Awards News

2019’s winners of the SA Women in Property Awards announced

Fathima Khan on behalf of Michelle Michael.
Fathima Khan on behalf of Michelle Michael.

The Women’s Property Network (WPN) has announced the winners of the 2019 SA Women in Property Awards (SAWIPA). The awards celebrate the accomplishments of the national finalists and winners, and their impact in the commercial property sector.

SAWIPA recognises outstanding leadership, commitment and success in individuals and organisations that have stepped up and shaped women’s roles within the private and public spheres of commercial property in South Africa.

The property sector is evolving rapidly thanks to technology and the need for sustainability —and female property professionals are leading the way by transforming the industry on a daily basis.

While the property sector remains one that is predominantly occupied by men, it is exciting to see how female property professionals are continuing to make their mark and influence the industry in a myriad of positive ways,” says Nonhlanhla Mayisela, National Chair of the WPN and CEO of Izandla Property.

Property industry players and stakeholders, including the awards finalists, attended the SAWIPA 2019 ceremony and gala dinner held at Summer Place in Hyde Park, Johannesburg on 9 October 2019.

This year, the SAWIPA categories include four individual awards: Young Achiever, Entrepreneur of the Year, Professional of the Year (Private Sector) and Professional of the Year (Public Sector).

The esteemed panel of judges – who carefully adjudicated and conducted interviews with each of the finalists – included Nomzamo Radebe (CEO of Excellerate JHI), Dr Sedise Moseneke (Executive Director of Vukile Property Fund), Khanyisile Nene (Senior Manager Infrastructure & Development at Airports Company South Africa – ACSA) and Sandi Mbutuma (Group Managing Director at SVA International). The judging process was expertly facilitated by Nonhlanhla Mayisela, the CEO of Izandla Property Fund.

The calibre of finalists was incredibly high and the judges had the difficult task of choosing one winner per category.

The 2019 winners are:

Young Achiever

Nompumelelo Xulu – Founder and Managing Director NS Xulu Attorneys Conveyancers.

Entrepreneur of the Year

Michelle Michael – Director, Dlamini Michael Inc.

Professional of the Year (Private Sector)

Tia Kanakakis – Partner, MDS Architecture.

Professional of the Year (Public Sector)

Lerato Peu – Executive Director, Economic Development Merafong City Local Municipality.

Commenting on the winners’ announcement, Mayisela said: “This year’s winners are a testament to the standard of work being done by female property professionals. While the awards shine a spotlight on individual achievements, it is also a chance to recognise and reflect on the visible progress achieved in advancing women in the industry.”

For the fifth consecutive year, ACSA is the principal sponsor of SAWIPA, and the support has been vital in assisting WPN to shape a meaningful, high quality national event that acknowledges female property professionals who are helping to take the industry forward.

ACSA congratulates all the nominees and celebrates with the winners of SAWIPA 2019 – their efforts and courage inspire us. As ACSA, we will continue to drive the implementation of transformation and inclusion in all industries that keep our business successful to ensure that we make an economically meaningful and impactful contribution. We also implore all women in influential positions not to forget the women who admire and acknowledge you. Together we are stronger,” says Khanyisile Nene, Senior Manager Infrastructure & Development at ACSA.

It is fulfilling to see more women doing valuable and innovative work across the entire property industry value chain. South Africa needs more initiatives of this level that support and encourage women across all sectors of business to continue playing a meaningful contribution as vital catalysts for economic growth and development. As FNB, we are excited to partner with WPN to enable growth, continue making a difference and supporting a growing industry of women in the country,” concludes Nicole Christopulo, the FNB Business, Women in Business spokesperson.