Students residing at Nelmay Court are unhappy about the poor living conditions on the premises

Two Wits students are accusing Nelmay Court, a student accommodation building in Braamfontein managed by Dunwell Properties, of renting out shabby housing. The students are Nonhle Mhlungu a first-year Bachelor of Science student, and another who wished to remain anonymous.

Mhlungu said she was desperately looking for accommodation in March this year when she approached Dunwell Properties.
She moved in on Monday, March 18, and moved out just hours later.

A Dunwell Properties representative took her to one of the firm’s showrooms in Nelmay Court, Mhlungu said, and upon viewing the room she agreed to live on the property.
“I was told all the rooms look like the showroom; hence I was not worried about the living situation,” Mhlungu told Wits Vuvuzela.

In the first room she was allocated, she said, “there was mould all over the bathroom and the shower was flooded when I arrived”.
She rejected that room and was allocated another. In this room “the windows were broken and there was an open patch of cement on the wall”, Mhlungu said.
“The kitchen drawers were falling apart and corridors that lead to the fire escape had no doors,” she said.

The architectural consultant for Dunwell Properties, Quinton Snaith, told Wits Vuvuzela he did not hesitate to respond to Mhlungu’s allegations.
“Those were the last rooms available in the building,” Snaith said.

“They are not up to standard because they are unoccupied and we get the rooms ready room by room, so that by the end of the year they are ready to live in.”
The anonymous source has been living at Nelmay for two years and said doing laundry was a hassle.

“There is no laundry room,” she said. “I wash my clothes in the bathtub, then I dry them outside on my balcony.”
She told Wits Vuvuzela there was also an infestation of rats, which made it hard to live there.

“I have lost so much of my food,” she said,
“I have to continuously buy new things and try to hide them where the rats cannot reach. This is hard for me.”The anonymous student also complained about the quality of water at the flat.
“The water is brown and rusty and it makes it hard to bath in or drink,” she said.

She also said she kept bottles “to fetch clean water to drink on campus”.
In response, Snaith said the building was fumigated on Tuesday, March 27.
He also said rat traps had been set early in January and February and “steps are being taken to fix the rooms”

FEATURED IMAGE: The corridor leading to the fire escape where the door is non-existent. Photo: Lwandile Shange