11 December 2019 - NW1656
King, Ms C to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology
What (a) amount was budgeted for the Ibika Campus of the Walter Sisulu University for student accommodation in the 2017-18 financial year and (b) is the status of accommodation for students at the specified campus in Butterworth?
a) The Department of Higher Education and Training allocated an amount of R100 million to Walter Sisulu University (WSU) during the fourth Infrastructure and Efficiency Grant funding cycle (2015/16 to 2017/18). Allocations were given for infrastructure projects on the Queenstown, Ibika-Butterworth and Nelson Mandela Drive Campuses. R82 million was budgeted for the construction of a new 200-bed student residence at the Ibika Campus. However, due to the dire shortage of student beds at the Ibika Campus, WSU made the decision to utilise the available funds as equity to raise additional funding through a loan from the Development Bank of Southern Africa to support the development of a 500-bed student residence. The new 500-bed student residence project is currently in the planning stage and will commence once the funds have been confirmed, and all processes have been finalised.
b) The total student population at the Ibika Campus is 6 586 students. The University has 898 beds on the campus and 1 976 accredited off campus private accommodation beds. Most of the unaccredited private accommodation in the area does not meet the Department’s Minimum Norms and Standards for student housing at public universities.