A NEW residence opening at Wits will enable students to “graduate into a higher level of campus living”.

This is the tag line in the brochure for the Wits Junction residence in Parktown, next to the Wits Education Campus.

“This is going to be the nuance of the university residences,” says Nazime Randera, acting manager of Wits Junction.

It is part of the university’s strategy to increase the residence stock to 6000 beds, especially increasing the number of postgraduate students registered with the university.

“This will be important in our endeavour to increase our capacity in terms of increasing our research output and enhancing the generation of new knowledge,” says Randera.

Most postgraduates are spread across three residences, namely West Campus Village, International House and Campus Lodge.

The name of the residence was derived from the idea that historically Johannesburg has always been a place where people from different countries, backgrounds and cultures have converged – the ‘Junction’ component of the name symbolises that idea.

Some of the attractions will be a gymnasium, a coffee/snack bar and a retail grocery store. There will also be generators on standby that will kick in during power failures.

Sidwel Saso, a master’s student from Kenya, says the residence sounds interesting. “This sounds like a place I could enjoy living in as a student…one needs all the help they can get you know,” he says.

Wits Junction will house 1209 students. The types of units available will be studio apartments, which are self contained and involve no sharing of any facilities, two bedroom-units sharing certain facilities, and three and four-bedroom units with the sharing of facilities such as showers, kitchens and bathrooms.

Felicia Ndzudzo, a first year PHD student from Zambia, says she would be interested in moving into the new residence. “This is a welcome development for us non-South Africans. The hotels around here can be pricey… This Wits Junction place will be good for us. I hope the services will match the high rents though,” she says.

The first phase of occupation starts on July 2 and 3.