The annual South African Council of Shopping Centres' Legacy Awards give credit to trailblazers leaving their mark within the retail and shopping centre industry.
Industry professionals are nominated by SACSC members each year. The SACSC Board of Directors then deliberate and elect the winners for the respective categories: Young Achiever and Industry Pioneer.
Young Achiever Award
Brett Abrahamse, CEO of Terrace Africa, walked away with the Young Achiever Award, which acknowledges the under 40's in the industry whom in a short period of time have achieved much in their career.
After completing his BCom Honours degree, Abrahamse took up a position at Liberty Properties/Stanlib as business development manager for the property portfolio. He parted ways with Liberty Properties/Stanlib in 2011 and founded Terrace Africa, of which he is a director and owner. He started Terrace Africa and API Events at the age of just 28-years-old and is responsible for the strategic commercial direction and scaling of the Terrace Africa footprint and influence in the African countries.
“It was an honour to receive the award and to be nominated by my industry peers. Our retail development success has been built on strong tenant relationships, a passionate team and a straightforward business model which allows flexibility for each country we invest in. Finding ways to reduce the cost of development without influencing shopper and tenant experience is our key objective! Building a business in Africa takes hard work and much sacrifice; we are proud of what we have achieved as a team and look forward to growing our portfolio over the coming years," he said.
Industry Pioneer Award
Vice chairman of Shoprite Holdings, James 'Whitey' Basson, claimed this year's Industry Pioneer Award, which identifies front-runners who bring innovation and forward-thinking to the industry, leaving a legacy upon which the next generation can successfully build. Basson is the former MD and chief executive of Shoprite Holdings Ltd, the largest food retailer in Africa with a turnover of more than R130 billion for the year ended June 2016.
Throughout Basson’s leadership of the Group, spanning 37 years, he persisted with his dream to expand even further on the African continent. On 31 October 2016, he announced that he would be retiring as CEO at the end of that year but remained available to management for a further period of nine months thereafter, and will continue to serve on the Shoprite Holdings board as non-executive vice-chairman to ensure an orderly leadership transition.
Basson’s decision to retire brought to a close a remarkable career of nearly 45 years, virtually all of which was spent with Shoprite, in which the business grew from a small eight-store chain with a value of R1 million to a globally respected retailer with a market capitalisation of R114 billion, with 2,653 outlets in 15 countries across Africa and on Indian Oceans islands and over 140,000 employees.
Amanda Stops, SACSC CEO, said she was happy to see the marks left by these two achievers. “Each year the Legacy Awards celebrate industry achievers who are truly leaving legacies and paving the way for new generations to walk in their footsteps. It is important to acknowledge these achievers and showcase their hard work to the industry at large. I would like to congratulate both Brett and James on their achievements,” she said.