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Investor of the Year Awards celebrate South Africa’s most inspiring property investors of 2021

The SA Property Investors Network (SAPIN) announced the winners of its annual Investor of the Year Awards at a glittering celebration held at the Marriott Hotel in Melrose Arch. The annual Awards brought together investors, corporations, financiers, property professionals and media to celebrate the movers and shakers within South Africa’s property sectors that have defied the odds to put together property deals that are uplifting suburbs, communities and cities.

The black tie event was sponsored by Absa, ooba Home Loans, Private Property, Tuhf, Tile Africa, Bruno Simao Attorneys, Intergen, Preferental, SquareFeet, The Property Academy and Just Property with the winners scoring getaways by Shearwater and FastJet, cash prizes, property coaching, building and equipment vouchers and exemption of bond initiation fees.

Darren Francis, the overall winner of the 2021 Investor of the Year Awards, received a standing ovation from the audience for his inspiring property deal in the Cape Flats that is creating local employment. Francis has rebuilt and renovated a dilapidated piece of land and turned it into a multi-let property, bringing dignity and hope to the Cape Flats.

“The Investor of the Year Awards is about so much more than glitz and glamour. It’s about South African individuals who have overcome tremendous odds and empowered themselves and many others around them through innovative and daring property deals. It was incredible to celebrate the success stories of ordinary people who overcame the insurmountable to change the trajectory of their lives and uplift the areas that they’ve invested in,” said Andrew Walker, CEO of SA Property Investors Network.

There were five award categories in addition to the overall Investor of the Year award. Here are the winners per category:

• Winner, Beginner Investor

Nomakhosi Makolota
Nomakhosi Makolota, who grew up in Soweto Pimville, developed a vacant stand with shacks into units with the help of Tuhf’s Umastandi finance. These units are rented out and are providing Nomakhosi with a positive cashflow. Nomakhosi has only just begun. She plans to buy and develop more residential properties that provide occupants with a sense of dignity.

• Winner, Most Growth Investor

Teren Ramnundlall
Having invested in his first property in 2018, Teren Ramnundlall is a full-time property investor who pitched multi-let deals in various Johannesburg locations. Teren entered the awards evening to give back by sharing his story and encouraging others to believe that property investment is possible for them. Teren says he hopes he can be an inspiration to other people in the same way that his property coaches inspired and supported him. In doing so, he believes he can uplift others.
 
• Winner, Investor for Change (property investor who had the biggest social impact through their property deal/business).

Darren Francis
Within 18 months, Darren Francis flipped six properties with the intention to expand into the buy-to-let market. His strategy has focussed on creating jobs and sustainable living. After changing the lives of my family members, he discovered that property investing was bigger than what he thought it would be. It was an opportunity to change not only his life and his family, but he managed to create jobs. Through Darren’s investments he could help breach the gap of people looking for employment and help them provide food for their families. Creating permanent employment has become the focus of his property investments.

Darren Francis also won the overall Investor of the Year Award.

“This is a victory for my dad. Although his business failed, his hard work paid off and this is something I can hang on my wall and call it my father’s award. It’s also a win for my community and many young people will see this as an opportunity to do better,” said Francis.

• Winner, Innovative Investor

Ridhwaan Basa
Ridhwaan pitched a rent-to-rent Airbnb deal in Camps Bay, Cape Town, which is generating a healthy cash flow for him. After being hospitalised for 29 days with Covid-19 in December 2020, Ridhwaan thought it might all be over. He spent eight days in ICU but only came off of 24/7 oxygen support in the middle of March 2021.“I almost died, but thanks to the smart strategies and automations that I put into place, my Airbnb business was able to run without me,” said Ridhwaan. 

• Winner, Big Leagues Investor

Mulalo Tshitema
Mulalo employed four people to assist him in running a multi-let in Auckland Park that has been in operation since 2018 with 20 fully let rooms. His second deal comprised 94 two-bedroom apartments with 52 units complete and the remainder to be completed by the end of the year. Mulalo said of his award, “I will see it as an award to thank myself on achieving my goal to inspire South Africans and help them see the possibility to start their own business and help solve unemployment in our country”.

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