New student housing costs laid bare with pricing starting from R3 500

Johannesburg – The true cost of student accommodation was laid bare as Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) opened doors to its first batch of students on Wednesday.

A single room will cost R4 100, a double room at R3 700 while four sharing pay R3 500 each.

Established by the City of Johannesburg in 2014, with a mandate to provide and manage affordable rental housing for the lower-income market, the organisation said the initiative was taken as students have found themselves in a compromising position due to lack of affordable accommodation and bed capacity at higher education facilities.

Nontobeko Ndimande, Joshco’s chief financial officer, said 183 beds became available at Wolmarans Street in Braamfontein.

She said their second targeted building for student accommodation will also be in the inner city.

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“In due course, we will roll out more projects within the following precincts: Braamfontein, Doornfontein, Auckland bank, inner city and Soweto and any other areas that are within 25 km radius of institutions Wits, University of Johannesburg, Central Johannesburg College and other TVET colleges around the area inclusive of Unisa students who reside in the city of Johannesburg,” she said.

NSFAS students will be eligible to pay using methods of payment approved by NSFAS and banking association. According to Respublica, a student accommodation firm, the average rental cost (calculated across numerous Pretoria residences offering single and shared accommodation) is R4 210.45 a month, but once extras are taken into consideration, this can easily rise to R5 731.36.

There are about 7 000 beds being developed by the private developers, which will be delivered to the market in the next 2-3 years. Most of the Student Housing Infrastructure Programme projects currently planned (about 35 000 beds) are earmarked for universities, with about 3 000 beds allocated to TVET colleges.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) recently invested R150-million in Eris Property to help the company develop and operate accommodation for up to 15 000 students over the next five years.

“This investment will improve student proximity to universities, improve student safety, and provide a more conducive learning environment,” said Adamou Labara, IFC’s country manager for SA.

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