Durban - The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) signed a R90 million long term loan with the Durban University of Technology (DUT) on Tuesday to help with the construction of student accommodation.

“This new student village will create an additional 804 student beds, which will enable DUT to relocate students living off campus,” DBSA spokesman Jacky Mashapu said in a statement.

He said the backlog of “appropriate and affordable student accommodation” at the 22 contact universities around the country was estimated at about 195,815 and was estimated to cost around R82 billion.

“Supporting universities and other further education and training colleges to deliver social infrastructure, in the form of student accommodation, remains an important focus area for the DBSA,” said Mashapu.

Group executive for South Africa Financing Division at the DBSA, Tshokolo Petrus Nchocho, said the loan formed part of the bank's “strategy to modernise the administrative and learning facilities”, and to address the backlogs in student accommodation at contact universities in the country.

“We are pleased to be part of this intervention, which signifies the Bank's commitment to addressing on-campus student accommodation at our universities where only 20 percent of students are housed in secure, decent accommodation within walking distance to lecture halls and libraries,” said Nchocho.