'I would like to correct the misunderstanding' - Pandor gives university housing facts

2019-02-15 18:44
Naledi Pandor (Daily Sun)

Naledi Pandor (Daily Sun)

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Minister of Higher Education Naledi Pandor says her department is working hard to resolve the current student accommodation crisis at universities.

In a statement issued after a meeting with SRC presidents, the South African Union of Students (SAUS), the CEO of Universities South Africa (USAf) and the administrator of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), Pandor said her department was committed to tackling the issues raised at the meeting.

"I would like to correct the misunderstanding that I do not take seriously the matters that students have raised with me. That is not the case," she said.

Students at some universities have been protesting since the beginning of registration periods at their respective institutions and their grievances have included a demand to scrap historical debt and academic exclusion.

One student, Mlungisi Madonsela, was shot and killed at Durban University of Technology (DUT) after security personnel and students clashed two weeks ago.

Student accommodation has been in sharp focus during this year's university opening season.

Social housing 

This week two buses were torched and the administration block stoned at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and some students built shacks on campus to highlight the accommodation issue.

"Addressing student accommodation is a priority of government through support from the Infrastructure and Efficiency Grant (IEG) for student accommodation and other infrastructure projects," Pandor said.   

She revealed that R4.1bn had been allocated for student housing from 2015/16 to 2020/21.

"The department is also working with the departments of human settlements and public works to explore options for off-campus social housing. A range of private developers are also developing properties in the vicinities of our universities." 

Over the next three years, 18 221 new beds will be provided, Pandor said.

The institutions involved are: Nelson Mandela University (2 000 beds), University of the Western Cape (2 680 beds), North West University Mafikeng (1 760 beds), Sefako Makgatho University (2 000 beds), University of Fort Hare (1 437 beds), University of Limpopo (3 008 beds), University of Zululand (3 500 beds) and Vaal University of Technology (1 836 beds).

Read more on:    naledi pandor  |  education
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