According to market trends building student accommodation can amount to R360,000 – R440,000 per bed, making this one of the highest costs associated with student living.
Student accommodation group STAG African says the figure has resulted in billions of rand spent by government, as well as a shortfall of 300,000 beds at universities.
STAG chairman, John Schooling believes the company can reduce the expense to R185,000 per bed and eventually achieve the building of student accommodation at zero costs to government, by acquiring international funding.
Schooling says the company's solution is proving a success outside of South Africa.
In other African countries, they take it so seriously that the president gets involved.— John Schooling, Chairman of STAG African
We are welcomed with the solution and so at the moment in one southern African country we are going to be able to build 12,000 beds at no capital cost to either university or the state and we are using grant funding.— John Schooling, Chairman of STAG African
He says the Department of Higher Education has however refused to consider it's proposal.
I am afraid to say that for five years our department has been trying to address the Department of Education and Higher Training, and to a large extent there has been massive gate keeping.— John Schooling, Chairman of STAG African
A frustrated Schooling insists that universities, students, government and the private sector need to work together in order to resolve the shortage of beds at institutions.
Click below to listen to the full interview...
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'We have the solution to the student accommodation crisis but gov wont listen'