Varsities sell World Cup

UP IN ARMS: Students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's, Howard campus are boycotting lectures over the lack of accommodation, while the institution is undergoing refurbishments for World Cup tourists. Pic: Thuli Dlamini. Circa April 2010. © Sowetan
UP IN ARMS: Students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's, Howard campus are boycotting lectures over the lack of accommodation, while the institution is undergoing refurbishments for World Cup tourists. Pic: Thuli Dlamini. Circa April 2010. © Sowetan

THE ongoing strike at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has done little to stop major refurbishments taking place at the campus to accommodate tourists for the World Cup.

The R20million upgrade, whichwill be completed next month, will see more than 12000 soccer fans being accommodated in both single and double rooms with about 8000 beds.

Ironically, students are boycotting lectures complaining about a lack of accommodation.

According to Reggie Govender, chief executive of the university's innovation, more than 7500 of the 8000 beds have already been booked by eager soccer fans.

"The university is currently in the process of upgrading all its residences across its four campuses (Howard College, Westville, Pietermaritzburg and Edgewood)," he said.

"The upgrade will include the painting of rooms and common areas, the refurbishment of ablution blocks and the installation of new TVs, microwaves, fridges, stoves and other equipment. There is also an upgrade of sports facilities."

Four other university campuses across South Africa (Johannesburg, Witwatersrand and Cape Town University) are undergoing a similar revamp.

While thousands of rooms being made available at university campuses around the country are being snapped up by soccer fans, private homeowners who have undergone the match accreditation process are not faring so well.

Senior match accommodation manager Vivienne Bervoets said not all properties contracted to them were fully booked.

"Match continues to market properties on Fifa.com," said Bervoets.

She said there was no registration cost but that those who register with them would have to meet certain criteria for accommodation standards.

She would not reveal how many bookings were made for 2010 host city Durban or which establishments.

Peggy Mkhwanazi of Umlazi said she spent more than R60000 to refurbish her home and turn it into a guest house. But she said she had not had even one booking.

X