19 September 2018


University student Motshwaedi finds accommodation

by: Nthusang Lefafa   date: 25 May 2018

After Semphete published a story on his plight in last week’s edition, a final year BCom Management student at the North West University’s (NWU) Mahikeng Campus has finally found a safe place to stay.
Gakenatshepo Motshwaedi from Tlhakgameng had braved the winter cold to stand on Ngaka Modiri Molema Road, begging for a place to sleep with a board that communicated his need. 
But now the NWU has managed to find a vacant room for him at their Dr James Moroka Residence on the Mahikeng Campus.
Mahikeng community members read about his plight on social media where they shared the post, some even called to offer him accommodation. This is when the university managed to hear about the student and the problems he faced.
“I am very happy to have found accommodation and a place where I can study. The university residence is an ideal place for me to stay because I have access to libraries and the internet. This is a huge relief for me because I can now concentrate on my studies and complete my degree. I would like to thank North West FM and Semphete newspaper for sharing my story with the public,” Motshwaedi said in an interview this week. 
NWU Spokesperson, Christopher Motabogi told Semphete that there is a huge demand for student accommodation and the university tries to assist where it can. 
“The university is pleased that we were in a position to assist the learner. We are working with the homeowners and various service providers to provide accommodation that can meet the needs of tertiary students. We are currently refurbishing the old Mmabatho Tusk Hotel and by 2019 we will be able to accommodate about 900 learners,” Motabogi said.
Motshwaedi was squatting with a friend in Motlhabeng Village from the beginning of the year until the landlord decided that he has leave the premises because no prior arrangement had been made. He said being homeless had affected his studies. 
“I used to stay with a friend who attends school at Mmabatho High but then the landlord said I should leave his place because he does not know me. The situation affected my studies because the time I spent on the streets could have been used study purposes. 
“My mother is a single parent and I have three other siblings at home. My family is dependent on social grants that are provided by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) which made my situation complicated,” he said. 
Motshwaedi said he went to the bursary office of the NWU Mahikeng Campus to seek an alternative solution to his problem where he was finally assisted a week later.