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Living easy in Johannesburg

JOBURG – Affordable estate living now a reality for Jozi workers


There is a dire shortage of accommodation in Johannesburg for those looking for rentals between R2 000 and R3 000 per month.

An innovative residential property business has developed a new concept in the Johannesburg housing market to meet this need, providing ‘estate living’ for the lower Living Standards Measures (LSM).

Live Easy has pioneered the concept of a nano unit for rent with a lifestyle element that has never been available in the affordable market.

A nano unit is 15m² and includes a fully self-contained ensuite bathroom and kitchenette. All developments include spacious common areas – a lounge area and a café that encourage community interaction, indoor and outdoor playground areas, free WiFi and DStv access and braai areas. In addition there is a supermarket, gym and a crèche, hot desk office space, 24-hour biometric and CCTV security, parking bays, and each unit has a pre-paid electricity meter and readable water meters.

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Units are predominantly studios to suit lifestyle and affordability and are priced between R1 950 to R3 750 per month.

Jeffrey Froom, co-founder of Live Easy explained, “Urban dwellers from all over Johannesburg struggle to find places to live that are clean, safe and affordable. They are earning entry to mid-level salaries but land up living in unsavoury and overcrowded conditions, sharing rooms separated only by curtains and where multiple tenants share one bathroom. Live Easy is a great opportunity for those who want a chance to move in and move up.”

Live Easy’s flagship development is situated in Kew, near Alexandra and Sandton. This converted warehouse launched in September 2016 and the first phase of 136 units was pre-let a month before the opening date.

Phase 2 is currently under development and comprises a further 123 nano units. The full development, once complete, will feature 500 units with additional lifestyle facilities.

The company has a pipeline of developments valued at R320 million, which will provide almost 2 000 units. Properties consist of a combination of converted warehouses, offices and residential properties in Kew, Balfour Park, Highlands North, New Doornfontein, Greswold and Bramley.

Employers have expressed an interest in this type of development especially those in the hospitality and call centre industries.

Restaurant managers for instance, need to ensure that their staff return home safely after hours and have to coordinate lifts to different areas. The appeal of Live Easy is that all staff members can stay at the same place and shuttle or use taxi services to and from work. Not only is this cheaper, but staff can more reliably arrive at work on time and travel home more safely late at night and they have the added benefit of a higher standard of living.

Jenine Saaiman, one of the first people to move into Live Easy Kew, said, “I’m a beauty therapist who’s employed close to my residence. The accommodation is neat, comfortable and affordable. The premises are well maintained.”

Another tenant, David Ncube said, “All my life I’ve been living in flats and I have never been in such an organised, professional complex. We have an area for children to play, Internet access is rolling out, there is a braai area for family time and most importantly, we have a place of refuge after a long day at work.”

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