Home Article Government Opens New Residential Buildings Amidst Student Housing Crisis

Government Opens New Residential Buildings Amidst Student Housing Crisis


Government Launches New Residences Despite Student Housing Crisis

There are currently almost 400,000 fewer beds available for students than there are available beds in the South African public higher education system. The number of students pursuing higher education is significantly rising each year, and the supply simply cannot keep up with the rising demand. In an effort to address this situation, the Department of Higher Education has constructed several new housing facilities.

Thousands of students are without acceptable and inexpensive housing as a result of the housing crisis, which sparked numerous protests across the country at the beginning of the academic year. To address these issues, government inventions are now being developed. The construction of additional public and university-owned residential structures is one of these measures.

The Construction Of New Residential Structures

The opening of several new buildings at Walter Sisulu University (WSU) occurred last week under the direction of Dr. Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation. Students’ housing was one of these updated and new structures. More than 3,200 beds will be contributed by the department across all WSU campuses.

On Monday, Nzimande inaugurated a new residence on the Bellville campus of the University of the Western Cape (UWC). In a 2017 Budget Speech, UWC was promised the addition of the Unibell Student Accommodation facility, which has more than 2,600 beds.

Students can maintain a connection to their academic contexts, create possibilities for learning communities, and make use of university facilities and services by residing on campus or in close proximity to it.

Approximately 367,047 students are now residing in public university housing. There are about 335,387 students living in privately owned student housing units.

Possibly Required Government Intervention

The Department must work in collaboration with new and established big and small private student housing providers, development financing organizations, and commercial banks to alleviate the student housing crisis.

In 2016, the Student Housing Intervention Project (SHIP) was created as another effort to lessen this difficulty. As the need for student housing is greatest there, SHIP’s primary goal is to address the issues in rural and peri-urban areas first.

In a Parliamentary response, Nzimande states that the plan is in no way to reduce private student accommodation, but rather to strengthen the regulation of the student accommodation market by reviewing the 2015 Policy on Minimum Norms and Standards for Student Housing.

This comes after it was discovered that private housing providers were charging students exorbitant sums for little amenities in student housing. The government now has plans to regulate the market to guarantee that students, especially those receiving NSFAS funding, can locate secure, suitable, and reasonably priced housing while they are pursuing their studies.

This will be accomplished by a variety of interventions, such as the renovation of dilapidated buildings, the growth of the online learning industry, and collaboration with private housing providers. By 2030, the Department intends to build 300,000 beds, according to plans made public in March.

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