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The city of Johannesburg, through its social housing entity JOSHCO, is revamping dilapidated and old buildings in the inner city and converting them into affordable flats earmarked for low cost-student rental market. After 17 years of providing and managing social and affordable rental accommodation to the lower-income market, JOSHCO is now responding to the call to deliver accommodation for students.
Member of the Mayoral Committee MMC for Housing in the City of Joburg, Councillor Mlungisi Mabaso, officially unveiled the first student accommodation project by the Johannesburg Social Housing Company, JOSHCO recently, at 16 Wolmarans Street in Braamfontein. He was accompanied by the Chairperson of the JOSHCO board, Theodore Dhlamini, Ward Councillor Nokuthula Xaba, JOSHCO senior executives and Board Members.
The building is on the corner of Simmonds and Wolmarans, Johannesburg inner city, and is close to amenities, the University of Witwatersrand, and other higher education institutions within the precinct and public transport nodes.
It has 89 units comprising studio units with shared facilities, bachelor units, one-bedroomed and two-bedroomed units. Rentals are between R3 500 and R4 100 a month and the building has free Wi-Fi.
The project is aimed at housing students from institutions of higher learning in Johannesburg, which include Wits University, University of Johannesburg and Rosebank College, to name a few. MMC Mabaso stated that the city plans to ramp up its supply of units dedicated to student accommodation. “The Government of Local Unity cares and responds to the demand for student accommodation. We have more than 20 institutions of higher learning and the target is to provide 5 000 beds for over the next three years.”
“When we took office December 2019, one of the objectives that I mandated to the Board and the executive of JOSHCO, was to acquire a building and convert it into a student accommodation and indeed they headed to the call. I then charged all officials with the responsibility to expand the mandate of the entity to include the provision for students’ accommodation and indeed they responded positive” he concluded.
One of the students’ ambassadors, Andile Kwezi, a 19-year-old University of Johannesburg student, mentioned, “we are very happy with this building and it has been a pleasure to be involved from the beginning. The building is safe, secure and very close to our university and major transport nodes. The name of our building is called Dakalo Court (which means happiness) and we are indeed very happy,” she said.
JOSHCO’s aims to develop a student precinct that offers a safe, sound security and technologically enabled environment based on the smart city approach. Biometric access controls will secure the safety of student community.
The primary goals that JOSHCO has in providing student accommodation include enhancing and facilitating the living and learning experience of students within a diverse student community and to contribute to the academic success for the previously disadvantaged by improving commute time and living conditions.
The second targeted building for student accommodation will also be in the inner city. JOSHCO has secured relations with the University in Johannesburg and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.
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