To provide a quality living and learning environment which foster the diverse intellectual, social and personal development of its student by providing social educational programmes and the services through good residential facilities. 



At Student Residences we envision ourselves as providers of quality accommodation, education and diverse environment supportive of the vision for residences where academic success and leadership is developed.


At student residences, we believe in family-hood. Our main objective is to provide a quality living and learning environment to our students and the stakeholders of the university. (Accommodation policy)

The Student Residence Family assists you whenever you experience problems, no matter how big or small. Your problem is our problem.


Our campus residences have over the years accommodated a number of residence students who today are leaders in industry, public and private sectors. It is expected of residence students to use more than just a class/lecture room: numerous activities are available for our residence students to participate in. 


Our philosophy as the Student Residence Department is to “contribute to the holistic development of a student. Crime is very high in our society and the university is doing its best to protect residence students. Resident students are urged to take care of themselves and make sure they walk in groups on and outside campus. People who choose WSU become part of the innovation generation – a generation that will make a difference, today and tomorrow.


The annual residence league of various sport codes, held during April/May has proven to be very popular amongst our students. Workshops arranged for the residence governance structures and general students focus on issues such as leadership, interpersonal skills, HIV/Aids, sexuality and pregnancy, diversity, housekeeping and study skills.


Due to a very high demand for student accommodation in residences, we will not be able to offer all applicants accommodation in the residences. Supplementary and aegrotat exams will not be considered for room allocations. A student must be registered for a minimum of three courses.  Allocation into residences is on a first come, first served basis. 


 Criteria for returning students are:

  • Filling in of application forms between October and 30 November annually.

  • Academic performance requirements are:

    • Double room is 60% pass

    • Single room is 70% pass

  • Distance between the permanent residence and the institution shall be applied.

  • Only registered students with proof of registration will be admitted to residences.


The Student Residence Office is responsible for allocating students to specific residences, houses and flats. These allocations are determined by Student Residence Admission Policy and implemented under the guidance of the student residence allocation committee. 


Allocation to specific rooms within the residences is managed by the Residence Officers. 


Cancellation of a room: WSU will cancel the offer made to any new or returning applicant who owes the university outstanding monies and is not able to register for the academic year or who is academically excluded due to misconduct or fails to comply with the rules and regulations of the university. 




Student at the residences, houses or flats will be required to pay an annual residence fee and amenities as may be defined by the university council. Fees are charged from the opening date of the respective residence. A student is liable for the applicable fees when the accommodation offer has been accepted and signed by the student. 

An initial amount of residence fee is R1,000 (one thousand rand)  which must be paid to the bank or university immediately after you have been offered accommodation and signed for it. 

Students are responsible for damage caused to the furniture, fittings and  all other parts of the residence, houses or flat within or outside the campus residences or in private residences. The cost of making good any damages for which a student responsible will be charged to his/her own fee account at the standard rates stipulated by the maintenance department.

Meal Plan

Applicants offered a place in a catering residence must indicate when returning their letter of acceptance or when registering for a room what the chosen meal plan is for the year.
Applicants can choose between breakfast, lunch and dinner (plan 1), lunch and dinner (plan 2), breakfast, lunch and dinner (plan 3), or breakfast, lunch and dinner only Monday to Friday (plan 4). Where an applicant fails to choose, the maximum of 21 meals (plan 1) per week will be charged. The meal plan selected may not be changed during the semester but changes are possible at half year. Please note that the university does not cater for special diets. Students in these residences are not permitted to heat, prepare food or cook in their rooms. 
Centralised laundry facilities are available in most residences and are managed by the House Committee. A system of compulsory laundry levies or coin or token system is employed. When the house, residence or flat does not contain laundry facilities, the residents are required to make their own laundry arrangements. 
Furnishing and equipment
All rooms are equipped with basic furniture such as a single bed, wardrobe, study desk and a chair. Only self-catering units contain in addition, a stove. The university does not provide kitchen utensils for those who live in self-catering facilities. Students in self-catering units need their own cooking and cleaning equipment. The university does not provide bedding. All students bring their own blankets, pillows, linen, towels, for example. 

Limited housekeeping services are provided in most residences. All the public areas and bathrooms are cleaned daily. Students make their own beds and should keep their own rooms clean. Students are required to clean their own rooms.Students may not keep pets in any university residence, house or flat.


Administration of the residences

The Student Accommodation Office (SAO) processes residence applications and

re-applications and implements Student Housing Admission Policy. The Student Accommodation Office staff is responsible for dealing with the admission of new and returning students, which includes allocation to residence. Any issue related to application, residence fees and allocation should be addressed to this office. 
Student accommodation during December/January and June/July vacations

If it is necessary for you to remain in our residences once your residence has closed i.e. in December/January or June/July vacations, you must apply in writing to the Student Accommodation Office. Residence students must vacate residences within 48 hours of completion of the student’s final examination. Failure to do so will result in a fine of R500. 
Sharing of rooms at Walter Sisulu University residences

Eighty percent of first year students in self-catering and in catering residences are accommodated in double rooms. If you wish to share with a friend who has been accepted in the same residence, you may put your request to the residence officer of the allocated residence. You can only do this once you have both been accepted into the same residence. If you or your room mate decide that you prefer to share a room with someone else in the same residence, talk to your residence officer who will, where possible, make arrangements suitable for all who are involved. Room changes are allowed after the third week of the term to allow settling in and to help avoid confusion in the room allocation process. 
Note that squatting is not allowed in the residences. 

Residence governance

Student governance:
Discipline is a characteristic of an orderly society. One of the most important tasks of  Residence Management is the exercising of discipline and the taking of disciplinary measures. 

  • Disciplinary measures should be managed in a consistent manner.
  • Discipline in a residence environment is not negotiable. The principle of “balance of probability” applies.
  • Any refusal by a resident to subject himself/herself to the authority of the Disciplinary System of residences shall be regarded as misconduct.

The WSU residences are governed by the following bodies:

1.            The Director : Student residences
            The Residence Officers
            The Chairperson of the Joint House Committee (SRC Welfare Officer)
            The Joint House Committee
            House Committee
            Floor Reps/Unit Reps.
All problems encountered in the residences must be reported to the above mentioned bodies according to the protocol. Protocol must be observed from the unit rep; House Committee; Joint House Committee; Chairperson of House Committee; the Residence Officer then, the Residence Officer will attend to the matter or will pass it straight to the Director.
Student residence rules and regulations

  1. Visitors hours 08H00 – 22H00.
  2. Visitors must sign a visitor’s book.
  3. Firearms and other dangerous weapons, liquor, drugs and drunkenness are not allowed in the residences.
  4. Each residence will have a house committee.
  5. The house committee will elect a joint house committee.
  6. The local SRC welfare officer will be the chairperson of the joint house committee.
  7. The Residence Officer will have the right to inspect the rooms.
  8. Disruptive noise will not be allowed in the residences; students should practice self control at all times and refrain from actions which may disrupt the residence community in any way.
  9. Abusive language will not be allowed in the residences.
  10. Commercial activities will not be allowed in the residences.
  11. Cases of injuries must be reported to the residence officers without delay and students shall be responsible for medical accounts.
  12. Pregnant students should vacate their rooms at six months of pregnancy. (see residence policies)
  13. The university will not be held responsible for the loss or damage of students’ property.
  14. No form of initiation will be allowed in the residences.
  15. Students must refrain from conduct that will harm order and discipline in the residences.


Office of the Director : Residences, Sport & Recreation

Private Bag x 3182
Tel 047 401 6338/6260
Fax 047 401 6021

Secretary of the Director : Residence, Sport & Recreation

Private Bag x3182
Tel 047 401 6260
Fax 047 401 6021
Student accommodation at the Nelson Mandela Drive Site, Mthatha

Private Bag x 1
Tel 047 502 2348 

Student accommodation at the Zamukulungisa Site, Mthatha

Private Bag x 6030
Tel 047 5011400

Student accommodation at the Ibika Site, Butterworth Campus

Private Bag x 3182
Tel 047 401 6315/6389
Fax 047 401 6021

Student accommodation at the Potsdam Site, Buffalo City

Private Bag x 1421
East London
Tel 043 708 5347

Please refer to the student orientation booklets available from this Department.


Minimum requirements for off-campus accommodation

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