Scores of students still in limbo.

Emergency accommodation is now full and no new applications are being accepted.

Last week Wits Central Accommodation Office made available 450 new places at Wits Waters and Esselen residences, but by Friday, March 9, all the places had been filled.

Student Representative Council (SRC) president Oridiretse Masebe told Wits Vuvuzela that he was aware that not all students who had applied for accommodation got accepted into either of the two residences. A number of criteria had to be met in order for students to qualify for the emergency accommodation, he said.

“The students who were prioritised are first year students because they are new to a foreign environment, [then] students from other provinces, and lastly Gauteng students who travel long distances to get to campus,” Masebe said.

Among the students who still hope to find accommodation are Katlego Moreku, a third-year Bachelor of Commerce student who resides in Pretoria. “I struggle with a place to stay when I have classes that end late on Thursdays and therefore have to either sleep at the library or ask for a sleepover at a friend’s place,” he said.

Second-year BA General student, Bafana Dlamini, who travels from Tembisa to campus daily, told Wits Vuvuzela that, “My latest classes end at 5pm and I cannot stay on campus after that because I have to catch taxis in town and Johannesburg is not safe, especially in the evenings. However, I am still awaiting a response for accommodation.”

According to the SRC president, “The exact figure of students who did not get accommodation is still being worked out. Currently, we are working closely with the senior executive team of the university to come up with alternative plans for accommodation for those who did not get responses for the two residences that have recently been opened.”

The accommodation office would not answer questions about the number of students that had applied for accommodation and referred Wits Vuvuzela to Karuna Singh, the senior programme advisor of the Wits Citizenship and Community Outreach. Singh had not responded by the time of publication.



FEATURED PHOTO: The Central Accommodation Office accommodated 450 students in emergency accommodation last week. Photo: Londell Phumi Ramalepe.