The EPPF is pleased to announce that on 8 April 2014 it signed an agreement to commit R100m to International Housing Solutions (IHS) as part of the financing for a project to build 20 000 affordable homes across South Africa.
The EPPF is proud to partner in this endeavor with IHS, which is a global private equity firm at the forefront of affordable housing development in South Africa. IHS partners with financial institutions, real estate developers and local government authorities to provide equity finance for housing projects and has a proven track record of enabling the building of quality communities while maintaining the highest levels of oversight and financial due diligence.
The partnership with IHS will provide affordable housing for households with an income between R3 500 and R18 000 per month. This segment of the housing market is also known as the “gap market” because it consists of people who earn too much to qualify for low cost government subsidized housing, but do not earn enough to afford housing in the private sector market or do not qualify for bonds.
The agreement forms part of the EPPF’s Development Impact (DI) portfolio and is the largest investment made under the portfolio by the EPPF to date. The DI portfolio focuses on investments in the following sectors:
The venue of the signing, Liliesleaf Farm, was most appropriate as a key historical monument of our democracy. As an issue at the forefront of South Africa’s national agenda, the provision of housing and access to affordable homes is an integral part of the realisation of the principles upon which our constitution and democracy are built.
Investments into Affordable Housing have shown the ability to improve both social circumstances of thousands of people, while providing superior returns to investors for that sector. By making this investment through IHS, the EPPF will be making a positive socio-economic impact on thousands of South African lives by helping to create property investments for families, creating new communities, creating jobs, while also creating returns for its members, pensioners and beneficiaries.
As the second largest pension fund in South Africa in terms of assets under management, the EPPF is one of the leading institutional funds in the country, both in its approach to providing competitive benefits to its beneficiaries and in contributing to the country’s social and economic development through its investment strategy. The implementation of the EPPF’s Development Impact Policy demonstrates the EPPF’s commitment as a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Socially Responsible Investing and the Code for Responsible Investing in South Africa.
Development Impact projects in which the EPPF has invested include a co-investment in Van Schaik Bookstores in order to facilitate education. The portfolio has also invested in Futuregrowth’s Community Property Fund, which invests in malls around townships, with a view to support black SMEs and stimulate economic growth in previously disadvantaged areas.
For more information on the IHS, go to www.ihsinvestments.co.za.