The TSIBA House Story

 

In a key milestone for TSIBA, the lease to TSIBA House, our new premises, was signed on September 18 2019. Our "Road to Woodstock" campaign is now official, and our new address from January 2020 will be 4 Treaty Road, Woodstock.

From humble beginnings in a blanket factory in Mowbray (2004-2005) to an outdated training facility in Pinelands (2006-2019), TSIBA is finally moving into premises that will serve as a first-class and aspirational educational establishment for our students.

In addition to the infrastructure we already own, the move will necessitate once-off additional spending of ZAR 9.8 million. This expenditure includes IT and educational infrastructure set-up to modern standards, interior campus fit-out and signage, media and campus exterior and, of course, expenditure for the campus migration itself. Please note that naming rights will be entertained for those donors willing to contribute substantially towards reaching this goal.

Why are we moving?

In communications and reports to our stakeholders over the last two years, we have referred frequently to the realisation of TSIBA Vision2020, a revised strategy for our institution, and one which aims particularly at ensuring our ongoing relevance to the changing context of education in South Africa. The strategy has focused on three broad pillars including the development of the TSIBA academic offering, a brand refresh, and the migration to a new Campus, all three of which would enable a broader objective of creating an institution of choice to prospective students. While the primary role of TSIBA has, and will always remain that of availing access to education and transitioning young people into economic citizenship, this should not translate into an educational experience that in any respect is less than excellent. On the contrary, we are determined to provide our students with a world-class and rewarding business education, notwithstanding that it is supported by generous tuition scholarships.

It follows that our academic offerings, our brand and our campus should reflect and enable this vision. TSIBA Business School must be an aspirational place of study, an aspirational place of work and one which is equipped with the highest standards to enable our academic and experiential learning project. Further, our campus should not only be a physical space to which students will aspire, but should be located in an aspirational setting, and one which enhances excellence in experiential learning and small business incubation as part of the TSIBA learning journey.

Why Woodstock?

Woodstock is an old suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, between the docks of Table Bay and the lower slopes of Devil's Peak, about 1 kilometer east of the city center of Cape Town. Historically, Woodstock has managed to stay integrated - even during the years of Apartheid - leading to an eclectic mix of classes and races living and interacting together in the same suburb. In this way, the suburb of Woodstock beautifully reflects the diverse community of TSIBA. Woodstock has become a vibrant neighborhood, a bustling blend of food, fashion, arts, design, education and small business, and a very aspirational area in which to be based and associated with. It is also a community which is well-served by the Woodstock and Esplanade railway stations and is crisscrossed by major bus and taxi routes as well as cycle paths, making access easy, affordable and safe.

Why this building?

The new building stands on what used to be Woodstock’s beachfront in a relatively quiet and self-contained panhandle housed between Treaty Road and Spring Street, just off one of Woodstock’s two main roads that run north to south through the business area, Albert Road. The grounds boast the Peace Tree, a 500-year-old white Milkwood tree under which a peace treaty was signed on January 10, 1806, after the Battle of Blaauwberg.

The building has a total usable space of 2,795 m2 on 4 floors and will be completely configured for our own use. It has an efficient combination of large student learning areas intermingled with a number of smaller breakaways, staff offices and meeting and conference rooms, ideally connected by an extra-wide staircase. A large separate student recreation annex and a hip coffee shop allow for social interaction between students, staff and visitors. Last but not least, the top floors boast beautiful views of Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain. Unusually for premises in Woodstock, the grounds boast more than enough parking space for our use. All in all, the building, the grounds and the location are conducive to a unique campus vibe within a bustling, up-and-coming city environment.

What will it cost?

The building is in an excellent state and can be outfitted to our needs with a relatively modest outlay of funds. The once-off budget of R9.8 million rand has been guaranteed by the TSIBA Education Trust (the custodian of our Reserves) while we are fundraising to replenish this amount from donors.

Our lease is for a five-year period with an option for a further five-year renewal. While the rental amount is significantly higher than what we paid to Old Mutual in Pinelands (R387,000 vs. R 130,000 incl. parking, security, gardening, VAT), we believe that the Woodstock property is a significantly better “deal”. We will have 16% more floor space than currently, floor space which is significantly more efficient than the outdated facility in Pinelands, and floor space which will enable our academic programmes and our sustainability.

Notwithstanding a planned increase in student numbers, the facility has tremendous potential for income generation. We have in fact already been approached by a number of partner organizations for rental space. In addition, the facility lends itself to the hosting of conferences and workshops for up to 100 participants. The efficient spatial organization will allow economies of scale that were not possible in Pinelands.

We believe that funders will appreciate the high quality of what we are able to deliver in our new premises and that alone will allow us to open up a new pipeline of interested donors. Over time, the current landlord would like to develop the entire block into an exciting entrepreneurial precinct offering a solution for like-minded businesses to work together. TSIBA is the anchor tenant and would like to be part of these future plans.

Conclusion

As we reflect on our history and where we are going, it would be wonderful honour all individuals who have supported us in a journey which started in 2004 and which will continue at TSIBA House. We intend to honour those contributions to getting us to Woodstock and this will be celebrated when we officially launch the new campus early next year.

We are extremely excited about this move. TSIBA in the Woodstock campus will be a major step up and will enable us to compellingly improve the quality of our offering to our students.