South Point is set to communicate their 2019 rental increment with students before December
South Point management has refuted claims by the Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) that it intends to increase the 2019 rental prices by 15%.

South Point spokesperson Nyiko Chauke told Wits Vuvuzela that they haven’t begun discussions regarding how much the prices for accommodation will increase by in 2019. He said current students who will be returning to South Point next year will know before December about the increment.

“We can’t afford not to increase our rental rates for next year. Everything this year went up, this includes electricity, water, rates and taxes,” Chauke said.

The spokesperson added that students are being misled by political parties because the country is operating in an atmosphere influenced by the build-up to the 2019 national elections and the Wits SRC elections.

“Political voices are using social media to spread fake news, cause outrage and issue false statements to get the attention of students,” he said.

On Tuesday, September 18, Wits students who reside at South Point and Wits SRC members took to the streets of Braamfontein demanding that South Point management decrease their rental rates instead of increasing them.

Wits SRC spokesperson Sandla Mtotywa told Wits Vuvuzela that students are already struggling to pay their monthly rental and that a price increase might not allow for some students to return to university next year.

“South Point rental prices increase every year yet their services remain the same if not decreasing. South Point is pushing propaganda to scare students not to go to the streets and demand what is rightfully theirs,” Mtotywa said.

“We pay exorbitant prices to get services but we are not getting up to standard services. Students don’t even get uncapped WiFi yet students are paying more than Wits res prices. It doesn’t make sense and it needs to change now before the 2019 academic year,” he added.

Chauke said students who are not satisfied with South Point services or have any problem at their residences are welcome to raise them with management.

Sharon Phaladi, a Wits student who stays at South Point, Blackburn House, said that there are possibilities that she won’t return to university next year as her parents are already struggling to pay for her residence and tuition fees.

“I’m working very hard so that I can get a bursary to continue with my studies next year, I have also applied for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. This year prices for everything went up and I can feel it because it’s affected me. Now South Point want to increase rental rates too so it’s going to be very tough on me,” the 20-year-old said.

According to the South Point website, a single room costs R4 500 per month while a double room cost R3 750 per month. A room shared by three students costs R3 200 per student per month. Students are also required to pay a registration fee of R1 100 and a refundable deposit which is equal to a month’s rent.

The Wits SRC hopes to meet with South Point management before the end of this week to discuss all rental issues related to 2019 academic year.

FEATURED IMAGE: Wits students protest against South Point’s rumoured 15% rental increment for 2019. Photo: Takalani Sioga