Transaction Support Centre


A fundamental principle of the housing asset is the ability to use it for trade – homeowners buy and sell property, investing their income and realizing equity while they address their changing housing needs over time.  In this way, housing is much more than simply shelter. It is also a critical component of household wealth, and a focus of most households’ savings. South Africa has a vibrant residential property market, which in the past 23 years has developed to serve a growing proportion of our population.

By and large, the residential transaction process in South Africa is well governed.  There are clear processes, framed by legislation that both buyers and sellers can follow to find each other, affect the property transaction and realise value facilitated by registered estate agents, conveyancers and lenders. For the higher value market, it is working well and realises value for transacting parties, service providers and the state.  In the lower value market, however, property transactions function less effectively: they are difficult for transacting parties to navigate, take longer than is financially feasible for these parties, create more risks, and ultimately (as a proportion of the property value) cost more. In short, established processes align poorly with the needs of the transacting parties and the overall outcome is compromised. As a result, formal resale transactions in the lower value property market are less common, participation by mortgage lenders is limited, and the potential for property asset appreciation is undermined.

If the residential property market is to work effectively for the breadth of its participants, and if it is to contribute towards the asset wealth of especially its lowest income earning participants, special attention must be given to the constraints that undermine performance across these processes.

Thus, CAHF has recently piloted a transactions support centre in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, to facilitate formal residential property market transactions in the affordable housing market. The transactions support centre coordinates and offers the range of critical services that enable households to transact formally in the residential resale market.  In doing this, the centre focuses on making the current regulatory and administrative framework for property transactions work efficiently, in terms of both time and cost for the buyers and sellers of residential property in Khayelitsha.  The centre also offers a local focal point through which existing service providers, including various non-profit or community-based organisations that offer services that support housing and housing finance market activities could offer their services.

Overall vision for the transactions support centre in Khayelitsha

The transaction support centre is a physical office located in Desmond Tutu Sport & Recreation Hall, Khayelitsha, to which buyers and sellers come for the following services:

  • Preparing the property for sale – confirming integrity of title deed, obtaining a property valuation, assessing legality of any previous home improvements
  • Matching buyers and sellers, and providing advice
  • Establishing the sale: preparing the offer to purchase / deed of sale and obtaining necessary certificates
  • Registering the sale
  • Financing the sale

The Transaction Support Centre (TSC) is a free advice centre that aims to make established legal and administrative processes in the housing sector work efficiently. The TSC is funded by the Centre For Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF) through the Cities Support Programme run by the National Treasury of South Africa. 


The TSC was established with the support from,