Thathomo Pty Ltd – Cofounders Thabo Mongoato and Freddy Ramela
“The youth of today, are the leaders of tomorrow.” – Nelson Mandela
Thabo Mongoato, the man behind Thathomo Pty Ltd, responded to a call from the heart when pursuing this student accommodation venture. He was brought up in a rural town in the Eastern Cape. He attended the University of Cape Town, where he completed his degree in B. Pharm. “It was a complete culture shock relocating from my dire circumstances to one of the biggest cities in South Africa to obtain further education,” says Thabo.
His background drove his passion to impact society, specifically to contribute to transforming the student life experience through the development and provision of accommodation.
Students from a disadvantaged background usually come from a large family crammed into a small structure – and it is Thabo’s dream to empower this youth through the provision of an affordable environment, which is conducive to learning. This, in turn, will help to unlock their academic potential, instead of the country missing out on the potential contribution of a generation.
The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has made infrastructure development the basis of his Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan for the Coronavirus-battered economy. Meanwhile, the Government’s National Development Plan has increased fivefold over the last 6 years from 5.9 billion to 34 billion, which indicates a significant foreseeable increase in the demand for student accommodation during the next decade.
The Development Bank of South Africa has named student accommodation as one of its top priorities- in line with President Ramaphosa’s Recovery Plan.
Thathomo is a development project involving the conversion of an office block into student accommodation.
The building is situated in Braamfontein, less than a kilometre from Wits University. It will consist of 84 rooms spanning 6 stories, with accommodation for 427 students. It will be fully equipped with internet, a study facility, recreational spaces, and there will be retail shops on the ground floor.
The conversion project is estimated to begin at the end of the year, with full completion planned by May 2022 and the first student intake by June 2022.
Thabo states that Thathomo has raised significant investment capital since he collaborated with Impact Empowerment Ventures in early 2019, with about 47 investors so far for the upcoming tax year. He says that S12J is a wonderful vehicle that can provide SMME’s with the opportunity to enter the property market.
This kind of investment will help to boost the education opportunities for South Africa’s highly-vulnerable youth, increasing their chances to find eventual employment.
Thabo has completed an MBA through the University of KwaZulu Natal. He has been a senior executive at three blue-chip companies. Currently, he is a full-time property developer and property investment coach. He owns another student accommodation building in Pretoria West, for which he successfully raised the funds to finance the development.