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MMC raises concerns on student accommodation


Johannesburg – City of Joburg Development Planning MMC Lawrence Khoza has emphasised the need to attend to the outcry of young people at institutions of higher learning, and stressed on playing more of a regulatory and facilitation role.

“The City has to create the regulatory and policy spaces to provide affordable, accessible and inclusive accommodation within areas that are identified as economic nodes. There are chronic student accommodation shortages as student numbers continue to rise,” Khoza said.

According to student accommodation developer STAG Africa founder John Schooling, it would take 10 to 20 years at a cost of R150 billion to deal with the shortfall.

“Universities, technical and vocational education and training colleges do not have sufficient resources to provide the units required to deal with the shortfall. Numerous studies have estimated that there is a shortfall of more than 300 000 beds at our universities, and over 200 000 at technical and vocational educational and training colleges,” Schooling said.

Khoza said it is important to attract capital from the private sector.

“Through the release of land, expropriated buildings and incentives the City seeks to create opportunities for developers to play in the student accommodation space,” Khoza said.

According to the Ministerial Committee for the Review of the Provision of Student Housing at SA universities, proper student accommodation is an important element in student performance.

“This should therefore advise the different departments and entities as we execute the programmes that have been formulated as part of the student accommodation programme,” Khoza said.