Imperfect end for Parkview coffee shop

There will be no more ‘perfect’ cups of coffee for residents of The Parks as café closes its doors.

Closed café will be replaced by a grab-and-go from a trailer. Photo: Aphelele Mbokotho

The Perfect Cup coffee shop did not open for business on Tuesday, May 2, as the rental increases had become more than the owners could afford to pay.

After three years of operating, customers were welcomed by a notice posted on the Parkview café ‘s door. Owner Michelle Dancer mentioned building renovations and rising costs as the biggest factors in closing.

Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela, Dancer said because of the building renovations she had lost customers because of all the noise that was happening around the shop. This added negative impact came as the business was still recovering from the covid-19 lockdown.

“Our biggest issue was that we could no longer afford paying rent because it had increased from R35 000 when we first opened in 2019 to R50 000 a month, and the landlord did not want to negotiate”.

Dancer is planning to run a grab-and-go from a trailer. That will see the business only keeping four permanent staff, and letting go of three contractual ones.

Vimbai Mamgoya, one of the workers that will be kept, told Wits Vuvuzela, “[The shutdown of the business] affects us but there’s nothing that can be done because of rental [costs], but I hope Michelle will help the others find jobs.”

Lara Venter, a regular at the coffee shop said that she was sad that it was closing. “They had affordable good food and coffee. Michelle and the staff were kind and warm and it was very comfy inside the shop.”

Businesstech reported in January that more than 1 900 business had shut down because of the rising costs and loadshedding. This week, The Perfect Cup joined those businesses.

FEATURED IMAGE: The Perfect Cup coffee shop has shut its doors because of rising costs. Photo: Aphelele Mbokotho


Parktown residence to open doors

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.