The North-West University (NWU) is set to be home to a new 1 728-bed facility on its Mahikeng campus – a project expected to be completed in the next two years.
The university recently conducted a site handover and briefed successful contractors on expectations ahead of the start of a two-year construction project. The NWU Mahikeng student housing project will comprise six student residence units with guard houses and recreational areas.
“It is the biggest project in the history of the university, so we will make sure that we stick to the programme and hand over the project on time,” said NWU contracts manager and principal agent Retha Kooij-Kok.
According to Kooij-Kok, the NWU will also keep a close eye on issues like quality by ensuring top-class workmanship through regular inspections, while keeping tabs on the allocated project funds to avoid overspending.
“Over the past five years, the North-West University, in partnership with the Department of Higher Education and Training, has identified the need for additional student housing in Mahikeng. We are happy to confirm that the minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, formally approved the continuation of this R463-million project on 30 June 2020,” Kooij-Kok said.
The university also received funding from the infrastructure and efficiency grant, National Treasury’s budget facility for infrastructure grant, and a Development Bank of SA loan. Currently, the NWU accredits off-campus accommodation providers to ensure suitable housing for its students.
Theo Seepamore, NWU student campus council chairperson, said the project will assist students to have decent accommodation. “Students will be able to use university facilities optimally. Most students want to stay on campus, but that has not been possible because of a shortage of beds on campus. This will also address the issue of students’ safety,” said Seepamore.
Nzimande earlier this year said the department’s student housing infrastructure programme (Ship) aims to develop large-scale student housing projects at universities and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges in the next decade. The goal of Ship is to provide 300 000 new beds at the 26 public universities and more than 40 TVET colleges