CAPE TOWN – The Public Investment Corporation’s (PIC) multi-million rand investment to acquire student accommodation management firm South Point is paying off with demand for student accommodation set to continue which will translate into job creation.
In 2015, the PIC, on behalf of the Government Employee Pension Fund (GEPF) participated in a loan facility of R484 million to fund the acquisition of South Point.
Ndumiso Davidson chief executive of South Point, said there is demand for quality affordable accommodation at every higher education institution in South Africa.
“Our plans are to accelerate our deployment in the short to medium term with a target of delivering an additional 18 000 beds in the next eight to 10 years. The growth will not only take place in the urban/metropolitan areas that has traditionally been our focus but also to address the need for accommodation in the areas that are often neglected by developers and owners of student accommodation being the peri-urban and rural institutions (ie Umlazi, Soshanguve, Umtata, Grahamstown, Ga-Rankuwa, Soweto, Mamelodi, Bellville, etc),” said Davidson.
South Point was established in 2003 to meet the growing need of student accommodation in South Africa and has become a market leader in the country as the only independent owner and manager of student accommodation, targeting undergraduate and postgraduate students at public and private institutions operating nationally.
Historically, exploitative landlords were the prevailing alternative to on-campus housing, with the majority of students living in poorly maintained and expensive accommodation.
South Point has redefined the industry by becoming the country’s largest provider and manager of student accommodation outside of the universities. housing about 12 000 students nationally.
South Point provides professional management services to its 41 building portfolio and is headquartered in Braamfontein with properties in Joburg, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria with a staff contingent of 420.
The current portfolio of South Point properties includes the student, commercial, retail and a hospitality portfolio.
Last week the GEPF and PIC hosted a two day investment tour event in Cape Town which included a tour of its newly completed retail development acquisition in Milnerton, Centre Point as well as its student housing apartments located in Woodstock, Claremont and Bellville.
According to statistics from South Point, 28 percent of students accommodated by South Point are studying at Wits and 25 percent at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) make up the bulk of students with the rest studying at other institutions.
Davidson said South Point’s roll out programme is estimated to create about 1 000 construction jobs and another 400 permanent jobs over the next five years.