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Unlocking property development opportunities in Africa

Looking beyond South Africa’s skyline to future horizons, the prospects for the country’s property industry depends on navigating a minefield of challenges to access opportunities in South Africa and Africa.

Many of these challenges, like the global economy and local political trends, are not within the sector’s control. “Reacting to changes and benefiting from opportunities arising from market shifts, means keeping track of trends,” says SAPOA CEO Neil Gopal.

Today, property opportunities in Africa are hot topics for the local industry. It’s one of the issues to be tackled at the 44th annual SAPOA International Property Convention & Exhibition. Nedbank Corporate Property Finance sponsors this top property event which takes place on 30 and 31 May 2012 at the Durban International Convention Centre.

Its focus on Africa is perfectly timed. Property development and investment on the continent is growing, led by the SA property industry. In fact, several major African property transactions made SA news headlines in May alone.

Earlier this month, SA listed property company Resilient Income Fund and pioneering retailer Shoprite, with construction heavyweight Group 5, announced they are developing 10 shopping centres in Nigeria for over R1 billion.

Eris Property Group in joint venture with Botswana Insurance Fund Management as Khumo Property Asset Management, developed and opened the 50,000sqm Airport Junction in Gaborone, Botswana.

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) announced it is exploring investment partnerships with SA retailers looking at broadening their footprint in Africa. This follows its authority to invest 5% of its assets under management in Africa.

Then there’s Atterbury which, with local partners, recently developed and opened Bagatelle - Mall of Mauritius.

There are many other SA property ventures presently forging into Africa.

But not everyone is so positive about the potential Africa holds.

Respected property heavyweights will step into the firing line and take this debate to delegates at the convention. Sharing their views is Executive Director of Growthpoint Properties Limited Estienne de Klerk, Managing Director of Atterbury Property Developments James Ehlers,  Director of Real Estate Actis Kevin Teeroovengadum, CEO of Renaissance Capital Africa Clifford Sacks and Partner of Cross Border Retail, Cushman & Wakefield LLP Marc Burlton.
The panel discussion on opportunities in Africa promises to be a heated highlight of the gathering, with each panellist bringing a different perspective.
How the SA property industry can best take advantage of opportunities in Africa is likely to be a question of contrasting views.

Frank Berkeley, Managing Executive of Nedbank Corporate Property Finance believes that highlighting opportunities in Africa and the merits of following them, will provide valuable insight on an issue that is fundamental to the industry.

Besides prospects in Africa, several of the industry’s most crucial themes will take centre stage at the convention. SA’s Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela will present a keynote address. Former SA president FW de Klerk is also a keynote speaker and will examine the importance of Property Rights in South Africa.

From the UK, Jim Shankland will comment on misunderstanding risk in The UK & European Property Horror Show. An economic session by political and trend analyst JP Landman will pave the way for a high level panel discussion which includes Frank Berkeley, Nicola Weimar, Senior Economist from the Nedbank Group Economic Unit and Managing Director of Old Mutual Properties, Peter Levett.

A session on the listed property sector – What does tomorrow hold? will include speakers Mariette Warner, Listed Property Fund Manager ABSA Asset Management, Keillen Ndlovu, Head of Listed Property Funds, STANLIB and Leon Allison, Research Analyst, Macquarie First South Securities.

Leading political commentator and futurist Daniel Silke’s keynote address will touch on post 2012 ANC elections with the theme From Malema to Manuel and onto Mangaung.


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