The escalating development of private schools throughout the country is indicative of the desire for high standards of education, and property developers are noting the opportunities in this market.
Curro Holdings alone has set an expansion target of 500 Curro schools over the next 13 years in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, and the demand for this schooling is being seen in how buyers hunt for homes.
The Curro Group is the fastest growing education company in the country, with revenue growth of 24%. But a number of other private school groups are also expanding their footprints, including the Spark and PLG schools.
When announcing its investment in Spark Schools, Vineet Bewtra, of UK-based Omidyar Network, said the company would use funding of $9 million to open additional schools in South Africa, and grow its network from eight schools to 20 by 2019. This would extend its reach to 20 000 students.
One Spark school is in the Western Cape, in Lynedoch.
PLG Schools – part of the Pembury Lifestyle Group – has seven campuses in South Africa and aims to grow to 19 campuses and 55 schools by 2022.
In Cape Town, Curro schools are gaining momentum with the latest one being in Sandown, a new suburb being developed next to Parklands North, says Clinton Martle, licensee for Seeff Blouberg. “This will further complement an excellent list of schools in the area. The new regional shopping centre, Table Bay Mall, opening next month, will boost the attraction of this vibrant neighbourhood.”
For buyers looking in Century City, there is a Curro school there too, says Helga Clemo, Seeff’s licensee in the area.
“It ranks among the most soughtafter neighbourhoods, especially for rental property investors,” she says.
In the northern suburbs, one can find Curro schools in Durbanville and Pinehurst, says Fanie Marie, licensee for Seeff in the area.
“The Durbanville/Tyger Valley area is well suited to families as they have access to excellent English and Afrikaans language schools. Outstanding facilities include Tyger Valley Shopping Centre.”
Other Curro schools in the Western Cape are in Brackenfell, Somerset West, Hermanus and Mossel Bay.
“Areas with Curro schools are also popular with semigrating buyers,” says Pierre Germishuys, the Seeff licensee for the West Coast area, explaining that if buyers’ children are at Curro schools in other provinces, they can easily integrate into the ones in the Western Cape.
“Langebaan, for example, is a popular holiday home destination, but the addition of a Curro school turned it into a sought-after commuter suburb for Vredenburg and Saldanha.”
Another new Curro school opening in the province next year is Curro Castle Uitzicht.