A R300-million property development is currently under construction, five kilometres west of the Pretoria CBD in Pretoria Garden, financed by Futuregrowth, a division of the Old Mutual Group.
Intended specifically for student accommodation this is regarded as a major investment in the area. Director Cornelius Mokone of Junction-S, the student housing provider behind the development, says that the Ekhaya Junction student village will provide not only affordable accommodation, but it will have all the necessary facilities students need for a study-friendly environment and academic success..
“As a private sector provider of student housing in Gauteng, we are able to offer this facility that is ideally situated for students attending the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). We are confident that this will go a long way in addressing the student housing shortage in Pretoria,” says Mokone. “An investment of this nature should be seen in light of the higher education ministerial committee’s call for universities to enter into partnerships with the private sector to address shortages in student accommodation and build student villages in metropolitan areas.” he says
The Report on the Ministerial Committee for the Review of the Provision of Student Housing released in September 2011 identified that nationally, there is a need for in excess of 207 800 student beds. This represents an investment of R109-billion required over the next 15 years, opening the doors for the private sector to become involved in providing quality student accommodation.
These large student complexes are intended to promote the pursuit of academic excellence; expose students to people from all walks of life and help build social networks and lifelong friends. “In effect students will be able to enjoy an environment that is geared for growth and learning,” says Mokone.
Within walking distance of the Tshwane University of Technology, Ekhaya Junction is an innovative four-phase project that will house 2300 students when completed at the end of 2014. The first phase will accommodate 522 students and will be ready for occupation by December 2012 in time for the 2013 January student intake. Another 324 beds will be available for the 2013 July intake when phase two comes on stream.
Every effort has been made to ensure the village feels like a home away from home. Free Wi-Fi, study rooms, convenience store kiosks, a games room, eco-friendly water heat-pumps, laundry facilities, daily cleaning and maintenance and 24-hour security are some of the amenities provided.
“Because we understand the pressures during exam time, there will be a student support programme to assist students through these stressful times. Needless to say social media will play an important role in networking and communication between management and the students,” he says.
Similar to a townhouse complex, there will be a choice of two- and six-bed units with communal kitchens. Accommodation is provided both in shared and single rooms.
The project is being undertaken by Junction-S, a joint venture between Citiq, Jika Properties and Lapalaka Developments. Junction-S is a Gauteng based provider of student housing that services the University of Johannesburg, the University of the Witwatersrand and now the Tshwane University of Technology. The development is being financed by Futuregrowth, a division of the Old Mutual Group.