South Africa now has the sixth highest number of shopping centres of any country in the world, boastingalmost 2,000 shopping centres with a floor area covering a whopping 23 million square metres.
Nomzamo Radebe, the newly appointed President of the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) reported this insight as the SACSC’s 19th Annual Congress got underway in Durban today. Radebe is CEO of JHI Properties, part of Excellerate Property Services Group.
These figures were revealed as part of specially commissioned research undertaken by Dirk Prinsloo of Urban Studies for the latest Shopping Centre Directory, published by SACSC. It forms part of the wealth of research and information generated and shared by SACSC for stakeholders.
The three-day SACSC Congress is the largest conference of its kind in Africa, and this year has attracted over 1,700 delegates from across the country, the continent and the globe.
This is unsurprising considering the significant and valuable role shopping malls and retailers play in our economy and society.
Radebe opened the congress saying: “Retail and retail property are among the most exciting and innovative industries in South Africa, across the continent and around the globe. This Congress is an important part of SACSC’s mandate to promote education, research and networking opportunities for our members, and to be advocates for our industry.”
The highly regarded CA(SA), with an impressive career in finance and property, brings her valuable experience, sharp focus and energised vision to driving South Africa’s shopping centre and retail industries into the future. Radebe took up her new position at SACSC at the beginning of July and is already finding new ways to leverage off the council’s strong foundation.
“As an industry that constantly strives to take things to the next level, we are embarking on some exciting new initiatives, many focused on education,” Radebe told delegates.
SACSC will launch a Presidential Education Series next year to give people who are part of shopping centre management teams a better understanding of the retail business. “We want to help members respond to today’s challenges and evolving technological environment,” says Radebe.
The council has also entered into a new collaboration with University of Pretoria that will introduce specialised Honours and Masters Degrees in Shopping Centre Management from 2017.
Radebe stresses that, as a result of its increasing sophistication, the property and retail industries are seeking to attract skilled people. “Our industry is hiring. We need more expertise and better skills and offer good career prospects. So, education is an area where the SACSC plays a valuable role for our members and society in general.”
In addition, SACSC has partnered the University of Pretoria for at least three research projects in 2016, to give the industry greater insight into prevailing trends, dynamics and opportunities.
SACSC has a significant collaboration and cooperation agreement with the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) to give South Africa’s shopping centre and retail industry special access to global insights and resources, including internationally certified qualifications.
Growing its international involvement, with the ICSC, SACSC is undertaking research into possible new lease structures in light of omnichannel retail, which will based on views from around the globe and customised to provide a local framework for Africa and South Africa.
SACSC is the official umbrella body of all involved shopping centres, including: owners, developers, managing agents, brokers, professionals, retailers, marketers, service providers, financers and researchers. It was officially launched in 1991 to advance the retail and retail property sectors of South Africa. SACSC promotes the interests of the sector both in South Africa and internationally, while addressing issues and meeting challenges within the industry. It engages with associated sectors and other stakeholders on behalf of its members and highlights the role of shopping centres as a major resource for all communities in South Africa.
Radebe reports the council’s membership and attendance at its events are currently at record highs. “But, it isn’t only about the numbers, it’s about delivering quality and value to our members.”
In the build up to the SACSC Congress, yesterday the ICSC Africa Summit was hosted in Durban with some 60 delegates from across the continent and the country. The ICSC sub-Saharan Africa Board Meeting was also held.