The cost difference is proving to be a financial problem for the students who have moved from Urban Nest to Hatfield Studios. Depending on the type of room, students’ rent has increased by roughly R1000. At Hatfield Studios there are also additional costs such as water, electricity, laundry service, parking space and internet. These costs were included in the rent at Urban Nest, but are charged over and above the rent at Hatfield Studios. The cost of these excluded features makes Hatfield Studios even more expensive. Hatfield Studios “is convenient in that it is not far from campus but the expenses are crazy”, said Mandiwana.
Some students have acknowledged the benefit of being 150m from campus as they do not have to wait for a bus and it is more secure, while other students feel that the distance does not justify the additional cost. Mavezi Mafaba, a third-year BCom student, told Perdeby that “there are other Tuks residences close to campus and the residents do not pay as much as we do.”
SRC president Mosibudi Rasethaba stated that the SRC agrees that Hatfield Studios is trying to address an existing housing problem, but that the university was wrong in ending the lease agreement with Urban Nest without considering the students, and this works towards being exclusive. He further stated that the university should think about the fact that many of the students come from working class families. He concluded by saying that the university should have kept the lease agreement with Urban Nest to allow the students to have the same benefits as students staying in a residence.
There are, however, students who feel that the price can be justified by the privacy that Hatfield Studios offers in comparison to Urban Nest. Wendy Mamabolo, a second-year law student, explained that by students having their “own rooms and privacy, it is better”.
The overall response towards the move to Hatfield Studios was mixed. For some, having their own room will make studying easier as they do not have to turn off their light when their roommate wants to sleep. However, there are others who are worried about not being able to afford everything which could lead to financial troubles that hinder their studies.