Student Accommodation investment platform to provide 5 144 beds for students by 2024
19 Sep, 2022

Student Accommodation investment platform to provide 5 144 beds for students by 2024

South African Student Accommodation Impact Investments, an investment platform managed by Eris Property Group, recently raised R400m to increase committed capital to over R1.2 billion.

Vuyani Bekwa – Eris Property Group’s Executive Head of Investments and Fund Management

Eris Property Group successfully raised an additional R400 million for its social impact student accommodation company – raising the total capital commitment to over R1.27bn. The platform, South African Student Accommodation Impact Investments (SASAII), is now able to initiate new projects that, once developed will provide beds for more than 12 000 students in tertiary institutions across the country.

Following a strategic review of the market-gap in student accommodation, coupled with its substantial development pipeline, the group opened the opportunity to the investment market and raised much-needed capital. Hence, SASAII was created to supply more beds and boost supply by leveraging the Eris skills-set.

Eris Property Group’s Executive Head of Investments and Fund Management, Vuyani Bekwa says, “By providing safe and accessible accommodation, we give students the opportunity to fulfil their potential as future leaders. That’s what this investment is all about and we couldn’t have done it without our partners. Our aim is to provide as many quality beds as possible.”

Having closed on its commitment to the platform, Government Institutions Pension Fund of Namibia (GIPF) has joined a consortium of prestigious domestic and international investors including Momentum Metropolitan Life, Eskom Pension and Provident Fund, International Finance Corporation and the Danish Sustainable Development Goals Investment Fund.

“We tendered for the allocation and because of the alignment between GIPF and its strong social impact bias, the investment into SASAII made a lot of sense, especially considering the platform’s compelling investment return profile and social outcomes,” says Bekwa.

Completed in November 2019, the platform’s first investment Units on Park in Hatfield, Pretoria was a 988-bed student accommodation property developed and managed by Eris Property Group. Performing strongly since its first intake in 2020, Units on Park is currently fully let in a well-catered-for market.

The new projects under construction are Units on Jorissen in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, which is targeting Wits University with 1,071 beds, and Units on Cape Station in Cape Town CBD which is targeting Cape Peninsula University of Technology and surrounding academic institutions with 3,085 beds. Both projects will be opening in the 2024 academic year. Bekwa says there is a strong pipeline of interesting projects in the works, to be rolled out as soon as the details have been finalised.

Bekwa says Eris’ dynamic approach to private student accommodation will endeavour to commit to projects that house a minimum of 75% of the beds at the NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme) rate, ensuring that students are receiving Wi-Fi, water, electricity, laundry as an all-inclusive rental over and above the norms and standards as prescribed by The Department of Higher Education and Training. All SASAII assets will qualify for globally recognised sustainable design certification and all buildings will achieve IFC Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) certification or a similar green building qualification, such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

The medium-term aim of the South African Student Accommodation Impact Investments platform will be to convert the platform into a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) at listing, offering the investment opportunity to the wider market and adding to the number of listed companies on the JSE. This liquidity event will ensure that early investors will be able to cash out some or even all of the equity they have pumped into the platform.



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