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SONA 2020: More money for student housing

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A more direct impact on the property market will be seen in the government’s planned R64bn investment in student housing – an investment that will also leverage at least another R64b in private capital.

This, says Tony Clarke, managing director of Rawson Property Group will not only address the growing need for affordable student accommodation across South Africa; it should also trigger a sizeable resurgence in market activity, as well as stimulating the construction industry.

Ramaphosa spoke about the chronic need for accommodation for students, many of whom face serious accommodation challenges with some even resorting to sleeping in libraries.

John Schooling, director at student accommodation group STAG African, said ”it was wonderful initiative by the government and will go far in terms of addressing the student accommodation crisis.

“However, the devil is in the details – making the money available is a positive move, and will cover basically 50% of the cost of the current accommodation shortfall. The next step is figuring out how this will be implemented at a university level and how we are going to get the money allocated to buildings on the ground.”

University of Western Cape spokesperson Gasant Abarder agreed. “We welcome this but want to see the details of the rollout of the commitment before we comment further.”

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