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Celebrating the class of 2022: SAPOA’s flagship Property Development Programme

The class of 2022: SAPOA's Property Development Programme.

The 2022 graduates of SAPOA’s flagship Property Development Programme, in partnership with UCT GSB, recently celebrated at an intimate dinner held at The One & Only in Cape Town.

Now in its 51st year, 2022 boasted the programme’s first hybrid format covering areas of property investment, development, marketing, and management with 41 property professionals sharpening their skills and knowledge through two weeks of online lectures, and one week spent at UCT GSB’s campus.

In my thirty-three years in property, I have found that you always learn and if you learn, you can teach,” commented Kevin Roman, SAPOA’s Western Cape Chairperson. “Having gone through the programme myself in 1995 and having lectured in 2005, it is important that the delegates implant the knowledge and skills that they have learnt through the PDP in their day-to-day operations”.

Kevin Roman, Chairperson of SAPOA Western Cape

As part of the class of 2022’s practical, the delegates, in their different groups, were tasked with conceptualizing a +-1.9-hectare site (Erf 110442) located in Cape Town CBD into commercial and residential opportunities catering to the affordable segments of the market.

Group 1, the winners of the project, proposed a mixed-use development, ‘Linx’, comprising of 257 luxury units, 335 mid-market units, 125 affordable units and 14 055m2 GLA commercial/retail space.

The winners (pictured below) were announced during the dinner with the prizes handed over by principal sponsor Growthpoint Properties and Triumphant Zoe.

The PDP has been one of the most unique and exciting experiences of my life,” said Lerato Mothapo from SANRAL, one of the delegates from Group 1. “The friendships and networks formed with amazing humans working in different areas of the property industry will stay with me for life! The course content delves deep into critical aspects of property development. The insights from the course and the value-add to my career is immense, as it challenges you to think out of the box. I am now confident to oversee property development transactions from start to end. I highly recommend the PDP and would do it all over again!

This is a course that many professionals in the industry have gone through over the years, and I always walk out of this programme every year full of hope,” said Professor Francois Viruly, Associate Professor at UCT and one of the programme’s lecturers. “This year in particular, we started to see property practitioners become serious about sustainability. We are city builders – society lives with what we leave behind. One of the criticisms of this country is that while we have high level discussions around fireplaces, we do not discuss the fact that we need more housing. We don’t talk enough about micro-economics, how markets work and how we can get social or affordable housing going within our financial constraints. This was the work we were involved with as a learning community over the past couple of weeks.”

Professor Francois Viruly, Associate Professor at UCT

One of the key driving forces behind SAPOA is to contribute towards the advancement of its members interests in the commercial real estate industry and education should have a sharp focus on the current environment as this drives the property sector in the future, said Kevin.

The programme has grown over the years to become recognised as its own brand in the property industry, confirming its quality and reaffirming its presence in the industry. Year after year it continues to attract outstanding delegates and it continues to support young professionals locally and internationally and it is gratifying to see so many property professionals enhancing your skills and knowledge through the PDP. I would like to thank the lecturers and industry experts for their time and contributions in making this esteemed programme into what it has become through the new hybrid model.”

While this programme will produce lifelong relationships that the delegates will carry with them in their future business and partnerships, the important takeaway from this is to create places where people can create memories,” said Pieter Engelbrecht, Head of Development at Growthpoint Properties, “and understanding that this is not just about a building. It is about how the building links to the urban fabric and how this creates authentic experiences for the user. We need to create a sense of place where people can have an emotional connection.”

Pieter Engelbrecht, Head of Development at Growthpoint Properties

Each year, the PDP incorporates a charity drive in the spirit of sustainability and giving back. For 2022, an amount of R43 750 was raised (breaking the record compared to past PDP charity drives) and handed over to the nominated charity, St Michael’s Child, and Youth Care Centre (CYCC) which provides a nurturing environment for young girls who are protected by the courts under SA’s Child Care Act.

First and foremost, I would like to thank Nedbank Property Finance CIB, UCT GSB and SAPOA for providing us with a magnificent opportunity to learn, grow and collaborate under the umbrella of the Property Development Programme (PDP). The PDP has opened a gateway into a concentrated network of property practitioners, bankers, academics, and long-lasting friendships, that I am most certain will play a significant role in my career progression and ambitions within the property space. I was further humbled by the challenging and insightful topics the program provided, which lead me to think, as Nelson Mandela once said, “it always seems impossible until it is done”. I am happy to have completed the PDP and look forward to imparting the external wisdom gained from the programme, unto our internal and external stakeholders and clients. ’The most reliable way of predicting the future is to create it’ – the class of 2022 did just that in completed this wonderful programme.”

Phumezo Stwayi, Nedbank CIB

“The insights gained from our in depth discussions on the challenges we all face in the property development space combined with the academic literature was invaluable. With a strong focus on ESG and inclusivity the PDP class of 2022 was left with a better understanding of what is needed in order for us all to succeed in property in the near future. I had the privilege of meeting and forming strong relationships with classmates from a diverse skill set. I believe that these relationships will last far beyond the walls of USB as we try to improve the property space for a better future for all.”

Melissa van Niekerk, Investec Property

This year’s programme was great. I think what made it easier for the final week is that we had met online for two weeks so everyone was buzzing to meet in Cape Town.  Putting together the project in three days was challenging, to say the least. It was a genuine career boost as meeting the delegates shows you what it takes to create the built environment landscape, we are in. Overall, a 10/10 experience.”  

Tino Jeketera, Rabie (Group 1)

(Photography by Amy Green, Photography to Remember)