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South Africa’s first and only multisector residential investment and development conference and exhibition has been launched in response to the country’s massive housing shortage and high urbanisation rate, according to the organisers.

Hosted by SmartXchange (a division of Commerce Edge South Africa), this event will bring together the entire residential value chain to share knowledge, collaborate and do business. Expanding on the pressing need for this gathering, SmartXchange Chair and CEO Debbie Tagg says: “South Africa has a massive housing shortage and one of the highest urbanisation rates among emerging economies across the world. 63% of South Africans are already living in urban areas and the statistics will rise to 71% by 2030. By 2050, eight in 10 people will be living in urban areas. 63% of South Africans are already living in urban areas and the statistics will rise to 71% by 2030.…”. There are currently more than 3 300 informal settlements in South Africa,” Tagg states.

The Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) which administers the government’s social housing program is targeting the delivery of 18,000 social housing units by 2024. Social housing is effectively the rental equivalent of gap housing and directly addresses the accommodation needs of the “missing middle” who are unable to access mortgage facilities through the government assisted FLISP program. Marius Muller, the Managing Director of specialist social housing company, SoHo Properties, is quoted as saying that the provision of social housing has become a critical element in alleviating the housing needs of the country and transitioning a large portion of the population from rental accommodation towards home ownership.

“On the student accommodation front, there is currently a conservative estimated capacity gap of 500 000 beds,” she notes. “In the last two years (2020, 2021), NSFAS spent an average R11,9 billion per annum on student accommodation funding. At least 420 000 students each year are in university and TVET accommodation. Out of this, approximately 43% was for institutional residences and 57% was for private accommodation.

Tagg stresses that there is a growing imperative to galvanise social and affordable housing in order to produce the vast quantity of accommodation needed to alleviate the shortages.

The inaugural Residential Investment & Development Conference will see government agencies, asset managers, operating entities, investors, brokers, banks, consultants, and service providers come together to unpack new opportunities in the social and affordable housing, student, retirement, co-living and multi-family residential spaces.
The event will feature practical case studies, roundtable discussions and keynote presentations from global and local experts and thought leaders. Tagg says that the conference will benefit all levels of audience.

She explains that the event’s key objectives are to enable private role players to achieve “housing for all’; to slash the development cost in the South African economy; to boost the state’s capacity to fast-track project approvals and policy implementation; to formalise the industry value chain and eco system; to unlock equity and debt funding; and to mitigate risk by unpacking and examining risk and pricing models.

The first Residential Investment & Development Conference will take place on 12 and 13 July 2023 at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. Current event partners include SoHo Properties, iKhaya Future House, Enza Construction, Triple 3 Group, Take Shape Property Management, Venator, EnPointe Properties, Property Wheel, SAACPP, GreenStuff, SA Building Review, SA Business Integrator and SA Profile.

“Enza Construction is proud to be a partner to this prestigious event. Our commitment is to deliver the best in Housing so that all people are able to live in decent places that they call home,” says Enza Construction’s CEO Rowan Crowie. Enza has been a key player in the Housing space for over 2 decades, building affordable social housing throughout South Africa.
“This locally driven event representing the challenges and opportunities of the entire residential value chain is one that should not be missed by anyone involved in any aspect of residential investment and development. It offers an invaluable opportunity for cross learning between stakeholders, and a critical platform for government and private sector stakeholders to engage and collaborate in order to overcome key challenges,” Tagg concludes.

To find out more about tailor made sponsorship and partnership opportunities at the 2023 Residential Investment & Development Conference, contact Debbie Tagg at

Smart Exchange

ABOUT SmartXchange

SmartXchange as a division of Commerce Edge South Africa provides B2B networking and learning platforms in many leading industries. Through events, newsletters, publications and more we facilitate industry community building.

Our core focus is bringing people, companies, and industries together through specialised platforms – both online and face to face. Our goal is to promote meaningful interactions between like-minded people with common challenges, goals, and aspirations within different industries. We are also passionate about assisting these industries in their continuous professional development objectives and market access challenges.

We have been hosting such platforms for 16+ years, with leading brands and communities across various industries.

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