Sisebenza debuts space-as-a-service platform

Sisebenza Spaces, a division of Sisebenza – the local co-working and flexi office expert – has launched what it calls SA’s first online aggregator for co-working, flexible, shared and virtual office spaces.

Sisebenza debuts space as a service platform

The all-in-one consolidated platform helps clients with their space needs, sourcing, analysis, costs and contracts.

Co-founded by businessman and former CEO of Business Leadership South Africa, Bonang Mohale, Sisebenza has launched SiSebenza Spaces in response to the changing business models of local businesses and how they will use office space post-COVID-19.

The company has worked closely with co-working office space company, WeWork among other companies, to finalise possible leases across major South African cities.

According to Sisebenza, landlords who accept that they need to do away with historical rental models will be much more successful at letting their property and more able to keep their premises occupied. Sisebenza Spaces offers additional support to landlords and large corporates locked into long leases, looking to sublet that space.

“The space as a service business model is a bit like a subscription service. You take the space for as long or as short as you need it, and pick the added-value services you want, like a receptionist, access to meeting rooms, etc. You pay only for what you use,” says Andrew Robinson, co-founder and executive director of Sisebenza Spaces.

“Because we know what’s out there, we help our clients decide what sort of premises best suits their needs; we source the ideal property for them and we negotiate with the landlord on their behalf. Our experience enables us to get the best outcome for every client.”

According to the Office Vacancy Report released by the SA Property Owners Association (SAPOA) in April, national vacancy rates for Grades A and B offices was at 11.1% for the first quarter of 2020. This is the worst it has been since early 2004. SAPOA said it expected to see vacancy rates increase sharply over the rest of 2020 and into 2021 as more companies close.

Sisebenza says its business model focuses on helping businesses and entrepreneurs find work spaces that are more than just a location – finding the space and community that best fits them.

While COVID-19 has wreaked havoc in the shared spaces industry, resulting in companies such as WeWork introducing restructuring processes due to massive contract cancellations from clients, Sisebenza Spaces is adamant that the worst is over.

“In fact, COVID-19 has increased demand for flexible office solutions in general and is expected to accelerate its growth in the coming years. The online publication ‘Coworking Resources’ and other reports expect the global co-working and shared office market to grow rapidly from 2021 onwards, with an annual growth rate of 21.3%,” says the company.

A distributed workforce comes with multiple benefits for employers, including limiting the need for large, expensive to run, now-empty offices, notes the company.

Sisebenza Spaces can be accessed via its Web site, which lists more than 250 spaces countrywide, linking landlords to users.

Published on IT Web