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Students to move into new digs as early as January

Walter Sisulu University (WSU) students will start moving into the institution’s residence currently being built in Mthatha as early as January next year.

The first residence to be built at the university since the merger in 2005, the R40 million project comes at a time when older Mthatha residences are set to undergo much-needed renovations.

The funding for the new residence comes from the Infrastructure and Efficiency Funding of the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Students affected by the renovations are expected to be housed in the new decant residence, so that there is minimal displacement during the renovation process.

“Work is two months ahead of schedule and this means we can start moving students in as early as January. This new residence means the University can carry out these renovations to the existing residences efficiently, speedily and optimally,” says Head in the Infrastructure Projects Management Office Siya Mnyaiza.

An air of compelling excitement abounded as WSU together with contracted leading development and construction company, Stag Africa, unveiled the Nelson Mandela Drive Site’s first residence to be built since 1976 during a roof wetting ceremony recently.

This was a quality assurance exercise aimed at gauging progress made in the construction of the new building since work started in February earlier this year.

“Progress on this historical infrastructural milestone has been rapid. Though not yet completed, a ceremony of this nature signals that the building is habitable as is. This is a great achievement in this University’s context,” said Stag Africa’s Board Chairman, Prince Zolile Burns-Ncamashe.

Ncamashe said the residence was a clear indication of both the private and public sector’s prioritisation of the social conditions under which students, especially those from previously disadvantaged institutions, carry out their studies.

WSU Interim Vice Chancellor and Principal (IVC) Prof Khaya Mfenyana said the milestone displayed tangible progress and transformation taking place at the University in its endeavours to fulfil the deliverables of the Turnaround Strategy.

“Student life is permanently on the agenda of WSU because it’s a vital part of any institution’s teaching and learning aspirations. It’s no secret that conducive learning conditions are important in improving the pass and throughput rate of any institution. We trust this building will aid us in this regard,” said Mfenyana.

With procurement processes already taking shape, plans for the building of more residences to the tune of R90 million in the Buffalo City Campus will soon become reality. Work on this latest project is expected to begin next year.

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