By Leslie Bank, Mark Paterson and Jean-Paul Addie
Beds, it would seem from a cursory reading of the South African business press, are a major issue at the moment after the government announced that a staggering additional 300 000 of them were required to accommodate the nation’s students.
In response, the Department of Higher Education and Training has called for private-sector support to plug the gap. Investors are being wooed by the government-backed Development Bank of South Africa to finance the provision of 3 000 student beds, while a further 18 000 have been targeted by accommodation provider South Point, which is owned by another government agency, the Public Investment Corporation. For its part, the department has also pledged R6 billion in grants to seven universities under a pilot programme to provide 30 000 new on-campus beds.
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