DUT students to get 800 new rooms

2014-06-27 00:00

THE Durban University of Technology (DUT) is extending its Steve Biko campus to provide 800 students with a place to sleep.

Alan Khan, the DUT’s senior director of corporate affairs, said the construction — funded by a R90 million loan from the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) — was expected to be completed in March next year.

The two four-storey blocks are situated at the eastern end of the Steve Biko campus, next to two existing student residences.

On Wednesday, the South African government news agency, SAnews, reported that there was a backlog of student accommodation estimated at 195 815 beds countrywide.

Meeting this need nationally would cost an estimated R82 billion.

The agency said the new buildings at DUT will enable the relocation of students residing off the campus.

Tshokolo Nchocho, DBSA’s group executive for South Africa in the financing division, was quoted saying they were supporting universities and further education and training colleges (FETs) to deliver student accommodation.

Nchocho said the loan facility formed part of the bank’s strategy to modernise the administrative and learning facilities, as well as addressing significant backlogs in student accommodation.

“We are pleased to be part of this intervention, which signifies the bank’s commitment to addressing on-campus student accommodation at our universities, where only 20% of students are housed in secure, decent accommodation within walking distance to lecture halls and libraries,” he said.

Jethro Leferve, the Ward 31 DA councillor, said although people in the area were student-oriented, the university still had to ensure that rules are obeyed.

“The expansion is not a surprise because the university is building on its land.

“There used to be high level of noise in the area but that has since stopped.

“We only hope the university will enforce discipline to keep everyone happy,” said Leferve.

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