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.
Eris Property Group successfully raised an additional R400 million for its social impact student accommodation company – raising the total capital commitment to over R1.2bn. The platform, South African Student Accommodation Impact Investments (SASAII), is now able to initiate new projects that will provide beds for more than 12 000 students in tertiary institutions across the country.
When Eris Property Group investigated expanding its business into the student accommodation market, given the significant gaps there is, the group realised the development pipeline is substantial, and decided to serve it by raising much needed capital. Hence, SASAII was created to add more beds to boost supply.
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 domestic and international investors including Momentum Metropolitan Life, Eskom Pension and Provident Fund, International Finance Corporation and the Danish Sustainable Development Goals Investment Fund.
With a total of over R1.2bn in capital committed to the cause, the investment platform has now been closed for now for further investments until the current committed capital has been deployed.
“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 South African Student Accommodation Impact Investments platform will be converted into a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) at listing or when regulations allow, 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.
South African Student Accommodation Impact Investments (Pty) Ltd (SASAII) is a company formed to develop and operate affordable, purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) in South Africa. SASAII is registered as a private limited liability company and managed by Eris Property Group, a leading property developer and real estate fund manager in SA.
About Eris Property Group
Eris Property Group (Eris) is a fully integrated property development, investment and services group which offers a range of commercial property skills in the South African and sub-Saharan African markets.
The full spectrum of property services Eris offers include: Property Development; Investments & Fund Management; Property Management; Leasing & Investment Brokering; Facilities Management; Asset Management; Retail Services; Corporate Real Estate Solutions, Student Accommodation and Property Valuations.