SOUTH Point has moved beyond simply providing student accommodation; it is also bringing back the glitz and glamour to the inner city.

“We provide more than just accommodation; it is a leisure and lifestyle offering as well,” says South Point’s head of precinct development, Josef Talotta.

The company turns old and dilapidated office blocks in Braamfontein into safe and secure modern day student residences. In so doing, it is contributing to inner city regeneration, and as a result, itreceived the Living Joburg Halala Award this year.

The Halala Joburg Awards were established in 2008 by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), to recognise and honour people, projects and places that go all-out to improve quality of life in the inner city.

South Point meets these criteria for the 4 000 or so students who live in its many buildings. Alongside the fully furnished rooms, the company has opened a gym for those wanting to keep fit and two student bars, with the hours tailored around student study timetables.

Talotta explains that the primary goal of the student bars is to protect the students from going to shebeens and putting their lives in danger. But bars are not the only entertainment the company provides. There are also cultural and recreational activities to enhance students’ experiences in the inner city.

Every August, South Pointers, as South Point residents are known, participate in a sports festival. They play soccer, netball, chess and other sports against students from other South Point residences in the country.

Sky bars

Students are not South Point’s only clients, though. It also opened Randlords, a bar and lounge, high above the hustle and bustle of Braamfontein, in its building at 41 De Korte Street. Large, stylish and with a killer 360-degree view of the city, it is glitzy, modern and very inviting.

There are indoor and outdoor entertainment areas, as well as a VIP area. Rooftops are well-used by South Point – at its Auckland House, its Skyline Gardens private penthouse apartments and bar offers accommodation to young professionals.

It also has an open rooftop space. Situated at 1 Biccard Street, it looks on to Nelson Mandela Bridge in one direction and back on to the Hillbrow Tower and cityscape in the other. There is also a cocktail bar, dining and lounge pods.

The company is already popular among its market of students and young professionals,and it is now looking at expanding its options for a different clientele. Its Hotel Lamunu is targeted atprivate companies, the entertainment industry, academia and the non-governmentalsector.

All of the hotel’s 60 rooms have individually controlled air conditioning, free wireless internet connectivity, flat screen televisions, iPod docking stations, direct dial telephones, laptop safes and comfortable beds. There is free parking too.

Each of the hotel’s six floors pays tribute to academics and interesting graduates from nearby Wits University.


And in front of the hotel, construction is going on for Meet @ Lamunu, a meeting room for 120 people. The hotel has other interesting features, including a public space with trees and benches, new restaurants with a noodlebar, and an art gallerywith a sandwich bar.

Situated on De Kort Street in Braamfontein, the hotel is within walking distance of Constitution Hill, Wits, Joburg Theatre Complex and Mary Fitzgerald Square.

In the future, South Point plans to set up a Neighbourgoods Market on Saturdays through property developer Adam Levy.

Neighbourgoods Market was birthed in 2006 by entrepreneurs Justin Rhodes and Cameron Munro, with the aim of reviving public markets. It has more than a hundred specialty traders including local farmers, fine food sellers, organic merchants, bakers and distributors, grocers, butchers, artisan producers, celebrated local chefs, and micro enterprises.

But at the moment it is only found in Cape Town.

The Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship and Virgin Unite will also have space in a South Point building. Virgin Unite is a non-profit organisation that uses an entrepreneurial approach to tackle social and environmental problems. The organisation was founded by businessman Sir Richard Branson.