Construction begins on new UWC student residence
Cape Town - UWC has broken ground on the development of its new 2700 bed capacity student residence, the Unibell in the Belhar CBD precinct.
The R640million residence is 100m from the UWC Bellville campus and, according to the university, it would consist of a combination of unit-style and hotel-style residences with a general area for relaxation, communal kitchen spaces, laundry rooms, a gym, TV rooms, wi-fi and study facilities.
UWC spokesperson Harriet Box said the project was a collaboration between the government and the private sector. “UWC will assist in alleviating the national student accommodation crisis.”
Box said a virtual sod-turning ceremony of the proposed UWC Unibell student residence was broadcast to the university community and its stakeholders this week.
UWC rector and vice-chancellor Professor Tyrone Pretorius said it was a proud day for him and one of the most important infrastructure projects that the university had embarked on since he took office just over five years ago.
“It has been a passionate and vital project for us, because we know how far many of our students have to travel to attend university and how, at the beginning of each year, many are left in a quandary about where they will live,” Pretorius said.
Sasha-Lee Douglas student representative council president, said the residence would begin to address the need for student accommodation that was conducive to living and learning.
“This is especially important keeping in mind that the material conditions of our students have a direct impact on their academic progress. This is why it is important to have access to accommodation which is affordable, safe and has the facilities we need,” Douglas said.
Human Settlements MEC Tertius Simmers said the 2700-capacity Unibell student residence development was an example of what an integrated mixed development could look like.
Mayor Dan Plato said the City was proud to have contributed bulk services to the Belhar CBD precinct via an Urban Settlement Development Grant of R350million.
“The Belhar CBD is taking another step towards becoming a centre of opportunity for world-class education,” he said.