WSU awards Sisa Ngebulana honorary doctoral degree in commerce

03 May 2018

South African property developer and entrepreneur Sisa Ngebulana has been recognised for his contribution to society and the national business landscape with an honorary doctoral degree in commerce, bestowed on him by Walter Sisulu University(WSU) at a graduation ceremony in his hometown of Mthatha, on May 2.

He is the only figure to be honoured in this way by WSU during its 2018 graduation season.

Ngebulana, the founder and executive chairperson of Billion Group – the first major black-owned property company in South Africa – also founded Rebosis Property Fund which, in 2011, became the first black-controlled property fund to list on the JSE.

He has returned to Rebosis as caretaker CEO following the recent resignation of Andile Mazwai and will also continue in his strategic role as deputy executive chairperson.

Ngebulana said the award resonated deeply on a personal level because of his strong family connection with Mthatha, the town where he spent his formative years.

“Growing up, I spent a lot of time in my grandparents’ business. They owned a general dealer store where I had my first taste of business. They also had a brick field business. This is where I developed a passion for real estate.”

“Use challenges as opportunities to innovate or create solutions that didn’t exist before. Being exposed to challenging circumstances teaches you new skills.”

“Receiving this doctorate from WSU is a huge honour. I was able to become what I am today thanks to support from influential people in my life, such as my grandparents. The saying that it takes a village to raise a child could not be truer in my case, and I feel so privileged to be receiving this degree.”

The Corhana-born business leader has contributed to Mthatha’s economic development through the landmark property developmentBT Ngebs City.

Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of his grandfather the multibillion-rand, mixed-use development includes a 60 000 m2 shopping mall and, as of last year, the four-star Mayfair Hotel.

Late last year, ground also broke on the town’s first casino and entertainment complex.

Ngebulana is also credited with developing retail assets such as the Eastern Cape’s biggest shopping centre, the Baywest Mall, in Port Elizabeth, as well as the Hemingways Mall, in East LondonMdantsane City, in Mdantsane, outside East London, and Forest Hill City, in Centurion. 

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