The lack of student accommodation is an ongoing issue and a major one as it's been at the centre of many student protests over the years. Now, Government has provided their plan for expanding student accommodation in the country.
While he was presenting his Department's Budget Vote to Parliament, Higher Education Minister gave some insight into where the country stands with student accommodation and what is being done.
First, he said that they aim to finish their studies on their plan to create 14 000 student beds spread over six Universities in the country. This will form part of their Phase 1 developments and be done through the Student Housing Infrastructure Programme (SHIP).
The University of Fort Hare will complete the building of 1437 beds which costed R400 million. These will be located at the University's Alice campus.
Phase 1 SHIP developments enabled an investment of about R3.5 billion, including the DBSA commitment R1.6 billion debt funding for 12 000 student beds.
Phase2 will see 24 000 bed built and spread across 6 Universities and 6 TVET Colleges. These beds will be at campuses in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Western Cape, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Free State.
The construction of this batch of student accommodation is estimated to commence at the start of 2022.
At Nelson Mandela University, 200 students beds have already been finished at it's George Campus and a further 1800 is being built at it's Port Elizabeth Campus. They aim to complete this by December 2022.
At the University of the Western Cape, 1700 beds are being constructed and 2700 at North West University. These will be finished by the end of 2022.
5500 student beds are being planned for the University of Limpopo and Sefako Makgatho University.
These, the Minister said, "are at mature stages of funding and are due for construction shortly".