges and evolving technological environment.”

“The beautiful thing about the property industry is that although it has been around forever, we don’t have enough property practitioners. There are businesses looking to give the right people career opportunities. Also, our industry is not limited to a single set of skills. The specialist areas available are diverse and exciting from finance to technology and engineering to public relations,” says Radebe. She encourages young people to be a part of the property, retail and shopping centre industry and help take it forward.

In her new role at SAPOA, Radebe is working closely with the current SAPOA President, Michael Deighton, who is also an executive at Tongaat Hulett, in preparation for taking up the SAPOA President’s role in 2016.

“By being familiar with all the association’s key projects and initiatives, it ensures strong continuity of leadership for the property sector. This is important because real estate plays a major role in the South African economy and has a massive impact on the quality of our people’s lives,” explains Radebe.

This commitment to industry leadership, combined with Radebe’s executive responsibilities, is no small task. However, with her business acumen, Radebe is well equipped for the multifaceted demands. “Staying focused helps me to sift through the noise, know what is important and identify what will deliver the end results.”

The official umbrella body of shopping centres in South Africa, The South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) was officially launched in 1991 to advance the retail and retail property sectors of South Africa. SACSC promotes the interests of the sector both in South Africa and internationally, while addressing issues and meeting challenges within the industry. It engages with associated sectors and other stakeholders on behalf of its members and highlights the role of our shopping centres as a major resource for all communities in South Africa.

SAPOA is the voice of the South Africa’s commercial property sector, which makes a significant contribution to the country’s economy. Its members control about 90% of all commercial property, with assets estimated at more than R400 billion in value.

Over and above Radebe and van der Walt, many of the passionate professionals from Excellerate’s group of companies are actively involved in various industry bodies that promote the sector, tackle its challenges, and share valuable information and opportunities with members.