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SAPOA raises R40m for bursary fund

28 May 2015

Amelia Beattie, Head of STANLIB Direct Property Investments (SDPI), has handed over the presidency of the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) after a successful year, culminating in the raising of R40 million for the SAPOA bursary fund. This injection into the fund will allow 100 students to complete a four-year BSc degree. 

This injection into the fund will allow 100 students to complete a four-year BSc degree.

The money was raised through a contribution by the Services SETA (SSETA) after negotiations with SAPOA in the past seven weeks. 

This is according to Beattie, who says they are thrilled that they managed to exceed their original target of raising enough funding to educate 50 students. 

She says education has always been important to SAPOA, but during her reign she wanted to take it up a notch so they can truly upskill people. This will lead to improved performance of companies with property portfolios, resulting in increased GDP and job creation, she says. 

This is one of many of SAPOA’s achievements reached under Beattie’s presidency, the third female president in the Association’s 48-year history. Amelia’s appointment was unsurprising given her passion for people and property, and her many accomplishments since she entered the industry 16 years ago, says SAPOA CEO, Neil Gopal. 

Beattie has always placed a premium on educating and empowering as many people as possible. “I have a deep passion for property, not only because of its investment returns and bricks and mortar, but for the difference it makes to people and the communities it serves,” she says. 

As SAPOA president, Beattie says she wanted to leave a legacy of educating and empowering people in the industry. She says she hopes they can create an environment where property is the career of choice for school leavers by fostering a greater awareness of the awesome opportunities this industry offers. She also placed an emphasis on increasing female representation in the industry. 

Another focus was on making local government aware of the importance of the property industry. SAPOA’s ‘Meet the Mayor’ campaign provided an opportunity for CEOs to meet local mayors and their executive teams around the country. 

These sessions provided a platform for participants to debate challenges facing the industry, to work on development and infrastructure matters, and to remove obstacles to investment, as well as to create stronger partnerships and collaboration. 

In the past year, SAPOA established an Africa Focus Committee to foster closer collaboration among its members across the continent. STANLIB, as part of the Liberty Group, is known for its property capability, and is continuing to expand its operations across Africa. As STANLIB has expertise in property across Africa, several of its property investment professionals are active participants in the Africa Focus Committee. 

STANLIB was the principal sponsor of this year’s SAPOA annual International Convention and Property Exhibition, which took place in Durban this week. The asset manager has a proud and long association with SAPOA, with three former SAPOA presidents working within the Group, in addition to Beattie. They are Samual Ogbu, Liberty Group Executive: West Africa, Alex Phakhati, Fund Manager, STANLIB Direct Property Investments, and Ben Kodisang, Managing Director of STANLIB Africa.

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