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Monday Sep 15, 2014

Tshwane developments set to ease students' housing woes

With students flocking to the capital city to enrol at various tertiary institutions, affordable accommodation to meet students' needs is in growing demand.

Duncan Court is under construction in the student hub of Hatfield.

One of the developments aiming to meet these needs is Duncan Court which is under construction in Hatfield, the heart of the city's 'student land'.

Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa formally launched the Duncan Court development last week.

It aims to put a major dent in the deficit in accommodation students studying at the University of Pretoria and other colleges experience.

Overcrowding and a shortage of student housing were noted during a visit to various universities by Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande who commissioned research into the matter.

The research also noted a backlog in maintenance and refurbishment based on university estimates. This resulted in a backlog of about 200 000 beds in 2010.

During the ceremony last week, Ramokgopa said the city welcomed such developments as the project also meant that temporary employment and skills development would be provided to those in need.

Ramokgopa said buildings closer to the new modes of public transport would mean people would use their cars less, thus reducing the city's carbon footprint.

'Increasing the infrastructure in the city will mean more people, more rates and more money the city will have to invest in developing what still needs work on,' the mayor said.

'We're talking with the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and UP about ensuring more student accommodation is looked into.

'You have students being exploited while trying to find accommodation in Sunnyside and other areas, so we're curbing this by making sure they get reasonable rates with such developments,' said Ramokgopa.

The media liaison officer for Tukkies, Sanku Tsunke, said the university currently had 8 000 students in residences. The medical campus had 721 beds and the new additions to the medical campus would offer 300 new beds, raising the total to 1 021.

Situated in Park Street, Duncan Court is within walking distance of the Hatfield Gautrain station.

Costa Zervas, chief executive of Costa Zervas Projects, which is undertaking the Duncan Court development, said although still under construction, they had already sold 240 units over the past 18 months.

Numerous smaller-scale private accommodation developments targeting the student market already exist in Park Street, providing future Duncan Court residents with an existing student residential hub.

'The space is ideal for investors, parents looking to provide their children with safe and reliable accommodation and young professionals working in the area. It is also ideally placed to public modes of transport like the Gautrain station and the new A re Yeng bus services which are also under construction, so it's a win-win for would-be owners,' said Zervas.

The building will house a restaurant and coffee shop and a possible conference floor, and to make it more friendly, a roof garden will be included. The nine-storey building will have a total of 920 units.

Pretoria News

    
 

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