As Cape Town’s property market continues its slump, the city’s townships are on an upward trajectory.
The rental market in the townships was “through the roof”, said entrepreneur Fernando Antonio, founder and chief executive of township property portal ZAkasi.co.za. It has had a marked effect on the property market, with residents-turned-micro-developers buying property to rent or build apartments.
This new generation of property entrepreneurs is servicing renters – those who earn between R3 000 and R15 000 a month. Brian Azizollahoff, managing director of Propertiq, said retailers had recognised a need for services in the townships, particularly with respect to groceries and other retail options.
“This has lead to many developers focusing on these areas, which, in turn. enhances the residential appeal of the township market as residents do not have to travel as far to top up on their needs.”
Ayanda Mbele, a property entrepreneur, said most people couldn’t manage on their monthly incomes, and so were looking at ways to generate additional income by supplying rental accommodation, either by erecting buildings in their backyards or by getting in on the buy-to-let market.
There was, however, an issue around the supply of services such as electricity, to the township areas, said Azizollahoff.
“The local councils need to address this. Property entrepreneurs are fulfilling an important role in taking up the slack by providing housing, which should be a government priority.