The ADvTECH Group Properties department boasts an enviable track record in school design, development, construction and facilities management, and successfully owns and operates more than 100 education facilities. We own majority of the sites and campuses, with a small number of sites on long-term lease or leased with an option to buy.
Its higher education division, The Independent Institute of Education, is SA’s largest and most accredited private higher education institution. ADvTECH’s Schools division comprises seven brands with 90 schools across South Africa, as well as Gaborone International School in Botswana.
“Our expansion in the schools and tertiary sectors in South Africa and the rest of Africa, will further consolidate our market position as the largest education provider in Africa. We have an exciting growth plan with secured land banks across the continent, which will be rolled out in coming years,” says Vongani Mbhokota, ADvTECH Properties Executive
He says there are significant growth opportunities in the education sector not only in South Africa, but across Africa, where demand for quality education is rising in line with burgeoning middle class.
“A large portion of the planned expansion will be through ADvTECH’s own developments, with the remainder through joint-venture partnerships with other developers and leasing of properties where these make strategic and business sense,” says Mbhokota.
“Given our quality offering, diversity of brands for targeted markets and unparalleled experience in the private education sphere, we have a significant competitive advantage over other players seeking to enter this growth market. We also have sufficient balance sheet flexibility to support an ambitious but considered growth strategy as we pursue these opportunities to supply in the growing demand.”
ADvTECH’s core commitment to academic excellence, and the cornerstone of the properties development focus, is to create an environment which facilitates and optimises the learning experience for our students. Each brand in the ADvTECH portfolio has its’s own value proposition and ethos, which translates into specific building and property requirements.
Therefore, creating suitable buildings and grounds which support our brand offering is a vital consideration when designing and expanding our educational facilities.
In 2018, ADvTECH will open several new schools and tertiary campuses. Some of the projects include greenfield developments in the mid-fee schools sector and mega campuses in city hubs.
Mbhokota says he has ambitious plans for the ADvTECH Properties and wants to support the student enrolment growth plans by creating an active pipeline of projects for both the schools and tertiary divisions. In addition, ADvTECH seeks to be a leader in the development of safe, sustainable, high-quality construction of education facilities for the future, creating environments conducive to learning.
“To do this we put a lot of focus on strategic land parcels which are secured into live projects in residential areas for communities in the LSM 6-10 bands,” he says.
“We continue to see numerous opportunities for growth, both at home and on the rest of the continent. In our core markets, we expect organic and greenfield growth to continue despite the fact that more players are entering the market, and the economy remains sluggish.”
ADvTECH Properties are also pursuing opportunities in new market segments and regions, which will enhance its business performance and diversify its portfolio.
“While we remain cognisant of the pressure households are under, given our challenging economic conditions, economic slowdown does not impact on the demand for quality education. We have made a continued effort to investigate alternatives - identifying new market segments, exploring new channels to market and developing new products,” says Mbhokota.
He says he is particularly excited about growth opportunities outside South Africa, where the group has already made acquisitions and recently announced its first development outside of the country.
In a collaboration with Rendevour, Africa’s largest urban developer, ADvTECH plans to start developing a Crawford International School in Tatu City, 25km outside Kenya’s capital Nairobi, in the last quarter of 2017.
Mbhokota is bullish about the future and ADvTECH’s trajectory.
“We have been in business for several decades and we have managed to develop world class educational properties: schools and tertiary brands always striving to be on time, of good quality and within budget. This will continue to be our guiding principle as we grow the business,” he says