THE NIGHTMARES OF FINDING STUDENT ACCOMMODATION
By: Nokwazi Qumbisa
With the semester ending, students are getting ready to go home, some are still hopping from one flat to the other.
Type on Google for ‘student accommodation in Durban’ and the amount of houses that you’re flooded with make you get amped with excitement, as you feel as that your new ‘home’ could be any of the flats here.
But all that is half lived, you first get disappointed by where these flat are situated, then comes the prices and last but certainly not least comes the actual flat. With a budget of just R1300, all of a sudden finding the place you had already envisioned seems far too ridiculous.
So you look for the cheapest place, that just by campus, but as Nikiwe knows, cheapest places might help you save a few hundreds rands but that certainly doesn’t include safety nor does that guarantee that you’ll have your own room.
“The last place where I stayed, we shared a room with 8 other students. And just before you think that’s bad, some students had to share a room with 12 other students. All were sleeping on a bunk bed, with no privacy what so ever. When you thought things couldn’t get any worse, boys could just walk into the room while you’re getting dressed. All you had to depend on was on which security would be on guard, as some security guards were stricter than others. ” she said
In other cases, students are forced to sleep in the same bed with strangers and live in the most horrid places ever. That was the case for Nana Ndlovu from Empangeni who is studying Land Surveying at Mangosuthu University of Technology. She also had to find herself a place to stay since she wasn’t able to secure a place at her institution’s student accommodation.
“Not being able to find a res was horrible . I struggled to find a place to stay. Eventually in the place I found, I had to stay with 6 other students. And by that I mean we had to share a double bed. It was so different from what I was used to, being a 1st year and all,” said Ndlovu.
“As a result having moved to that place, which was only R350 and very close to my campus, the problem which they encountered was the fact that the room was already infested with rats and they didn’t have a toilet of their own so they had to share a toilet with others” she added.
“The place was infested with rats, I had to use a toilet that other community members.We ended up having to stop cooking as we were feeding the rats. They wouldn’t get to eat that very food. The area wasn’t safe and we’d worry about their clothes being stolen” she said.
Ayabonga Johannes, from the Eastern Cape also had the same problem. She regards her’s as worse. She struggled to find a place to stay but eventually found one by St George’s. “Well the place itself is very dangerous and busy at all times. The many clubs there were a distraction. The flat was R850 and it was the only flat I could find at the time for that price. Four shared a room and it was fairly safe. I only stayed there from Feb to March,” Johannes.