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New president elected for SAPOA

23 May 2013

SAPOA was established to create a powerful platform for property investors. Today SAPOA is the voice of commercial property.

With his experience in the property and banking sector, new SAPOA President Estienne de Klerk is set to lead the representative body with a keen focus and passion for the property sector.

Estienne de Klerk, new president of SAPOA, who's memebers control about 90 percent of commercial and industrial property in South Africa.

SAPOA members control about 90 percent of commercial and industrial property in South Africa and the representative body is held in high esteem by the relevant sectors of government and is consulted on all matters about the property industry. SAPOA also enjoys representation on key South African bodies essential to the country's property development.

Neil Gopal, SAPOA CEO, says the appointment of de Klerk as President of SAPOA is a boost for the company, with his knowledge, energetic personality and deep commitment to their sector.

De Klerk is executive director of Growthpoint Properties, South Africa’s largest JSE listed property company. He is also a director of Growthpoint Properties Australia, V&A Waterfront and Chairman of the REIT committee of the SA REIT Association. De Klerk holds a BCom Honours in Accounting and Marketing and is a qualified CA (SA).

He’s been involved in banking and the listed property sector for over 18 years, with experience in take-overs, mergers and acquisitions, BEE deals and capital raisings.

De Klerk started his career with the marketing department of Eskom Durban Distribution followed by banking and property finance with Investec Private Bank in 1995. In 2002 he joined Investec Property Group’s property fund management business responsible to build the listed funds under management, Growthpoint and Metboard Properties Limited.

Growthpoint internalised management in 2007 and continued to grow to the largest listed property company in South Africa and the only listed property company included in the ALSI40 index.

De Klerk has always played an active role in property industry initiatives via SAPOA. He also represented the Property Loan Stock Association, now the SA REIT Association, as signatory to the Property Sector Charter and chairs its REIT committee tasked to settle the country’s REIT legislation with the National Treasury, SARS, FSB and JSE. South Africa’s new REIT dispensation came into effect on 1 May 2013.

Speaking at the 45th annual SAPOA International Property Convention & Exhibition at Sun City, de Klerk said that SAPOA and its members are known for an optimistic mindset and persistent approach to delivering value and conquering adversity. He noted that this was obvious through the global financial crisis, where they benefited from conservative balance sheets and the stable banking environment, to achieve growth and outperformance. "These attributes will stand us in good stead when tackling some of the headwinds currently facing the industry.”

De Klerk says the property sector will need to deal with the pressing issues of continuous above inflation increases on administered costs, like electricity, rates and taxes, being forced onto the property industry. Skills shortages and poor education are matters he highlights as priorities, among other tough challenges, as well as attracting foreign investors and businesses to our country.

He says in the coming year they will focus on their platforms which enable members to leverage off one another. Education, training and skills development will be high on the agenda, as will providing the industry with valuable information and research.

De Klerk is eager for SAPOA to boost promoting the South African property sector locally and internationally, and advance the use of sustainable technology.

He says SAPOA’s continued liaison with government – national, local and provincial - is paramount for their member’s interests. “I look forward to the challenges of the coming year and I am dedicated to the vision and goals of SAPOA in representing the collective voice of the property industry.”

SAPOA’s mandate includes representing the interests of the property industry, attracting skills and knowledge to the property industry and creating and developing skills and knowledge through education and professional development.

As a source of essential information, statistics and trends to its members as well as those outside of the property industry, from government to the media, SAPOA ensures the property sector enjoys good relationships and recognition on all levels.

Joining de Klerk in furthering SAPOA’s mandate in the coming year, are SAPOA’s board, with members: SAPOA CEO Neil Gopal, CIO of Direct Property Investments at Stanlib Amelia Beattie who is also President Elect, MD of Capstone Property Group Brian Azizollahoff, CEO of Tongaat Hulett Developments Michael Deighton, CEO Lulama Property fund Musa Ngcobo, Non-executive director of Delta Property Fund Ipeleng Mkhari, CEO of Old Mutual Properties Peter Levett, CEO of Pareto Ltd Marius Muller, GM of Property Investments at PIC Lesiba Maloba, CEO of Broll Property Group Malcolm Horne and Immediate Past President Dr Sedise Moseneke  who is CEO of Encha Properties.

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