Students who have been squatting on campus and in libraries have finally been placed in permanent accommodation.
The #AccessCampaign has delegated some of the funds that it has raised in assisting and providing accommodation at Dunwell properties, Jorrisen Street, to students that cannot afford it.
The students include National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) students and students who merely could not afford accommodation and slept in libraries on campus.
According to Fasiha Hassan, the secretary general for the Student Representative Council (SRC), the campaign is assisting NSFAS students who cannot afford to pay the top-up amount, as some NSFAS bursaries pay the greatest portion of the accommodation fees and ask the students to pay the other portion. Those that cannot afford it are now being helped by the campaign.
For students who cannot afford accommodation among other things such as food and health care, and slept on campus as their only option, have now been allocated to Dunwell properties – having their own room for the first time this year.
Shahida Baderoodien, head of marketing at Dunwell Properties said that Dunwell is accommodating 208 NSFAS students and 70 students who were unable to afford accommodation and do not have a NSFAS bursary. For the 208 students, the #AccessCampaign paid the top-up amount and for the other 70 students it paid the full amount.
When asked how long the students will be able to stay at Dunwell Properties, Hassan says that they are “still negotiating” with Dunwell Properties to include it on the accredited list of accommodation for Wits students. South Point Central, Braamfontein, is one of the accredited university accommodation but it is currently full and can no longer assist, specifically NSFAS, students. These students are also being accommodated by Dunwell Properties.
Hassan said that the SRC is still working on a permanent solution to the problem as there is “not enough funding available to fund everyone,” but in the meantime, this is a small victory for the #AccessCampaign.