Sisa Ngebulana
Sisa Ngebulana Biography
BornMthatha, Eastern Cape
Known forBeing a property mogul
Spouse(s)Ayanda Zulu
ChildrenSisa Ngebulana Junior
Websitewww.rebosis.co.za

Sisa Ngebulana is an award-winning South African businessman with an interest in real estate. Ngebulana is the executive chairperson and sole owner of the multi-billion rand property company, Billion Group Limited and Rebosis Property Fund Limited the first black-managed and substantially black-held property fund to be listed on the JSE. He is also a lawyer.

Background

Ngebulana grew up with his grandparents in Corhana, outside Mthatha, Eastern Cape. His father passed away in a trucking accident.[1]

Ngebulana's grandparents had a general dealer store and a brickfield owned by his grandfather Thandi Bushanan Ngebulana. He used to spend a lot of time helping out and then spend time with deliveries to sites. Sisa Ngebulana took interest in that and ended up knowing bricklaying, plastering and carpentry. In an interview, he said that is how he got into real estate because it just kind of rubbed off on him. Ngebulana said he built his first house himself out of just passion more than anything else. His first house took four months to build and complete. It took another two months to sell.[2][3]

Wife

Sisa Ngebulana's wife is Ayanda Zulu. Ngebulana and Zulu had their traditional wedding in December 2019. A source said the couple has=d been dating for more than eight years.[4]

Children

Sisa Ngebulana has two children with his ex-wife Refiloe.[4] He has a son named Sisa Ngebulana Junior who is a racing driver.[5]

Education

He attended Ntaphane Junior Secondary School in Corhana village before matriculating at St Johns College in Mthatha.[6] When Sisa Ngebulana went off to university, he was one of five grandchildren heading off that year. His grandmother had saved enough to pay for one year for each of them. Thereafter it would be up to them to achieve good enough marks to secure bursaries or loans. He graduated with top marks, enabling him to do his honours degree and take his pick of top law firms through which to complete his articles. Ngebulana then simultaneously studied accounting and economics through correspondence at the University of Cape Town, after realising that most of his peers had legal and financial degrees.[1]

Businesses

Billion Group Limited

Ngebulana founded Billion Group Limited in 1998.[7][2]

Rebosis Property Fund Limited

In 2010 he founded Rebosis Property Fund Limited.[7][2] Rebosis' commercial portfolio includes 35 buildings and one industrial property.

In 2021, the company was in debt, sparking fears that it may go under. At the end of its 2020 financial year, the company's net debt stood at R9.5 billion when it only had R13.5 billion in total assets. The company's loan-to-value ratio (LTV) reached 75.7% in 2019 and had still not stabilised at the end of its financial year in August 2020 as it clocked 72.4%.

One of Rebosis's shareholders, businessman Zunaid Moti, took the company's major shareholder, the Amatolo Family Trust, to court, claiming it was insolvent.[8]

On 22 October 2021, there was a report that Rebosis Property Fund would sell R6.32 billion of its office portfolio to a Vunani Capital Partners' special-purpose vehicle, Ulricraft. The report said Rebosis would sell 32 of its commercial properties. The company would use the proceeds from the disposal to reduce its debt to about R3 billion and its loan-to-value ratio to 42% from 72%.

Without these office assets, Rebosis became a smaller real estate investment trust (REIT), valued at R7.5 billion. It would be predominantly a retail-focused property company with five dominant retail malls and four other commercial assets.

The company's shopping centres include the super-regional Hemingways Mall in East London, Baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth, and three malls in Pretoria, i.e. Forest Hill City, Sunnypark Shopping Centre and Bloedstreet Mall.[9]

Net Worth

In 2017, Sisa Ngebulana had an estimated net worth of about R400 million.[2]

Career

His first business, a trucking and transport company, failed. He built the business up quickly while he was doing his articles at a law firm in Cape Town. Ngebulana struggled with bad debtors, and could not pay his creditors or the truck instalments to the bank. His health started deteriorating. In 32 months he managed to pay the R800 000 debt he owed the bank.

His first land parcel in Kyalami Estate cost R22 000. Because he could not qualify for a loan with his outstanding debt, he found a colleague who was interested in a business partnership, and with a R350 000 bond they built and flipped the property for a profit within six months.

Ngebulana used his profits to buy the next property and slowly, one plot after the next, he developed the whole street. He paid off the bank loan and began developing high-end clusters. His 'side' business was booming, and even though he was still employed by Eskom, he had now amassed some personal wealth.[1]

As an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa, Ngebulana practised with Jan S de Villiers Attorneys in commercial litigation before joining Eskom for seven years as legal counsel specialising in property and finance.

He is the past president of the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC). He has served as the director of the Attfund group, Truworths International and the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB).

Sisa Ngebulana developed a number of regional shopping malls in South Africa including Hemingways Mall, Forrest Hill City, Mdantsane City, B.T. Ngebs City and with Abacus Bay West City in Port Elizabeth.[7] BT Ngebs City named after his grandfather in 2018 was valued at R21-billion. It includes a 60000m2 shopping mall and in 2017 Ngebulana added a four-star Mayfair hotel and the Mthatha's first casino and entertainment complex.

He also developed Eastern Cape's biggest shopping centre, Baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth, Hemingways Mall in East London and Forest Hill City in Centurion.

Between 2007 and 2015, the malls created 25340 jobs, making Ngebulana's group the biggest investor and largest job creator in Eastern Cape.[3]

Awards & Honours

Ngebulana has won the following awards:

  • Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2006)
  • Pioneer award (2014)
  • African Business Excellence (2014)[7]

Walter Sisulu University awarded Sisa Ngebulana an honorary doctoral degree in commerce.[3]

Sisa Ngebulana Foundation

Through the Sisa Ngebulana Foundation, he donated more than R1-million for the construction of classrooms with a computer lab at Ntaphane Junior Secondary School in Corhana village as part of his 51st birthday celebrations in June 2017. He also handed over food and warm winter blankets to impoverished Mthatha, Ngqeleni and Libode residents.[6]

Trivia

  • His first regional mall was Mdantsane City in the Eastern Cape.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Nadine von Moltke-Todd, How Sisa Ngebulana Built SA's First Black-Managed Listed Property Fund, Entrepreneur, Published: May 14, 2017, Retrieved: October 22, 2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 SISA NGEBULANA ON THE 4 ESSENTIAL QUALITIES NEEDED TO BUILD AN EMPIRE, smesouthafrica.co.za, Published: November 2, 2020, Retrieved: October 22, 2021
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 YOLISWA SOBUWA, Sisa Ngebulana builds on bricks of success, SowetanLive, Published: May 15, 2018, Retrieved: October 22, 2021
  4. 4.0 4.1 Theo Nyhaba, AYANDA & SISA JOINED AT THE HIP!, Daily Sun, Published: December 22, 2019, Retrieved: October 22, 2021
  5. Ross Roche, Racing talent to train in UK, DispatchLive, Published: March 30, 2015, Retrieved: October 22, 2021
  6. 6.0 6.1 Lulamile Feni, billionaire enjoys 51st birthday by giving generously, DispatchLive, Published: June 5, 2017, Retrieved: October 22, 2021
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Sisa Ngebulana, billiongroup.co.za, Published: June 10, 2015, Retrieved: October 22, 2021
  8. Londiwe Buthelezi, Sisa Ngebulana's Rebosis in talks with potential savior investors amid insolvency fears, Fin24, Published: April 7, 2021, Retrieved: October 22, 2021
  9. Londiwe Buthelezi, Sisa Ngebulana's Rebosis to sell R6.32bn worth of offices and chop its debt to about R3bn, Fin24, Published: October 22, 2021, Retrieved: October 22, 2021