Home » AKANI PROPERTIES – Growing the Peri-Urban Towns of South Africa

AKANI PROPERTIES – Growing the Peri-Urban Towns of South Africa

by Tia

Akani Properties is not just another property development and management company, its unique focus on the peri-urban towns of South Africa makes a compelling investment proposition to long-term investors and retailers alike, particularly in an economy that is struggling to grow and create jobs.

Akani Properties, founded in 2005, is a 100% blackowned property investment, development, and management company with more than R4 billion in total assets under management.

The company specialises in investing, developing, and managing commercial, retail, and hospitality properties with a strong focus on the peri-urban towns such as Zeerust, North West; Middelburg, Mpumalanga; and others – believing strongly that small towns represent the next growth phase for the South African economy that has been struggling to grow since the 2008 financial crisis.

Our growing portfolio comprises more than 16 properties located in Gauteng, Limpopo, Free State, North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, with plans to expand to other regions of South Africa and the rest of the African continent.

These properties include the luxurious Raddison Hotel and Convention Centre, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo, located in the city of Ekurhuleni, Nicolway Shopping Complex in Bryanston, Panorama Plaza in Kroonstad, Autumn Leaf Shopping Mall in Zeerust, Destiny Country Lodge in Mpumalanga, Parkview Shopping Centre in Pretoria, MEPF Shopping Centre in Klerksdorp, Bauhinia Centre in Limpopo, Akani House of Retirement Funds in Kempton Park, just to name a few.

Autumn Leaf Shopping Mall development
As part of its peri-urban investment strategy, Akani recently unveiled Autumn Leaf Shopping Mall in the Ramotshere Moiloa local municipality, in the transit town of Zeerust, North West Province.

The 18 000m2 Autumn Leaf Mall, which opened its doors to the shoppers on 26 October 2023, has major retail tenants such as Checkers, Mr Price, Truworths, PEP, Woolworths, Clicks and major banks such as Capitec Bank and others. The mall is within a short travelling distance for the locals who had to travel to either Rustenburg or Mafikeng to access premium brands.

This development, which includes a taxi rank and a fuel station, by Akani Properties in conjunction with the Municipal Employees Pension Fund, is a first phase of a mixed-use property development that will include a hotel and a private hospital. The objective is to transform Zeerust into a bustling transit town and economic node on the border between South Africa and Botswana – creating sustainable jobs in the process.

The mall development procured materials from local suppliers and employed local SMMEs and local labour. The total procurement spend was about R70 million on civils contractors, a local labour spends running into millions of rands and close to 500 jobs were created during the duration of the project.

Radisson Hotel and Conference Centre, Middelburg
Akani is in the process of completing construction of a R695 million hotel and conference facility in Middelburg, a growing mining and farming town in the Steve Tshwete local municipality, Mpumalanga Province. The 150-room hotel and 1 000-seater capacity conference centre will have all the facilities of a discerning business and leisure tourist attraction, expected from a modern high-end development.

Upon completion, it is estimated that a minimum of 200 full time jobs will be created with the majority of employment opportunities filled by the residents of Middelburg.

Akani’s investment strategy focusses on developing hospitality and retail property assets in the secondary and peri-urban towns by creating sustainable shareholder returns, empower local communities, and contribute to job creation.

The hotel will boast standard rooms to suites, conference facility, spa, gym facilities, fully licensed restaurant, and bar, among other features.

Radisson Hotel and International Convention Centre, OR Tambo
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Akani successfully launched a R950 million O.R. Tambo Radisson Hotel and Conference precinct in Kempton Park in October 2020, located in the City of Ekurhuleni, a significant boost to South Africa’s tourism economy.

The hotel debuted Radisson Hotel Group’s fourth brand, the upscale Radisson, in South Africa and is one of the key projects and catalysts towards the realisation of the City of Ekurhuleni’s 30-year Aerotropolis masterplan, seeking to transform the city into a global logistical hub – using the O.R. Tambo International Airport as the springboard.

Of the total capital investment, R545 million was spent on the development of the 248-room hotel boasting state-of-the-art facilities, suited for discerning leisure, meetings, incentives, conference and exhibition as well as business guests.

The Radisson Hotel & Convention Centre, Johannesburg, O.R Tambo, is ideally located in Bredell, an area that is primed for urban renewal and just a 10-minute drive from Africa’s biggest and busiest O.R. Tambo International Airport.

Conceptualised and developed by Akani Properties, the hotel and convention centre are owned 20% and 80% by both Akani Properties and the Municipal Employees Pension Fund respectively and operated by Radisson Hotel Group, one of the world’s largest hotel groups.

It’s at this opulent hotel that you will find the state-of-the-art, world-class restaurant, Level Seven Restaurant, perched at the top of Radisson Hotel. The restaurant, which optimizes quintessential Johannesburg glamour, offers fine dining and the best high-level experience for all customers. Besides serving great food, customers are spoiled with good music and performances.

“This investment in the City of Ekurhuleni is a clear demonstration of our commitment to the future of the city as the next frontier of investment and development and our contribution to the Aerotropolis vision of the City that centres development around OR Tambo International Airport,” said Zamani Letjane, Chairman of Akani Properties.

“As investors, we invest for the long term and greater good of society while generating sustainable returns for our clients.”

Nicolway Shopping Mall, Bryanston, Johannesburg
In January 2022, Akani announced the R1.1 billion acquisition of the Nicolway Shopping Centre in Bryanston, a leading shopping centre in the north of Johannesburg, on behalf of its client, the Municipal Employees Pension Fund (MEPF).

The transaction includes the acquisition of all properties in the Nicolway Precinct: the Nicolway Bryanston Shopping Centre, Decathlon retail component as well as the office building known as Nicolway West offices. The acquisition includes all rights in the leases of all properties and all other assets necessary for the carrying out of the business enterprise.

“The acquisition of Nicolway demonstrates our optimistic view on the recovery of the SA economy from the effects of the Covid pandemic. We are also seeing a shift from large shopping malls to small convenient shopping centres – a growing trend that presents growth opportunities for our property portfolio,” said Letjane. “The Nicolway acquisition will greatly improve our client’s balance sheet and income stream as the transaction is underpinned by quality tenants with long dated leases,” he added.

The centre is 75% anchored by national tenants such as Woolworths, Food Lovers Market, Dischem, Checkers, and more.

The Decathlon Sport Hub concept, a partnership between South African wellness brands and sporting goods designer, Decathlon, brings fitness and wellness enthusiasts under one roof, is one of the only concept stores in SA located in a three-story building at the Nicol Way Shopping Centre.

The shopping centre is well located in terms of access and visibility on the Winnie Mandela Road in the heart of Bryanston and it’s strategically located in a high LSM area surrounded by the Bryanston commercial node. The office node is showing strong growth and is likely to expand over the next 10 years. Large volumes of traffic use the Winnie Mandela off-ramp from the N1 as their access into and out of Sandton, Africa’s largest financial services hub.

Proven track record of successfully acquiring, developing, and managing properties
Akani’s expertise in property management and investment strategies has allowed them to thrive in the competitive real estate market. Additionally, their commitment to community empowerment and job creation sets them apart as a socially responsible company. The growing property portfolio extends across the entirety of South Africa, providing quality property assets to retail tenants in the country’s growing economic hubs.

The ultimate aim is to become one of Africa’s leading commercial property company. To achieve this goal, Akani strives to continually expand their portfolio of properties and enhance their services to meet the growing demands of both local and international clients. They are committed to providing top-notch facilities and exceptional customer service, ensuring that their properties remain sought-after destinations for business and leisure travellers alike.

With a proven track record of successfully acquiring, developing, and managing properties across various sectors, Akani Properties is dedicated to maximising returns for their investors while providing exceptional service to tenants and clients.

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