Department of higher education & training has partnered with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to establish the student housing infrastructure programme (Ship) to centrally facilitate the construction of these facilities in a bid to address the shortage of student accommodation.
Minister Blade Nzimande stated that the programme will also accelerate the development of at least 300,000 beds over a 10-year period, adding that the department had completed feasibility studies for about 14,000 student beds as part of the Ship phase 1 developments, spread over six public universities.
He said: “This will help provide the much-needed student housing infrastructure in our 26 public universities and 50 TVET [Technical Vocational Education & Training] colleges. University of Fort Hare has recently been completed and is one of the first institutions supported through the Ship phase 1 programme in the construction of their state-of-the-art student housing and student centre. As part of its 2,000 student beds development, Nelson Mandela University also completed 200 beds for its George campus and is currently constructing 1,800 student beds at its main campus in Port Elizabeth, which is expected to be completed in December 2022.”
According to the minister, the University of North West was adding 2,700 beds and the University of the Western Cape was adding 1,700, with construction expected to be completed by the end of next year.
“There are an additional 5,500 student beds included in the Ship phase 1 developments targeted for University of Limpopo and Sefako Makgatho University, which are at mature stages of funding and due to start construction shortly. The phase 1 Ship developments enabled an investment of about R3.5bn, including the DBSA commitment of R1.6bn debt funding for 12,000 student beds,” Nzimande said.