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Presidency to prioritise development of student accommodation

Students have been demanding more spaces in student accommodation, with some allegedly resorting to sleeping in public areas, such as libraries.

FILE: A group of University of Cape Town (UCT) students erected a shack on campus during a protest over accommodation on 15 February 2016. Picture: Natalie Malgas/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Presidency says the building of new student accommodation and refurbishment of old student housing will be prioritised, with a particular focus on historically black tertiary institutions.

Students have been demanding more spaces in student accommodation, with some allegedly resorting to sleeping in public areas, such as libraries.

The Higher Education and Training Department's Gwebinkundla Qonde explains: “The president has looked and scrutinised the recommendations of the commission. He had to take certain considerations to ensure there are sustainability and proper funding for post-school education and training.”

In a statement issued on Saturday morning, the Presidency announced there would be no tuition fee increment for students from households earning up to R600,000 a year during the 2018 academic year.

Government will also increase subsidies for higher education after receiving the Heher Fees Commission report.

On 14 January 2016, the president established a commission of inquiry into higher education and training in order to best inform government’s decision-making process in pursuit of a sustainable solution to the ongoing higher education and training challenges.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)