News/Insights

Keabetswe Nkotswe started her career in the property industry as a qualified Quantity Surveyor. Fresh out of Pretoria Tech (now Tshwane University of Technology), she spent thirteen years working with numerous well-known companies including Turner & Townsend, Pentad Quantity Surveyors, Tiber, and the De Leeuw Group.

But having spent over a decade in the built environment, Kea realised that she needed to explore other career path avenues and serendipitously, TUHF offered her a position as a Portfolio Manager.

While Kea loved the construction industry, she, as so many other women, have experienced challenges as a female professional in the real estate industry.

When I started out as a Quantity Surveyor, I was quite intimidated. I had to work with men who had been in the sector for a lot longer than me. The transition from Quantity Surveyor to Property Portfolio Manager wasn’t easy either – I was used to protecting my clients’ money but my role as a Portfolio Manager presented the complete opposite”.

During my first year at TUHF, I remember calling my boss at the time into a meeting room to tell her that I did not believe that I was cut out for the industry. She – and my colleagues at the time – supported me to transition smoothly from the Quantity Surveying approach to the Portfolio Manager approach. I am fortunate enough to work in a ‘laid back’ but professional environment that acts as a support structure through a culmination of different skills. Everyone has a direct line to the CEO, including our clients. We are different from other traditional finance institutions”.

However, Kea won’t take away from the fact that many female professionals still face discrimination within the workplace.

I am very mindful that there are still challenges faced by women but what has helped me in my career, is knowing where I operate and who I am within my own space. I believe that females entering the broader real estate spectrum need to know their strengths and abilities, the market and which product they want to invest in. While there is still a lot to be done for women in their professional capacities, there is also room for women to contribute to the property management space which is still quite male dominated. It all boils down to a lack of awareness and exposure”.

Not only does Kea have a good support system within her professional career, but she has always had the support of her parents.

I credit my hardworking parents for where I am today. I fondly remember my dad teaching me how to drive at the age of thirteen – and don’t forget that I am not tall. He used to tell my sister and I that he did not want to drive us around for the rest of our lives and that we needed to learn how to drive from a young age. My parents always pushed me, and fear was never an option”.

The difference that Kea gets to make in her clients’ lives is what excites her. In doing so, she and her team at TUHF are contributing to the regeneration of South Africa’s cities which, post-1994, started declining.

There was a time where I was not comfortable visiting the inner cities but now, I and many others, are happy to walk the inner cities alone. Being a part of this change and the rejuvenation is truly a highlight of mine”.

While there is still a lot of demand for inner city real estate, even though Covid-19 has shown us a few weak spots, Gauteng – the City of Gold – will remain the New York of Africa says Kea.

Everyone on the African continent who wants to ‘dig for gold’ comes to Johannesburg. Accommodation will always be in demand – the same goes for Pretoria. These two cities will always present opportunities and job creation and by TUHF providing clients with these opportunities, we are assisting with job creation while creating safer spaces for tenants. We aren’t only making a difference in our clients’ lives, but we are making a difference throughout the entire supply chain. It is a circular economy”.

**Republished with permission from Property Wheel

KEABETSWE NKOTSWE, TUHF: CONTRIBUTING TO THE REJUVENATION OF SA’S INNER CITIES Read More »

TUHF investors that make a difference.

Velda Derrocks began her career in 2000, joining a management training programme at Absa after completing her BEcon, Commerce at Stellenbosch University. The graduate programme included exposure across the bank, from business banking to credit and finance. At the end of the programme, she joined Absa Commercial Property Finance full time. 

“It was seen as a high-profile, niche space that was very male dominated at the time, so I saw that as a challenge,” Velda says. “I always strive for excellence and, even though most of the people I dealt with in those early days were male and it could be a little difficult at times, I built up a good reputation in the Eastern Cape quite quickly.”

Velda stayed with Absa until 2011, Standard Bank Real Estate Finance approached her to manage their commercial property finance division in the Eastern Cape. In 2015, she was asked to relocate to Cape Town – a move she wasn’t ready to make at the time – and so joined TUHF for the first time. “It honestly wasn’t the best fit for me then,” Velda admits. “I was pleased to join Investec as an external property consultant at the time.”

Velda describes her experience at Investec as a great learning opportunity that contributed greatly to her professional development and, when she was approached to re-join TUHF as the Regional Manager for the Cape Coastal region in 2017, she was ready to take on the challenge. “I had built and kept a very good relationship with the senior management team at TUHF, so when I was asked to come back in a more strategic role – I was keen to do it,” she says.

Velda is a true believer in TUHF’s philosophy of creating impact through scale. “TUHF really makes a difference where it matters most,” she says. “What makes us different is that we see the potential in entrepreneurs, from start-ups to established entrepreneurs, and not just in the project itself.” TUHF works with many entrepreneurs that are new to the property industry and offers programmes that assist them to start building a portfolio.  

“Often these entrepreneurs are just starting out, or their portfolios are not yet strong enough to qualify for traditional finance,” Velda says. “We look at the person – their strengths and their knowledge of the area they want to invest in – and provide support in terms of finance as well as industry expertise and advice to help them succeed.”

She continues: “TUHF is not just a financier. We focus on inclusive growth and transformation. We develop and grow relationships with all the key stakeholders in the areas where we operate and we really work to understand the local economies in which we invest.”

TUHF’s focus is on affordable rental housing, including mixed-use developments and developments for sale. “It’s about bringing good quality rental accommodation into the market and having a positive impact on inner-city and in-city communities,” Velda says. “We invest where it makes sense, where it makes a difference, and where it provides tenants easier access to supporting economic activity, such as places of work, services and amenities.”

“It’s a very dynamic market,” she adds. “At the end of the day, everybody needs a home. TUHF operates where people don’t qualify for social housing or subsidised rental housing, but also can’t yet afford to buy or rent in affluent areas. We partner with developers that understand this need.”

Another thing that sets TUHF apart is the type of investor that gets involved. “The investors are driven by the impact they make, not just by the financial returns,” Velda says, “and so when they make small additional investments – like adding Wi-Fi, rooftop gardens or libraries to their buildings – they are opening up access to information, study materials, and safe relaxation spaces that their tenants wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

Velda believes the inner-city and in-city opportunities are directly impacted by the investment environment created by Government and the extent to which investors feel that their investments are protected. Investors rely on Government for public health and safety, law enforcement and governance, and to promote an investment climate that makes it easy to do business, amongst other things. 

Highlights in Velda’s career include two Masters degrees – an MBA and an MPhil in Development Finance, both from Nelson Mandela University. She also recently completed an International Housing Finance Programme at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Throughout her career, Velda has been involved with projects ranging from a few million Rands in investment up to R500 million. She believes that every project is unique and presents an opportunity to develop the economy and grow the property market.

In her time with TUHF, she says she is particularly proud of a mixed-used refurbishment project that was recently completed in Belgravia, East London. The original building was a dilapidated, four story building consisting of 15 residential units and three retail spaces. It was reconfigured and refurbished to comprise 46 apartments and seven retail stores, with parking for tenants.

“It’s the perfect example of what TUHF is all about – the residential units are beautifully finished and the small businesses on the ground floor are well suited to serve the tenants.”

Velda’s personal philosophy is to be someone that brings about change. “I’m motivated by the fact that I am bringing about change – in the way people think about investing in cities, in the way entrepreneurs can access finance to fund their ambitions, in the way people in the inner cities live and, in the economies, surrounding the buildings we develop.”

Growth & transformation in business Read More »

Velda Derrocks began her career in 2000, joining a management training programme at Absa after completing her BEcon, Commerce at Stellenbosch University. The graduate programme included exposure across the bank, from business banking to credit and finance. At the end of the programme, she joined Absa Commercial Property Finance full time. 

“It was seen as a high-profile, niche space that was very male dominated at the time, so I saw that as a challenge,” Velda says. “I always strive for excellence and, even though most of the people I dealt with in those early days were male and it could be a little difficult at times, I built up a good reputation in the Eastern Cape quite quickly.”

Velda stayed with Absa until 2011, Standard Bank Real Estate Finance approached her to manage their commercial property finance division in the Eastern Cape. In 2015, she was asked to relocate to Cape Town – a move she wasn’t ready to make at the time – and so joined TUHF for the first time. “It honestly wasn’t the best fit for me then,” Velda admits. “I was pleased to join Investec as an external property consultant at the time.”

Velda describes her experience at Investec as a great learning opportunity that contributed greatly to her professional development and, when she was approached to re-join TUHF as the Regional Manager for the Cape Coastal region in 2017, she was ready to take on the challenge. “I had built and kept a very good relationship with the senior management team at TUHF, so when I was asked to come back in a more strategic role – I was keen to do it,” she says.

Velda is a true believer in TUHF’s philosophy of creating impact through scale. “TUHF really makes a difference where it matters most,” she says. “What makes us different is that we see the potential in entrepreneurs, from start-ups to established entrepreneurs, and not just in the project itself.” TUHF works with many entrepreneurs that are new to the property industry and offers programmes that assist them to start building a portfolio.  

“Often these entrepreneurs are just starting out, or their portfolios are not yet strong enough to qualify for traditional finance,” Velda says. “We look at the person – their strengths and their knowledge of the area they want to invest in – and provide support in terms of finance as well as industry expertise and advice to help them succeed.”

She continues: “TUHF is not just a financier. We focus on inclusive growth and transformation. We develop and grow relationships with all the key stakeholders in the areas where we operate and we really work to understand the local economies in which we invest.”

TUHF’s focus is on affordable rental housing, including mixed-use developments and developments for sale. “It’s about bringing good quality rental accommodation into the market and having a positive impact on inner-city and in-city communities,” Velda says. “We invest where it makes sense, where it makes a difference, and where it provides tenants easier access to supporting economic activity, such as places of work, services and amenities.”

“It’s a very dynamic market,” she adds. “At the end of the day, everybody needs a home. TUHF operates where people don’t qualify for social housing or subsidised rental housing, but also can’t yet afford to buy or rent in affluent areas. We partner with developers that understand this need.”

Another thing that sets TUHF apart is the type of investor that gets involved. “The investors are driven by the impact they make, not just by the financial returns,” Velda says, “and so when they make small additional investments – like adding Wi-Fi, rooftop gardens or libraries to their buildings – they are opening up access to information, study materials, and safe relaxation spaces that their tenants wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

Velda believes the inner-city and in-city opportunities are directly impacted by the investment environment created by Government and the extent to which investors feel that their investments are protected. Investors rely on Government for public health and safety, law enforcement and governance, and to promote an investment climate that makes it easy to do business, amongst other things. 

Highlights in Velda’s career include two Masters degrees – an MBA and an MPhil in Development Finance, both from Nelson Mandela University. She also recently completed an International Housing Finance Programme at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Throughout her career, Velda has been involved with projects ranging from a few million Rands in investment up to R500 million. She believes that every project is unique and presents an opportunity to develop the economy and grow the property market.

In her time with TUHF, she says she is particularly proud of a mixed-used refurbishment project that was recently completed in Belgravia, East London. The original building was a dilapidated, four story building consisting of 15 residential units and three retail spaces. It was reconfigured and refurbished to comprise 46 apartments and seven retail stores, with parking for tenants.

“It’s the perfect example of what TUHF is all about – the residential units are beautifully finished and the small businesses on the ground floor are well suited to serve the tenants.”

Velda’s personal philosophy is to be someone that brings about change. “I’m motivated by the fact that I am bringing about change – in the way people think about investing in cities, in the way entrepreneurs can access finance to fund their ambitions, in the way people in the inner cities live and, in the economies, surrounding the buildings we develop.”

Velda Derrocks – Leading Lady of TUHF Read More »

Nthabiseng Masithela is an electrician by profession, owns a construction business, and became a property entrepreneur in 2019. Seeking to expand her portfolio, she worked with TUHF and the Intuthuko Equity Fund to buy Fatima Court in Rosettenville, Johannesburg, in August 2020.

“Construction is about creating beautiful properties for other people, and I realised that I wanted to do this for myself,” Nthabiseng says. “This property is an opportunity to do that, as my company will be doing the construction work needed to give Fatima Court a new lease on life.”

When Nthabiseng realised she wanted to become a property entrepreneur, she began looking for opportunities to learn about property as a business. “I came across TUHF through Henry Chitsulo in 2019,” she says. “I was speaking to him on site one day and told him I was looking to expand my property portfolio. That’s when he mentioned that he consults to TUHF and is one of the mentors on TUHF’s TPPE training programme. He told me about the programme, and that TUHF would be opening it up to non-clients that year, so I was able to attend with a few of my friends.”

“The TPPE really helped me understand more about the industry and how it works,” she says. “As entrepreneurs we often tend to jump in, and the TPPE shows you how to do it in a structured and professional way. It also helped me understand the market better and which areas make sense to invest in if you want to create affordable housing.”

The TPPE made such an impression on Nthabiseng that she often nominates aspiring entrepreneurs to attend. “I was inspired and excited, and I wanted to get my first project going as soon as possible,” she says.

She worked with TUHF and the Intuthuko Equity Fund (IEF) – a unique inner-city property finance initiative for property entrepreneurs who face constraints in accessing equity finance – to conduct a feasibility study and acquire Fatima Court.

“It’s easy to go out there, find the property and do the numbers,” she says, “but it’s not always the case that one has the money for the equity contribution. That’s where Intuthuko really helped. They funded the portion of the equity that I didn’t have on hand – about 10% – while TUHF extended the loan to purchase the property.”

The building needs renovations, which Nthabiseng intends to start in July 2020. The mixed-use building has four commercial units on the ground floor, while the three flats on the top floor will be divided up to form seven residential units aimed at young professionals or start-up families.

“The final configuration will be four bachelor studios and three one-bed units,” Nthabiseng says. “We’re hoping to complete the renovations in three months.”

Fatima Court gets a new lease on life Read More »

“We came across the property [Elvon Court] in July 2020, just after the hard lockdown began to lift, through a real estate agent with whom we had built a relationship. We liked the building, but because of the uncer­tainty brought about by the pan­demic, we held off on purchasing it until September.”

Msizi describes the property’s state at the time as extremely neglected. “For example, it had wooden floors that hadn’t been maintained well, there were broken windows and the bathrooms weren’t in great shape. Its occupancy level was low – about 10 out of the 21 units had tenants,” he says. “But we believed that the property had great potential, even though it has been undermanaged in the past.”

Playing the long game

Msizi’s journey is an interesting and inspiring one. Raised by a single mother in Pietermaritzburg, he orig­inally attended a township school until he earned an academic scholar­ship to attend Maritzburg College. “I learned about KPIs very early in my life,” he laughs. He was later award­ed a bursary from one of the state-owned entities to study towards an electronic engineering degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and later joined an engineering firm upon completing his degree. He quickly realised engineering wasn’t a fit for him and moved into management consulting before progressing to investment banking. He and his busi­ness partners – who are both practic­ing engineers – intend to become full time property entrepreneurs.

Msizi’s journey towards full-time property entrepreneurship began in 2014. “I came across TUHF when we started looking for our first property asset. We were specifically interested in the inner-city, where we knew we could expect better yields and high occupancy rates,” Msizi says. “I found TUHF through an internet search, and then reached out to my network who put me in touch with people at TUHF.”

It took some time and perseverance to find the right property. “This project is our sixth-time lucky,” Msizi points out. “We’ve walked a journey with TUHF, where we’ve brought properties to them that we thought would make good investments and they’ve advised about the feasibil­ity or appropriate pricing for the purchase, and we’ve ended up not going through with those deals for one reason or another. But our ex­perience was always very supportive and collaborative. TUHF was always keen to keep on looking and to let us know if they came across appropriate opportunities through their network. Our experience with TUHF is one of ‘partnership’ in a very true sense of the word.”

The equity built up through the stokvel enabled Msizi and his part­ners to apply for a loan with TUHF to purchase Elvon Court, but needed to be supplemented to make up the full equity contribution required by TUHF. The shortfall was funded through the Intuthuko Equity Fund, and the dream to own and manage a portfolio of property assets met its first milestone. The Intuthuko Equity Fund is managed by TUHF21, with funding from The Jobs Fund. IEF’s objective is to finance the equity portion of a TUHF loan for PDIs who may not otherwise have access to the required equity.

The existing units were refurbished and updated in three months, with repairs done to the damaged win­dows as well as new bathrooms, new floors, and a fresh coat of paint. The building is a combination of 1 and 2 bedroom units, with bachelor studios on the top floor. It was 80% tenant­ed in May 2021.

Msizi’s advice to other aspiring property entrepreneurs is to take their time building up their capital and finding the right asset. “That’s actually one of the great value-adds of working with TUHF,” he says. “They bring in-depth market knowl­edge, a sharp commercial lens as well as a deep understanding of property management that really enriches you as an entrepreneur as well as the deal.”

“The other piece of advice I must give is to be ambitious in your thinking,” he adds. “Your dreams must be wor­thy of your pursuits. So, start small and get to know the business and the industry, but keep your dreams and ambitions big.”

Elvon Court marks a significant milestone for three university friends Read More »

There is vacancy for Operations Coordinator within TUHF based in Braamfontein.

REPORTING LINE: National Operations Executive

ROLE PURPOSE:
To provide operations administration and support including analysing of performance against targets, monitoring compliance with business processes and lending and risk criteria and tracking post implementation performance against conditions

Role Requirements are:
• An NQF 7 in Commerce, Administration or similar is required
• 2 – 3 years experience in administration in a financial services environment is required
• Experience in the commercial property finance environment is preferred.
The key areas of responsibility for the incumbent will be as follows:

Key Performance AreasActivities
Operations Performance Monitoring• To monitor approvals and disbursements by drawing reports from the system, collating information, analysing performance against targets for the period and draft and presenting reports twice a month
• To monitor net interest margin by drawing reports by drawing reports from the system, collating information, analysing performance against targets for the period and drafting and submitting every trimester
• To track the deal pipeline by receiving feedback per region, collating the information and submitting for review weekly
• To monitor circulation of loan proposals against pipeline lead time by tracking proposals circulated, identifying proposals that are missing and following up with Regions on anticipated distribution timeframes weekly
• To track drawdowns and cashflow by receiving anticipated drawdowns and cashflow requirements from Regions, collating information and submitting for approval weekly
Lending and Risk Assessment• To monitor compliance with loan and credit policy and business process by reviewing loan proposals for larger deals against defined criteria, identifying anomalies, providing comments on loan proposals and liaising with operations team members to address non-compliances as required
• To quality assure larger deal proposals by reviewing loan proposals and feasibilities, assessing completeness and accuracy, identifying areas requiring correction and providing feedback to operations team members as required
Post Implementation Reviews• To monitor project performance against feasibility parameters by sourcing information from the system and the Portfolio Managers, comparing actual building performance against feasibility inputs, identifying anomalies and reporting on these monthly
• To monitor achievement of compliance conditions by sourcing information from the system, comparing actual performance with compliance requirements, identifying anomalies and reporting on these monthly
• To develop and maintain the market rental database by drawing market rentals from rent rolls, updating the database, drawing reports and submitting for consideration monthly and as required
Operations Administration• To collate operations reports by collecting input from regions and collating into the define reporting structure every two months and as required.
• To provide diary administration support by scheduling meetings, making meeting arrangements, preparing meeting packs and confirming meeting attendance daily
• To take minutes by attending meetings, recording actions and decision and submitting for approval weekly
• To follow up on actions from meetings by communicating with responsible parties, following up on outstanding activities and providing feedback weekly and as required
• To schedule and book travel by identifying travel requirements, booking travel arrangements (flights, car hire, accommodation etc), communicating itineraries and addressing travel queries and issues as required
• To review and confirm travel invoices by reconciling travel invoices with bookings, confirming accuracy, identifying anomalies and corrective, preparing invoices and submitting for approval and processing monthly and as required
20%• Whatever it takes

KEY INFLUENCES
Internal:

• Operations
• Finance
• Legal and Compliance
• CEO’s Office

For candidates:

By Submitting your information and application you hereby confirm:

  1. That you have read and understood our POPIA Act Privacy Policy;
  2. That you have no objection to us retaining your personal information in our database for the purpose of recruitment.

Suitable and qualified applicants who meet the above requirements should forward a complete CV to Palesal@tuhf.co.za by no later than close of business on the 16th July 2021.

OPERATIONS COORDINATOR VACANCY Read More »

For over 50 years, the United Cerebral Palsy Association of South Africa (UCPASA) has cared for the needs of Cerebral Palsy patients in Gauteng, and beyond. The organisation’s reputation as a caring, efficient and profes­sional institution is irrefutable.

The UCPASA has clearly defined objectives, and the res­idents in their care are their foremost and only concern. Unfortunately, the organisation was significantly affect­ed by the COVID-19 pandemic as no one who wasn’t employed by the Home could enter the premises during Lockdown.

Funders and volunteers were unable to visit the home, putting enormous pressure on the small team of employees to care for residents. To make matters worse, many long-time supporters had to stop their donations – individuals and companies – as they came under their own economic pressure resulting from the pandemic.

“We were able to visit the UCPASA premises before Level 5 lockdown was implemented, and it was heart-breaking to see the organisation working so hard to provide the degree of care their wards require despite their economic challenges,” says Katherine Cox, Research, Development & Innovation Manager at TUHF.

“It was clear that, if the UCPASA could not take care of those children, their situation would be dire indeed. It was also plainly evident that the different ‘facets’ of the charitable association – all of which rely on charitable do­nations for funding – are many and varied, and we simply had to offer our support,” Katherine adds.

TUHF donated R 100 000 to the UCPASA. “The refurbish­ment of the children’s sensory room and residential block closely aligned with TUHF’s CSI Policy,” Cox says. “The UCPASA also occupies and maintains a significant land parcel towards the south of Turffontein, which is an area TUHF currently invests in, and which has potential for increased affordable residential development and invest­ment. The land is used for the children and is maintained to a high standard.”

TUHF supports the UCPASA Read More »

From left to right: Athi Matinise, Brahms Court; Shumani Pharamela , Lutendo Heights.

The property market in South Africa took an enormous knock when President Ramaphosa implemented a hard lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 in March 2020. Property entrepreneurs working with uMaStandi in townships around the country were not immune to the impact. But, with uMaStandi’s personal and hands-on support many were able to weather the storm. Two of our clients share their experience.

Athie Mathinise, whose second uMaStandi-funded development was 60% complete when the lockdown was announced, says: “I was starting to do marketing to get tenants in for occupation by 1 July 2020 when the announcement was made, and of course everything came to a sudden stop.”

“It was really difficult. First, the contractors couldn’t come on to the site to keep building. Then, there were delays in getting building supplies because both imports and local manufacturing were stopped. This also affected the prices as everything became very expensive. And, on top of all that, we had a lot of materials being stolen from the site because no one was allowed to be there to keep it secure. 

“I also paid my contractor in advance when we heard lockdown was likely, thinking that I could help to keep him and his employees paid over the period, and that shot me in the foot. When we were able to start building again the contractor no longer had the funds to continue with the project.” 

Athie found himself in an awkward position, to say the least, and took a personal loan to start buying the materials and finishings that were needed to complete the build, such as doors and toilets. But the loan’s interest rate was extremely high, and it added a lot of stress to an already challenging situation.

He then spoke to his portfolio manager at uMaStandi, who jumped into action immediately. “Nomfundo offered great support in finding cheaper contractors and materials and came with me to site visits to inspect the work and make sure everything was on track and to the right standard. uMaStandi also helped me to safeguard the materials on site,” Athie says.

“But,” he continues, “even more importantly they helped me to stay motivated. There was a time I felt like I had made mistakes and had to give up on the project, but the team at uMaStandi were very encouraging and helped me to keep going when I felt that way.”

Athie’s other, smaller property is also funded by uMaStandi, and was also affected by the hard lockdown. “Most of the tenants in that property were employed in hospitality, and of course that was one of the worst affected industries at the time. So, when they lost their jobs they couldn’t pay rent and I knew I had to do something to help them through such a tough time,” he says.

“How you treat tenants is very important. I worked with each of them to make a plan to pay what they could until they were back on their feet and uMaStandi supported that by renegotiating my loan payment terms as well, so that I could help them,” he concludes.

Both Atthie’s properties have recovered well – they are fully tenanted and collecting rent so that his repayments are also back on track.

Shumani Pharamela, another uMaStandi client, had just started building on his first project in Protea Glen, Soweto, when the lockdown was announced. All the Quantity Surveying and costing had been done, but the price increases in materials due to the lockdown threw all that work off course. “Prices increased by 10-15% on most of the materials we needed, and steel went up by as much as 30%,” he says. “So, we had to replan everything.”

Shumani says the uMaStandi team and his contractors were very proactive, working with him every day to look for opportunities to cut back or renegotiate prices. “Because we buy a lot of materials from local hardware stores and wholesalers, who either couldn’t get stock or had to increase their prices too much to come close to our budget, we were forced to go to the manufacturers for some materials to try to offset the increases,” he says.

“uMastandi extended my grace period by a few months to accommodate the delay in construction caused by the lockdown, and that really helped. 

“We also had delays in delivery of the materials when the manufacturers and suppliers started to come back to work, as bigger projects and contractors took precedence,” he continues. “This had a knock-on effect to getting the construction going after lockdown lifted. The uMaStandi team and the project managers were very helpful and proactive in terms of planning for this and mitigating against it. They proactively advised me to apply for an increase on my loan, for example, knowing that the cost of materials would remain higher than we had planned.”

“We finally started building in June 2020 and the project is now complete and ready for tenanting,” Shumani concludes.

Both Athie and Shumani are extremely happy with the support they received from uMaStandi during such a difficult time, and are looking forward to expanding the property portfolios.

Below are images of Athi Matinise’s property, Brahms Court

Below are images of Shumani Pharamela’s property, Lutendo Heights

In it together: uMaStandi supports clients through lockdown Read More »

There is vacancy for Legal Intern within TUHF based in Braamfontein.

REPORTING LINE: Legal Manager
Role Requirements are:
Qualifications and Experience
 Must have an LLB
 No experience is required

The key areas of responsibility for the incumbent will be as follows:

Key Performance AreasActivities
Litigation Administration To compile documentation for legal processes by understanding the requirements, identifying and sourcing outstanding documents, collating documentation packs, and submitting for review as required
 To track litigation process by liaising with service providers and the courts, following up on progress and reporting twice a month and as required
 To monitor submission requirements by creating a calendar of submission requirements and communicating upcoming submission deadlines and requirements weekly
 To maintain legal documents and files by receiving documents, reviewing files, sourcing outstanding documents and filing documents daily
Portfolio Management Administration To draft letters of demand or breach by understanding the requirements and drafting letters using established templates and submitting for review as required
 To collate cession of rental packs by understanding document requirements, liaising with internal contributors, developing a complete pack of information and submitting for review as required
 To monitor letter of demand process by developing a calendar of submission deadlines, tracking corrective action taken, identifying areas of concern and reporting on these weekly
Legal Research To undertaken legal research by understanding the issue, collecting information from statutes, legal journals and case law, compiling memoranda and submitting for review and consideration as required
 To follow up on opinions by engaging with service providers and tracking submission of opinions as required
 To build a library of case law and opinions by monitoring reported judgements, sourcing input and filing in line with filing protocols as required
Reporting To draft reports by collecting, collating and analysing information and drafting inputs as required
Service Provider Administration To maintain a database of service providers by listing key service providers and areas of specialisation, sourcing contact information and updating database as required
 To prepare service provider payment packs by receiving invoices, verifying information, identifying areas of concern, addressing with service providers, preparing payment packs and submitting for approval monthly and as required
 To address service provider payment queries by investigating the query, identifying solutions and implementing corrective action as required
General Switchboard relief
20% Whatever it takes

KEY INFLUENCES:
Internal

 Operations
 Contracting and Conveyancing
 Asset Quality Management
 Treasury
 Finance

External
 Service Providers

Suitable and qualified applicants who meet the above requirements should forward a complete CV to Palesal@tuhf.co.za.

LEGAL INTERN VACANCY Read More »

TUHF Western Cape regional team. From left to right;

Nomfundo Molemohi, DIU Portfolio Manager, Sanet Badenhorst, Operations Administrator, Anne Meiring, Credit Analyst, Paul Nel, Portfolio Manager, Dihedile Mphachoe, Portfolio Manager, Londeka Dlamuka, uMaStandi Operations Administrator, Khulasande Naku, Operations Co-ordinator

The TUHF Western Cape regional team believes that even though COVID has had an impact on the property market, there are still significant opportunities for savvy investors looking to enter the affordable residential sector as new areas for development become available.

Even though the residential property sector in the Western Cape has not been spared by the impacts the pandemic, it has shown a higher level of resilience when compared with other nodes in South Africa. This can partly be attributed to the region’s ability to recover quicker and provide buyers and tenants with a solid selection of affordable units, says the TUHF Western Cape regional team who maintain there are still significant opportunities to be had for investors.

“Historically, the residential bubble in Cape Town has been well-documented. The areas of demand have been guided by the tourism industry and the international travel and work sector. Our focus area, the Voortrekker Corridor, was growing significantly leading up to pandemic last year. This was driven by the need for quality and affordable residential accommodation,” says Paul Nel, Western Cape based Portfolio Manager at TUHF.

However, with the hard lockdown hitting South Africa in March 2020, he says the Cape Town’s City Bowl transformed into a ghost town for six-months with restaurants and hotels having to close.

“While we have seen a gradual recovery with the sector re-establishing itself with entrepreneurs, the scope of the property market has started to change. Much of the focus turned to the kitchen and service market where more than one kitchen would share a larger space/kitchen or even shared space to produce takeaway food for delivery,” says Nel.

The impact on the student accommodation sector can also not be ignored. According to Nel, the University of Cape Town (UCT) supported a mandate for 5 000 units to be developed over the next two years, but this is currently under review due to the impacts of the pandemic and the increased focus on online learning.

He says these factors are contributing to the need for a different developer mindset. Additionally, older developers are retiring or moving into the suburbs with new ones struggling to gain momentum due to difficulties in applying for traditional loans in these challenging economic times.

“And yet, there has been resilience in our market. From Woodstock into Bellville and further up to Kuils River. Also, Durbanville and the informal sectors in Stellenbosch, Worcester, and Wellington have shown a high demand for affordable housing due to the number of agri-business based in these areas,” adds Nel.

Changing dynamics

Velda Derrocks, regional manager for the Cape region at TUHF, agrees. “Many of the vacancies are driven by properties in the CBD and AirBnB units that are not used or being put out in the market for normal rental. However, the affordable housing space is well serviced with not much capacity on offer. Even so, the Cape Town market has been through a challenging few months with some TUHF clients opting to sectionalise their properties and sell off the individual units. All indications are that bad debt and vacancy levels are normalising and edging towards pre-COVID levels.

But this does not mean it is not possible to find investment potential.

“Once we started building an understanding of how to operate in a COVID-driven market, we have seen good collection levels, lower vacancies, and even demand for new units in the Western Cape. Underpinning this resilience is good governance, the type of products available, a transport system that works, and visible law enforcement,” says Derrocks.

Nel believes that because the City Council only approves a limited number of new developments annually, and due to the Council’s thorough understanding and application of town planning and associated laws, there is more manageability of the supply and demand curve.

“The market in the Western Cape has remained relatively flat over the past several years. While certainly having an impact, COVID has not been as devastating here – from a rental perspective – as some other nodes in the country. For example, we have seen significant interest in new areas like Boston and across the eastern seaboard past Blouberg and Table Bay. Historically, these areas see much investment from long term rental investment. That has changed with zoning rights in place creating significant potential for affordable housing there,” says Nel.

Rebuilding for the future

Nel expects the Western Cape to show robust growth and returns over the next five years with new developers coming into the market.

“Office and industrial conversions into residential units will likely happen as the market moves into different, untapped areas. Work-from-home has driven a new product from a residential topology perspective. From our side, we have been continually engaging with our clients and developers to get renewed growth going,” adds Nel.

This includes hosting video conferences with clients and associated professionals that include engineers, quality surveyors, and others to expand the TUHF network in the market. Engagement has been focused on word of mouth and these online activities.

“We have also started engaging with the City Council and its various departments online. This has given us a new awareness of their processes and the different ways that are best to work with each department. Our focus for the short-term is to be consistent in our approach and play a prominent role as facilitators between developers and clients,” he says.

For Derrocks, TUHF realised it needed to adapt to different ways of liaising with clients. “This has resulted in many innovative approaches that we will continue to build on. Virtual meetings might have replaced face-to-face discussions, but our focus remains on adding value to our clients.”

Branching out

“Throughout all this, we still believe in the potential of the affordable housing market in the Western Cape. We can facilitate and assist developers to bring quality products to a market where there is significant demand for it. For TUHF, it is about remaining discerning on the entrepreneurs and developers we partner with,” says Derrocks.

Nel adds that TUHF will continue to educate the market on the potential of affordable residential renting properties. “People need to change their views of affordable housing, especially in the Voortrekker corridor. By engaging with the market we want to attract the right type of entrepreneurs and developers.”

Khulasande Naku, national operations coordinator for TUHF, says this reflects how TUHF is still a good business that does deals that make financial sense regardless of external market forces like the pandemic.

“Our focus is still on empowering the small to emerging entrepreneurs in the property space and diversifying the face of inner-city property ownership, especially in Cape Town. We are continually looking for right sized projects that can be turned into quality assets for the business and our clients,” concludes Naku.

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