Eris Property Group (EPG) has announced that its social impact student accommodation company, SASAII has received R400m, as the company looks to roll-out thousands of beds for South Africa’s burgeoning student population.
The SASAII platform aimed to develop and operate affordable, purpose-built student accommodation in SA, EPG said. The R400m raised would increase the committed capital to the SASAII to more than R1.2bn, as SASAII aimed to provide more than 5 000 beds for students, by 2024.
“Given the increasingly urgent need for quality student accommodation around the country, the aim of the platform is to add more beds to boost supply,” EPG said in a statement.
Depending on who you ask, there is a shortage of at least a quarter of a million student beds across South Africa.
EPG said it had a dynamic approach to private student accommodation and it would endeavour to commit to those projects that housed a minimum of 75% of the beds being charged the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) rate; far cheaper than what many student housing providers had charged students. Students would receive WiFi, water, electricity and laundry washing under one all-inclusive rental. These benefits would be over and above the standards prescribed by the Department of Higher Education and Training. All of the SASAII residential developments would qualify for globally recognised sustainable design certification and each of these buildings would be granted an IFC Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) certificate or similar.
“By providing safe and accessible accommodation, we give students the opportunity to fulfil their potential as future leaders,” said Vuyani Bekwa, executive head of investments and fund management at EPG.
“That’s what this investment is all about and our aim is to provide as many quality beds as possible,” he said.
The first investment was Units on Park in Hatfield, Pretoria which includes 998 beds and was developed and is managed by EPG. New projects under construction included Units on Jorissen in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, with 1071 beds, and Units on Cape Station in Cape Town Central Business District with 3085 beds. Both projects would open in the 2024 academic year.