A further R1.1 billion has been allocated to build additional accommodation at 17 institutions of higher learning across the country.
Minister of Higher Education and Training Naledi Pandor said the funds have been allocated from the Infrastructure and Efficiency Grant.
“This amount complements the R1 billion that was released to 14 universities for student housing in March 2017. As a result of this significant government investment, all universities are either busy constructing student housing or have funds to start new construction projects in 2018,” Minister Pandor said.
In addition, the department is working with some institutions to facilitate options to build on a larger scale over a longer period through the Student Housing Infrastructure Programme (SHIP).
Minister Pandor said her department recognises the need for the provision of sufficient, dignified and affordable student accommodation across the higher education sectors, as raised by the students on number of occasions.
She said government will continue to invest in accelerating the construction of affordable student accommodation.
“The huge investment we are making in living and learning environments that are supportive of student success, is a clear indication of our commitment,” Minister Pandor said.
The Minister also called on students to express their activism by respecting and maintaining the existing facilities and accommodation while legitimately lobbying for improved accommodation.
The government has invested a total of over R 16 billion in the past 13 years in the development and building of student accommodation, as well as establishing the two new universities in the Mpumalanga and Northern Cape provinces.