British International Investment

Divercity Urban Property Group (Proprietary) Ltd

Southern AfricaConstruction & Real estate

Divercity Urban Property Fund (Divercity) is a low-cost housing platform focused on the regeneration of South African cities.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

We made a $36 million (500 million Rand) commitment to Divercity. Our investment will provide quality, low-cost and environmentally sustainable housing for low and middle-income households in underinvested neighbourhoods in major South African cities. It will fund the construction and management of more than 2,500 new residential units over the next five years.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.


  • Increase access to safe and low-cost housing to provide physical security and support economic inclusion (SDG 11).

  • Create economic opportunities via employment (SDG 8.5).

  • Improve environmental sustainability through resource efficiency and climate mitigation (SDG 13.A)


Primary Secondary

Build and manage good quality, low-cost, well-located and environmentally sustainable rental housing-led precincts in underinvested districts, leading to the construction of 2,500 housing units, integrated with commercial and social uses. The project is also expected to create between 2,000-4,000 construction and permanent operational jobs, creating economic opportunities and boosting employment.

Contribute to regeneration and local economic development, resulting in enhanced social and economic integration, and underpinning inclusive economic growth.


Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Households (customers)

South Africa

Average household size 1.97 (excluding children under 14 years), relatively young (under 30 years old). 45 per cent of leaseholders are female vs 29 per cent nationally.

Employees (construction workers, operations staff)

South Africa

Among construction workers, 13 per cent in the sector are skilled, 68 per cent semi-skilled, and 19 per cent low-skilled.

Planet (through reduced greenhouse gas emissions versus typical existing housing units).


How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

2,500 households would benefit, estimated to comprise 5,500-6,000 individuals.

2,000-4,000 construction and redevelopment phase jobs expected to be created, as well as over 150 operations jobs.

Depth: High. South Africa faces a housing shortage of approximately 2.3 million units. A significant majority of its low-cost housing is built on the urban periphery. Improved safety, quality of life and savings in transport time and cost are particularly valued by households. The units will also support the inclusion of more women living in areas such as inner-city Johannesburg.



Financial additionality: We played a crucial role in establishing the platform, as capital was not available from commercial investors in sufficient quantity to do so.


Endurance Risk

The full impact of urban regeneration takes years to be realised. A patient and engaged approach is required to ensure optimal impact delivery.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

As part of our follow-on investment, we agreed a new ESAP with Divercity, which focuses on strengthening the existing ESMS and on managing risks including resettlement.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    June 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.


    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).


    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    Southern Africa

    The countries where the investment delivers impact. Where impact is delivered in multiple countries, this is indicated.

    South Africa

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    Construction & Real estate

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investments :
    Type Amt Curr Start End
    Debt $10.35m ZAR 05/2021 12/2022
    Equity $24.15m ZAR 05/2021

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    South Africa
    Climate finance

    Indicates whether the investment is climate finance qualified or partially climate finance qualified and the type of climate finance (adaptation, mitigation or both). We define climate finance using the multilateral development bank (MDB) and the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) Common Principles climate finance methodology. See Common Principles for Climate Mitigation Finance Tracking and Common Principles for Climate Change Adaptation Finance Tracking. We provide the climate finance qualification and type for commitments from 2020 onwards, which is when we launched our Climate Change Strategy.

    Partially qualified
    Climate finance type:
    2X Gender Finance

    Indicates whether the investment is ‘2X qualified’ using the 2X Challenge criteria. You can find out more here. It only applies to investments made from 2018 onwards, when the 2X Challenge was first launched.

    Fully qualified

Related investments made by BII into this company:

Investment name Commitment Region Sector Start date Status
Investment 02 $3.22m Southern Africa Construction & Real estate November 2023 Active

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