(Left to right) Riette Labuschagne, Credit Analyst, TUHF; Steven Modise, Owner of Urban Lofts; Raymond Taylor, Portfolio Manager, TUHF.

Located in Westdene, Bloemfontein, Steven Modise has refurbished and converted a badly vandalised guest house into quality accommodation for students attending the University of the Free State.

Steven acquired the building in late 2019. Located less than 2 km from the UFS campus, it was ideal for student accommodation. The refurbishment had to be completed within three months to ensure it would be available for students to move in when campus opened in February 2020. Transfer went through in mid-December 2019 and by mid-January Urban Lofts was ready to open its doors.

“The place was in really bad shape when I bought it,” Steven says. “We put in new windows and new geysers, repaired the badly damaged plumbing and electricals, retiled and painted the roof, put up new blinds and installed the necessary appliances in the kitchen.”

Urban Lofts now boasts 18 sharing units of 26 m2 each, all with ensuite bathrooms. The building includes a common area of 65 m2 that holds a kitchen for students to prepare meals, and offers space to eat together, watch TV, do laundry and get to know each other. “It’s also a comfortable space for entertaining family and friends,” Steven says, “but doesn’t include pool tables or anything that could turn it into a hang-out for students that aren’t tenants. It’s about offering a safe and comfortable environment to relax and build friendships, but also to learn and do well at university.”

Steven takes real pride in Urban Lofts and the safe, well-equipped environment it creates for students to study and have a great student experience. “I want to be proud of what I do,” he says. “If I offer a product I want it to be of good quality. My clients are the most important and I make sure to give them a good quality product at an affordable price.”

The building was fully tenanted for the 2020 academic year. Not long after, the first COVID-19 lockdown was announced in March. “Though some of our students did go back home when lockdown was announced, most opted to come back in June,” Steven says. “Urban lofts offers Wi-Fi, as well as safe, quiet space to study and attend virtual lectures. Many of our students couldn’t access these things at home, so it made sense for them to return. Also, most of our students were first years, so they wanted to preserve some of the university experience if they could, and even with lockdown regulations and social distancing we were able to provide that through the pandemic.”

Steven manages his site himself, and says he’s been able to build relationships with the students. “I’ve never had any trouble with my tenants,” he says. “The university has a stringent accreditation process for private accommodation for their students, so having decent personal space, their own bathrooms, access to Wi-Fi and a fridge was critical to being approved as a provider. When the pandemic hit, having these things in place helped our students a lot.”

Safety was also a possible concern when the pandemic began, as many rental properties were vacated and suffered vandalisation because they were empty. Because Steven remained hands-on, maintained his property well and has a caretaker on site looking after the students’ wellbeing, his building was always occupied and protected from this kind of safety risk.

“One student actually stayed on the property the whole year, only going home when his exams were finished, because the facilities were better suited to studying than what he had access to at home,” Steven says. “He helped keep an eye on things when everyone else was away just because he cared about the space. He’s passing with distinction and is still living at Urban lofts. That makes me feel really good about what we’ve done with this building.”

This is Steven’s first foray into property entrepreneurship on this scale. “I’ve always wanted to get into it but never had the capital available,” he says. “I believe in the power of refurbishing abandoned, vandalised buildings to uplift communities. The first property I ever bought was just such a property, and was being used for illegal activities. It was unsafe for the community and I went to great lengths to acquire it and fix it up. It wasn’t a big site, but it did give me an opportunity to build reliable contacts that do good quality work and that contributed to the success of Urban Lofts”

Steven came across the property that would become Urban Lofts when he was helping a friend look for an opportunity in property. “My friend didn’t go for it, but I decided I would,” he says. “I wasn’t sure I’d qualify for financing, but then another friend put me onto contact with TUHF. The moment I walked into their offices I was greeted with a huge smile and such a willingness to help me. I told them which property I was interested in, and it turned out that they had recently done a valuation and looked at the rental income potential on it. They shared that information with me, and between July when we started the discussion and December when transfer went through they were extremely supportive.”

The configuration design of the property were all Steven’s ideas. He looked at other well-known, privately-run student accommodation in Bloemfontein and Cape Town for inspiration. “I wanted to understand what made them sought after and popular with students,” he says. “Safety, connectivity, and appropriate pricing were some of the key elements.”

“I want to create something that I can leave to my children, and that will allow me to retire earlier than 65, so I do want to build my property business,” Steven says. “But I want to remain focussed as well, and I think there’s a lot of potential in student accommodation.

“There’s always going to be a new intake every year, and so you might have regular turnover but you’re never going to run out of new tenants. It’s also profitable, even though your property is unoccupied for 2 months and your leases are only 10 months, not 12. Because so many students come from rural areas and haven’t experienced cities before, good accommodation with access to important amenities like the police station, youth centres, groceries and hospitals will always be in demand,” he says.

Keeping the buildings small means Steven has the ability to build relationships with his tenants and keep an eye on how their doing, offering support when it’s needed as they adjust to student life.

His advice to aspiring property entrepreneurs is, “Always be hands-on. A caretaker isn’t going to run your business, they’re just there to look after the building. Secondly, make sure you pick the right property so that you can align to the university’s accreditation requirements – a building that’s too far away means you have to provide transport, for example, and that can eat into your profits very quickly. Doing the right conversion on the right kind of property is key.”

Quality accommodation helps UFS students stay on course through COVID Read More »

(Left to right) Paul Jackson, CEO, TUHF; Tebogo Moseamedi, Treasury Specialist, TUHF; Ilona Roodt, CFO, TUHF; AJ Rothman, Consulting Capital Markets Specialist.

Urban Ubomi 1 RF Limited, a mortgage-backed securities programme administered by TUHF Limited and developed with the assistance of arrangers Standard Bank, has won the Local Currency Bank/FI Bond Deal of the Year award in the 2022 GFC Media Group’s Bonds, Loans and Sukuk Africa Awards.

For TUHF, a residential property financier specialising in inner-city rental property, this recognition in a category where it saw competition from the likes of RMB and Nedbank, is significant.

Raising funds through securitisation is how TUHF plans to grow the organisation and its funding base. The social bond issuance under Urban Ubomi 1 in March 2021, enabled it to raise R609 million. These proceeds were used to acquire a pool of Loan Agreements originated by TUHF Limited. The Loan Agreements are extended to small and medium sized enterprises and entrepreneurs to fund predominantly residential property investments in the inner cities of South Africa.

“Winning the Local Currency Bond /FI Bond Deal of the year accolade bodes well for our investors’ confidence in TUHF and continues to build our credibility in this area. Partnering with Standard Bank has been key to our ability to steer the organisation through the events of the past two years and to continue to raise funding going forward,” said Ilona Roodt, Chief Financial Officer at TUHF.

Urban Ubomi 1’s social bonds were listed on the JSE’s Sustainability Segment of the Interest Rate Market, and the initial issuance coincided with the launch of TUHF’s Sustainable Bond Framework that, with its associated structured finance vehicles, allows TUHF to issue green, social and sustainable bonds that support its lending to qualifying projects.

According to Roodt, all the funds raised through the Urban Ubomi 1 bonds were used for client loans and have already been deployed on a use of proceeds basis under the social elements captured in TUHF’s Sustainable Bond Framework.

“Within this framework, local and international investors can help address social and sustainability issues through responsible finance. The lending we provide as an organisation focuses on social issues recognised under the Sustainable Bond Framework like affordable housing; empowering previously disadvantaged individuals based on Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment principles; and increasing access to finance that promotes growth of micro- and SMME businesses in the country,” said Roodt. “And TUHF will continue to develop its impact in the environmental and green space, considering specifically the use of green bonds to finance building renovation or construction employs renewable energy products and principles whilst ensuring energy efficient and energy saving modalities are adopted.”  

GFC Media Group is a market-leading Corporate Finance and Investment Banking events business for Emerging and Frontier Markets. The Group has a substantial network of business partners and counterparties around the world, and it delivers conferences, roundtable events, briefing days and awards annually to 5000 participants. The selection process followed by GFC in respect of the Local Currency Bond/Deal of the year award involved close examination of deal size, tenor, structure, and distribution. Furthermore, judges conducted analysis on the background of the issuer and their access to finance, with extra credit for those deals demonstrating high quality execution, contribution to the sector, accessing new pools of liquidity, innovative structuring, and opening-up new markets.

Additionally, following the success of the initial note issuance (Urban Ubomi 1), TUHF approached the market for a further issuance under the R2.5 billion programme in February 2022 and an additional R440 million was issued, following a successful auction. The proceeds of the new notes were used to acquire additional qualifying loan agreements.

“We are very pleased with the outcome given that total bids received amounted to R601 million and two new investors participated in the structure,” said Roodt.

“TUHF’s business is greatly aligned with Standard Bank’s key focus on driving sustainable growth and value by providing societies with services and solutions that achieve inclusive growth and prosperity, and community well-being and upliftment. We are extremely proud of this partnership, the successes we’ve shared and the well-deserved accolade. Most of all, we’re proud of the role we’re playing in transforming South Africa’s inner-cities through enabling the development of quality affordable housing and expanding economic opportunities,” says Nicholas Gunning, Senior Manager in Standard Bank’s Debt Capital Markets Team.

Photo: (Left to right) Paul Jackson, CEO, TUHF; Tebogo Moseamedi, Treasury Specialist, TUHF; Ilona Roodt, CFO, TUHF; AJ Rothman, Consulting Capital Markets Specialist.

Social bond beats finance industry heavyweights to GFC Media Group award Read More »

Theo Kruger, director of Vredenberg Properties Ltd

Situated in the heart of Cape Town City Centre just off Long Street, Uxolo on 4 Vredenberg Lane provides a unique combination of long-term rental and short-term lease in modern, design-led micro apartments.

The brainchild of Theo Kruger, director of Vredenberg Properties Ltd., Uxolo (meaning peace in Xhosa), has transformed the existing heritage building by maintaining the front façade while building eight new stories to deliver everything city living should be about.

The ground floor features a retail space, reception, lobby, and bicycle storage. The upper eight floors consist of 32 studio apartments ranging in size from 24 to 30 square metres, and three one-bedroom loft units spanning two floors. There is a generator and heat pump room as well as a communal laundry area for residents.

“Uxolo is close to Kloof Street and is within walking distance of public transport and all modern amenities. Many of our residents either walk, cycle, or Uber to work. These units cater for a younger demographic that is all about a minimalist lifestyle,” says Kruger.

He says the location instantly drew Vredenberg Properties into investing in the property.

“Cape Town is transforming into a world-class city. In these apartments, we perfectly capture the ability for people to live more densely, maximising the space, while also contributing to a safe environment as people are here all hours of the day.”

While much of the interior of the existing building needed to be gutted to make way for the eight-storey expansion and new services, there was real value in the street façade and some of the internal stone walls that date back more than 100-years and it was important for Kruger to keep those elements and replace with the rebuild.

“Admittedly, both council and heritage approval took some time to receive, but we got through it and are now sitting with a very successful product. TUHF also provided invaluable support on the development finance side and was involved throughout the construction process to ensure everything went as smoothly as possible,” he adds.

TUHF provided very hands-on support, especially when it came to the approval stage. It also appointed a project review consultant to work with the Vredenberg Properties team to get all documentation in place.

“As with many other sectors, the hard lockdown last year hit us really hard. At the time we had to part ways with the existing contractor and decided to take over the construction of the building ourselves and complete it. This provided us with an invaluable opportunity to diversify our skill set as it was quite a complicated build. We really learnt so much through this process and are very happy with the final product.”

Already 21 of the 35 available apartments have been transferred. Vredenberg Properties are holding back the remainder to sell at a later stage when the market strengthens with the units being rented in the meantime.

“This was our first project with TUHF, and it was a very positive experience. We will definitely work with them again in future,” he concludes.

Innovative Cape Town City Centre living on 4 Vredenberg Lane Read More »

investors header image

In response to the public censure imposed by the JSE on TUHF Limited -with regards to the JSE’s public communication requirements- TUHF acknowledges that we did not meet the JSE’s communication requirement, with regards to specific requirements for public announcements in respect of our Domestic Medium Term Note (DMTN) Programme.  

Throughout 2020 and 2021, TUHF proactively communicated with all stakeholders on the performance of the loan book, including the covenant stresses we were experiencing and the impact this had on the downgrading of TUHF’s credit rating by GCR towards the end of 2020. As we pride ourselves on maintaining close relationships with our select group of investors, we engaged with these stakeholders on a one-on-one basis, where we were open and transparent in monthly meetings and presentations. 

However, during this period we did not make the necessary public SENS announcements with respect to covenant stresses and GCR’s downgrading of TUHF in a timely manner in line with the JSE listing requirements. This was an unintentional oversight on our part and subsequently remedied.  

The capital markets are a critical source of funding for TUHF and, as such, we wholeheartedly recognise the importance of ensuring that we meet the disciplines expected of us as participants in the market, and in particular the importance of complying with all the JSE’s listing requirements. To meet these requirements in future we have implemented the necessary reporting steps and improvements to our internal procedures to ensure that such an unintentional oversight does not happen again.   

Furthermore, we have, and will continue to proactively engage with the JSE, having cemented a robust and positive working relationship with the Exchange. 

Our commitment to the capital markets remains of utmost important as we continue to invest in the renewal of South Africa’s inner cities. 

For any further information, please contact Ilona Roodt (

Statement by TUHF, 26 January 2022 Read More »


JOB TITLE:Operations Intern KZN
REPORTING LINERegional Manager


Qualifications and Experience

  • A minimum of a BCom Finance / Accounting
  • Excellent numeracy, literacy and verbal skills.


Key Performance AreasActivities
Deal ManagementClient Relationship Management
·        Meet with walk-in clients where necessary
·        Deal with telephonic queries from prospective clients where necessary;

Assist the Portfolio Manager (PM) and Assistant Portfolio Manager (APM) in completing the feasibility assessment.
Loan Proposal
·        Assist the PM and APM in developing a loan proposal that complies with TUHF’s loan and credit policy
·        Capture Financials and Management Accounts.
·        Collate comparative market data for new and existing properties
·        Prepare Borrower’s Limit Exposure Report
·        Prepare Portfolio Management Reports
·        Maintain comprehensive and complete records on LCMS
·        Assist PM and APM in preparing Authorizations
·        Assist PM and APM in preparing Memoranda
·        Prepare Audit Reports
·        Capture new loans on LCMS
·        Open a new physical file for all loans
·        Compile FICA pack for new loans
·        Prepare withdrawal notices  for deals that are no longer proceeding
·        Assist with resolving all LAS issues
·        General Reporting and minute taking where necessary
Loan Portfolio Management·        Populate Project Review forms
·        Complete Valuation comparison forms
·        Follow up on outstanding compliance documents and ensure that they are received by Legal and Compliance department
·        Prepare and maintain monthly portfolio fluency reports – Assist in managing clients’ utilities arrears and clients’ loan arrears
·        Actively assist in managing the PM’s disbursements  – closing report
Ensure that cyclical processes are completed within deadlines, accompany PM/APM on-site inspections and preparing valuations.
20%·       Whatever it takes



  • Portfolio Managers
  • Portfolio Compliance Analyst
  • Administration Assistant
  • Regional Manager
  • Legal and Compliance 


  • Clients
  • Client’s Auditors
  • Bond Attorneys
  • Banks
  • Service Providers

Should you meet the minimum requirements for this position, kindly forward your comprehensive CV to

Operations Intern: KZN Read More »

CONTRACTING AND CONVEYANCING SPECIALIST ROLE: To draft loan agreements and drive the contracting and compliance administrative process to ensure that loans move from approval to active loans.

Role Requirements are:

  • 8+ Years’ experience as Conveyance Secretary
  • Matric or equivalent qualification
  • A minimum of 5 years administrative support in a commercial property finance or conveyancing environment is required.
  • Knowledge of lending criteria and processes as well conveyancing procedures will be advantageous.

Key Responsibility Areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Confirm the accuracy of loan data by reviewing information provided against the system, identifying errors and accurately capturing additional information and/or corrections on the system daily
  • Draft loan agreement in line with the approved loan proposal by applying the loan terms and conditions to the standardised loan agreement template daily
  • Draft non-standard loan conditions by reviewing and understanding the requirements and applying contract and legal knowledge to draft as required
  • Identify potential commercial risk by reviewing loan proposal and conditions, analysing the risks and making recommendations on mitigation measures at Manco weekly
  • Instruct attorneys by compiling documentation, drafting required legal documents, ensuring the instruction and managing and monitoring the process with the attorneys and addressing concerns daily
  • Liaise with clients to sign loan agreements by scheduling appointments, explaining and discussing the contents of the agreements with the clients and securing signatures as required
  • Monitor the progress of the registration process by tracking progress, dealing with obstacles as they arise and finalising the collateral security documentation as required
  • Secure compliance by liaising with attorneys and portfolio to obtain compliance with all pre-determined loan conditions with the minimum delay in terms of approved policies and procedures, identifying delays and liaising with internal and external players to finalise as required
  • Confirm that adequate insurance is in place for buildings prior to registration through liaising with clients and or relevant brokers to secure copies of the relevant insurance policies or any other confirmation that is acceptable as required
  • Draft and finalise the modification by reviewing and understanding the instructions, drafting the addenda and submitting for approval as required.
  • Coordinate the finalisation of the addendum process by liaising with the attorneys, reviewing documents provided, compiling the security documentation in line with the requirements and facilitate signing of agreements is as required
  • Provide FICA certificates by reviewing documentation provided, assessing compliance with statutory requirements, identifying areas of non-compliance, addressing gaps with the Operations team members, finalising compliance and issuing certificates as required
  • Provide legal advice by understanding the question, researching the legal position and providing guidance and input as required
  • Store all data, both electronically and hard copy by implementing the document storage policies and procedures daily
  • Generate reports by updating data into the required template and providing reports as required
  • Attend to ad-hoc projects/tasks by undertaking project tasks, making contributions and providing feedback as required

Should you meet the minimum requirements for this position, you can forward your comprehensive CV to


Sqiniseko Mbatha, Financial and Development Impact Analyst, TUHF21

Even as South Africans dare to start returning to “life as we knew it” under Level 1 lockdown, another global threat is making headlines. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Sixth Assessment Report1 was released in August 2021 and has been called a “‘Code red’ for human-driven global heating”. With this, governments and companies around the world have issued statements on their commitments to achieving net-zero. South Africa2 was among them, adopting a more ambitious emissions reduction target ahead of the UN’s COP26 in November.

We have also witnessed during the COVID pandemic and the recent unrest in July, that issues of poverty, the transformation of the economy and inclusive growth cannot be ignored. We need instruments that bring South Africans to the mainstream economy, ensuring that all are invested and have a share in the countries prospects.

According to Francois Engelbrecht of the Wits Global Change Institute and Pedro Monteiro of the CSIR SOCCO3: “South Africa is globally one of the top five countries in terms of carbon emitted per unit of energy. To meet net-zero global objectives, the challenge will be to transform its carbon-intensive economy, and simultaneously meet its development needs and objectives through a just transition.”

Though the country’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels for energy is at the heart of its carbon-intensive economy, the contribution of urban sprawl to this and to the country’s socio-economic ills4 shouldn’t be underestimated. We believe that ESG and Impact Investing in urban housing development have a crucial role to play, not only in terms of reducing carbon emissions but in meeting South Africa’s development needs and facilitating a just transition.

ESG – or Impact – Investing

ESG investing focuses on investments that meet Environmental, Social and Governance criteria to allow socially responsible investors to incorporate their values and concerns into their selection of investments along with potential profitability or risk. In South Africa, and indeed in many other emerging markets, these types of investments have long been recognised as key to both containing and reducing carbon emissions, and uplifting impoverished communities. There is a need to push for developments that prioritise environmental and social returns (along with financial ones) through legislated incentives. However, incentives – either positive or negative – have not been forthcoming. This means that investors who prioritise social and environmental impact returns remain few and far between. But this is changing.

As an impact-focused lender with an 18-year track record of successfully financing inner-city residential buildings to provide affordable rental housing, TUHF has long been leading the charge for real development impact. With the assistance of Standard Bank, TUHF launched its ground-breaking Sustainable Bond Framework, which has also been independently verified by ISS ESG. Following this launch, TUHF issued South Africa’s first Social bond, Urban Ubomi 1, as listed on the JSE Sustainability Segment, earlier this year. Another such issuance is also planned for the near future.

The Sustainable Bond Framework allows TUHF and its associated structured finance vehicles to issue Green, Sustainable and Social bonds that support its lending to qualifying projects and ensures that the relevant impact that TUHF has, such as providing funding in the affordable housing space and providing access to finance for small scale property entrepreneurs, is recognised.

Uplifting our country, saving our planet

TUHF’s Framework contributes to five of the UN’s SDGs, including alleviating poverty, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, sustainable cities and communities, and climate action. Additionally, the Framework aligns to principles outlined by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA), namely “The Green Bond Principles” (GBP), the “Social Bond Principles” (SBP) and the “Sustainability Bond Guidelines” (SBG). Our social bond issuances both meet all the social requirements of the sustainable bond framework, and we are working hard to meet all the green criteria in the framework as well in the not-too-distant future.

By offering investors a framework by which to measure the social and environmental impacts of their investments, we hope to encourage more investors to prioritise these. The uptake of our first sustainable bond issuance was extremely encouraging, and we believe investors are clearly realising the value of making sustainable investment choices.

As we emerge from the pandemic, we find that social inequalities that have long been of concern – such as lack of access to affordable housing and lack of access to funding for entrepreneurs – have reached critical intervention point.. 

Since inception, TUHF has financed over 44 000 units of affordable rentals units in areas of economic opportunities that have effectively improved many livelihoods. TUHF  has supported over 400 entrepreneurs many of whom have grown it to successful landlords with sizable portfolios. Our projects have created 8600 permanent and short-term jobs over the 6-years. These stats demonstrate our ability that TUHF’s impact investing is a key piece of the puzzle in addressing and correcting social and environmental ills in our country, as it provides an avenue for private capital and the capital markets to make a measurable contribution towards transforming South Africa for the better.


It has been said that every journey begins with a single step. For Thomas Chauke, the owner of Gardenia at 149 Johnson Street, his journey towards becoming a successful property owner began by walking 10km to, and 10km from, school every day.

After moving to Pretoria upon matriculating, he started another kind of journey, one that took him into property development. 

His first acquisition came about through a chance opportunity to buy a property from a friend. Thomas had some experience already in being a business owner, with his entrepreneurship beginning by buying and running a driving school.

After obtaining his degree in Electrical Engineering, Thomas worked for Eskom and then Telkom as a technician. With the money he earned from the driving school and his career, he made his first investment – a single unit in a building – and quickly saw the value of having a predictable rental income every month.

Enthused, he set himself a goal of obtaining five buildings. However, he soon realised that the capital outlay to purchase buildings was considerably more than required to purchase single unit apartments. That is when he turned to TUHF for help.

“The first building I wanted to purchase was valued at about R20 million. The requirements from other banks were very difficult, but I found TUHF to be much more user friendly,” he explains.

His purchase of Gardenia in Pretoria was unique in that it is part of a bouquet of other properties. Gardenia consists of ten 1-bedroom units and ten 2-bedroom units. The property did not require major refurbishing, but rather minor renovation and maintenance work.  

The key attractor to the purchase was the building’s location. Situated close to a main road, Gardenia offers residents easy access to transportation. “There are a lot of people who stay in town who cannot afford to rent in the suburbs, which command higher prices. Because of its location, however, they can rent in town and still more easily travel to the suburbs and back,” he explains.

Gardenia is also near by a railway station and university. This makes it ideal for the property’s target market – students, young professionals and those starting out in their adult lives. It also caters to young families. As Thomas notes, those who are already well established do not normally prefer to stay in town.

The property offers two essential amenities – Wi-Fi and a shared laundry. Internet connectivity is either provided as part of the rental agreement or on an ad-hoc basis through the use of tokens. While younger tenants have been interested in sharing the two-bedroom units, the pandemic has driven up interest in the one-bedroom units, as people prefer to have their privacy.

Other than that, the COVID-19 pandemic has not had much of an impact on the student accommodation business, with Thomas still expecting a 12% return on his overall investment.

One learning from his experience that he shares is the value of having a satellite office and several properties close to one another. This makes property management considerably easier, enabling one caretaker to manage several properties.  

Thomas does not intend to stop investing in properties, but plans to keep moving forward, taking one step after the next as he did to obtain his education, purchasing further properties and growing his business, with a trusted partner in TUHF.

“Whereas other banks require you to present the details of your project to try secure funding they do not give you support if you are successful. In TUHF I have found ongoing assistance and guidance all the way,” he concludes.  


Project Name: Gardenia

Location: 149 Johnston Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria

TUHF Product: Funding to purchase the building at purchase price of R7,500,000.00

Original configuration: 10 one-bedrooms and 10 two-bedrooms, for a total of 20 units

Configuration upon completion: 10 one-bedrooms and 10-two bedrooms, for a total of 20 units

TUHF enables ongoing journey to property ownership success Read More »

When Anele spotted the ideal property for her property development vision in February 2020, she was excited to get started. She and her husband wanted to transform the run-down, single story family home on a 700m2 stand into modern, affordable rental units.

“When my husband and I were students – he is an architectural technologist and I am a Chartered Accountant – student accommodation was a challenge,” Anele says. “After we graduated, we stayed in East London and we realised the challenge hadn’t changed. So, we bought our first property with the intention of building ourselves up to a point where we could take advantage of the opportunities in providing accommodation.”

“We met Letlatsa Lekhelebana from TUHF when we were looking to buy a different property that we had some great ideas for. But the project fell through when the building was bought by someone else. Still, we kept searching and when we found the property that is now LT Court, it was love at first site” she says.  

The area that LT Court is in has been the subject of a lot of high-density development recently. Made up of fairly large stands with historical houses on them, the area offers good value for investors who can see the potential in refurbishing the existing buildings. “It was the perfect place to get started on our vision,” Anele says. “In its original form – the house was being used as a commune – it didn’t look like much, but we saw the potential to make it into something great.”

With TUHF’s support, Anele got clearance from the Heritage Council to develop the property. The stand now comprises 14 modern, studio apartments. But the project wasn’t an easy one.

“Once we put in the offer everything moved very quickly because we had dealt with TUHF before, and we knew what the requirements were. We were expecting to take transfer on 30 March 2020, and then lockdown was announced on the 26th,” she recalls. “That brought everything to a halt. The property was standing empty because we were prepared to start renovating, but the transfer couldn’t go through under Level 5. We also couldn’t start any work on the site. The house was vandalized in that period – windows were broken, fittings were stolen – and because the transfer was on hold there was some disagreement about who was responsible for securing the property.”

In addition to the theft and vandalism, squatters had moved into the vacant building. The laws governing squatting rights are quite challenging and getting people to move out can be extremely difficult. With their deposit already paid, Anele and her husband were worried that they may have to cancel the deal and start over. “But I must give credit to Letlatsa,” she says, “because he was so supportive during such an uncertain time and helped us to keep our eye on the finish line.”

In August 2020, when lockdown had been lifted enough for the transfer to go through and construction to begin, the squatters remained the biggest challenge. “We couldn’t simply start building while they were there,” Anele says. “We would have been liable for any injuries on the site, so we did what we could in terms of the renovation without taking that risk. We had to do everything in our power to get them to move out, safely. In the end, it was the coming of the rain in January 2021 that moved the squatters out of the building because it didn’t have a roof anymore.”

From here, despite a few small issues in the existing building, construction ran smoothly and by mid-July LT Court was finished. The building consists of classy studio apartments for middle-income earners that require accommodation near the CBD. The units have individual water and electricity metres so that tenants can monitor their own utility costs, with stoves and Wi-Fi included. At the time of the interview, it was 60% tenanted.

“The building is designed to appeal to confident, modern young professionals – from the choice of colours to the kitchen countertops and bathroom fittings – with parking for those tenants that have vehicles,” Anele says.

LT Court is named for Lady T – Anele’s grandmother-in-law. “My husband was very fond of his grandmother, so we named the building for this key family member that played such a significant role in his life and made him such a strong person.”

“Now that we’ve got this property in operation, we are looking at ways to update and improve some of our other property investments,” Anele says.

For other aspiring property entrepreneurs, Anele advises patience. “This isn’t a get rich quick scheme,” she says. “You have to be patient. Have a vision and passion, but also do your due diligence and your own research before you even approach someone like TUHF to help with getting your project off the ground.”

“Working with TUHF,” Anele says, “meant we had incredible support from the onset. They don’t just give you the funding, they hold your hand as an entrepreneur and help you to think of things you may have overlooked. They are very involved and offer a lot of guidance so that you understand the risks and how to overcome them.”

LT Court rises above Read More »