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Witwaters building to re-open as accommodation for Wits students

After a video emerged of some Wits students sleeping in libraries, students took to the streets calling for the university to assist.

Wits University SRC leaders disrupted classes, calling on other students to demonstrate with them as they called for an end to the accommodation crisis at the institution on 4 March 2020. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Student leaders at Wits University said the Witwaters building, which belongs to the Gauteng Provincial Government, would be re-opening to accommodate students who had no place to stay.

On Wednesday academic activities were interrupted as students protested, calling for the institution to assist over 200 students who were without accommodation.

After a video emerged of some students at Wits sleeping in libraries, students took to the streets calling for the university to assist.

It has been reported that over 200 students are in desperate need of accommodation.

The SRC said it had been in talks with Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku and had come to an agreement to re-open the Witwaters building.

This building will provide registered students with accommodation.

Meanwhile, Wits University said that to date 920 students had been assisted with accommodation in the following ways:

• Referrals of first years who applied for NSFAS to Wits residences;

• Allocation of R10,000 deposits to students with res offers;

• Placement of students through the Hardship Fund at Southpoint;

• Placement of students at service providers in sponsored beds; and

• Assistance with top-ups for students with NSFAS to secure accommodation at Southpoint.