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Wits Property Studies student chapter honoured

- Wits University

Property Studies students make their mark in the property sector.

The South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP) presented a group of Property Studies students with a Recognition of Excellence 2017 Award at the SAIBPP Property Indaba last month.

The award recognises the students’ efforts to establish the student chapter of SAIBPP at Wits, the first student chapter to be set up in any university.

SAIBPP aims to lead transformation in the South African property sector by facilitating economic participation and skills development for previously disadvantaged individuals.

Wits SAIBPP student chapter at SAIBPP receiving an award, Samukelo Nkosi, Waseema Lombard, Kananelo Kota and Matlali Matsoso

According to the Matlali Matsoso, Chair of the SAIBPP and a third year Property Studies student, the student chapter was born after a lecture delivered at Wits last year by the CEO of SAIBPP, who mentioned that the establishment of a student chapter was among the company’s future plans. Matlali then made a proposal to the CEO for the SAIBPP student chapter to be established at Wits. 

The female-led student chapter, although still in its infancy, has made great strides in creating networks between industry professionals and the Property Studies students. The now registered chapter seeks to create sponsorship and mentorship opportunities and vocation internships for its members.

One of the main objectives of the student leg of SAIBPP is to bridge the gap between students and the property industry and create valuable networks for students with professionals in the property sector.

“Our core focus is to see the University and industry connecting.  As the mother body seeks transformation –in terms of legislation – we as a student society focus on making sure that these young black students who are getting their degrees  have the contacts to  get jobs and opportunities in the industry, ” says Vice- Chair of the student chapter, Waseema Lombard.

Through hosting entrepreneurship and investment workshops, the chapter also aims to instill an entrepreneurial drive in students.

“For these workshops we are bringing in companies which we see engage students and other people. We want students to be aware of opportunities for them to invest. If they want to be entrepreneurs, how can they go about it, how can they raise capital if they want to invest in property or any other investments?,” says Kananelo Kota, treasurer for the student chapter.  

At a gala dinner where they were awarded, the student chapter received financial pledges of about R200 000 from professionals in the property sector. This will help the chapter advance its mission of connecting students with the industry. The Wits School of Construction also received an award in recognition of its contribution to transformation of the property sector.

Professor David Root, Head of the the School of Construction Economics and Management, said he was proud of the students who are contributing to transformation in the property sector as envisioned by the SAIBPP.

“A core objective of redesigning the Bachelor of Science Property Studies degree was to ensure that the students that graduated would be change agents in the property sector. The fact that our students have taken this initiative and driven this forward gives us confidence that they will have a major impact on the property sector when they enter the world of work, whilst also leaving a legacy in the School for other students to build on,” says Root.

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