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Tuesday Sep 25, 2018

Accommodation woes

As matrics prepare for their final exams, which could ultimately produce an estimated 800000 university students, a sizeable chunk will be looking for accommodation.

Normally a nationwide scramble for accommodation ensues, which pushes up property prices and rental accommodation.

Seeff group chairman Samuel Seeff said property buyers were willing to pay a premium of 20% to 40% more for a property close to a good school or university.

The managing director for Seeff Southern Suburbs, James Lewis, said UCT added to the attraction of Rondebosch, where one could expect to pay around R8million to R12m for a family house, and R5m to R15m in Newlands.

Stellenbosch University spokesperson Martin Viljoen said although the increase in demand would normally spell an increase in accommodation prices, private accommodation across South Africa was taking note of National Student Financial Aid Scheme accommodation prices and were aligning their rental accordingly.

The university does not price accommodation based on demand. The challenges remain very much the same as for this year, accommodating enough students. This remains a national challenge, too. We have, however, reason to believe the public transport system is improving, which will alleviate the housing challenge.

The answer is also not necessarily just adding more residences. In this regard the university has developed innovative spaces, or hubs, where students who live in private accommodation can interact with residential students and have facilities to study, form discussion groups or relax in between lectures, said Viljoen.

CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley said that each year, staff worked around the clock to source alternative accommodation for squatting students in the interests of their own safety.

Student squatting crops up as an issue each year. There is no university in the world that is able to accommodate every student who wants campus accommodation.

Year after year students arrive at the institution without having residence placement or securing private accommodation.
CPUT has rolled out an initiative that accredits private accommodation within the vicinity of our campuses. This is one way of ensuring that students are staying in safe and secure surrounds, said Kansley.

The accommodation situation often resulted in students with good results, who had been accepted at the institute, forfeiting their places because they were unable to secure accommodation.

Kansley advised pupils to apply on time for accommodation and consider privately leased accommodation if they were unsuccessful.

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