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Government allocates R4.1bn for student housing

Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor says there has been a trend of landlords charging exorbitant prices to funded students, crippling the government purse.

FILE: Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The Higher Education Department says it’s implemented the student housing infrastructure programme, which will provide 200,000 student beds for universities and 100,000 beds for the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges over a period of 10 years.

Minister Naledi Pandor was responding to demands made the South African Union of Students, which has been leading the current shut down of campuses.

The government has allocated R4.1 billion for student housing.

Pandor says there has been a trend of landlords charging exorbitant prices to funded students, crippling the government purse.

“We encourage all efforts towards ensuring that efficient, affordable and safe student housing is available to students across the system. We do provide in their allowances for NSFAS funding to students amounts for accommodation off campus.”

Meanwhile, the Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) has set aside R160 million to fund students who want to further their studies in construction.

About 2,000 students at various universities and colleges across the country are set to benefit.

The higher education sector has been facing a funding crisis with a wave of protests hitting universities including Wits University, Durban University of Technology, Vaal University of Technology and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in recent weeks.

Additional reporting by Thando Kubheka.