Sensitive to the significant backlog in approval of applications for commune licences currently being experienced by the City of Johannesburg, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has extended its deadline for commune service providers to follow up on their commune licence applications from 1 June until the end of the year.
This arrangement, which pertains only to the 2013 academic year and only to the specified communes, is the final extension being given to accredited off-campus commune owners.
The decision to extend the de-accreditation deadline is sensitive to the interest of students currently accommodated in some of the affected communes. The University recognises that adequate residential facilities are an integral part of the learning experience and academic success. For this reason, UJ has policies and regulations for campus residences and for the accreditation of off-campus accommodation. The UJ policy on off-campus accommodation outlines procedures and requirements for accreditation.
The University is not condoning non-compliance by extending the deadline for the acquisition of commune licences. Commune service providers are still required to adhere to the University’s off-campus accommodation policy, the City of Johannesburg commune policy and other applicable City of Johannesburg by-laws.
Applications for the 2014 academic year will only be considered for accreditation upon receipt of a valid City of Johannesburg Commune Licence or its equivalent. Applications for the accreditation of communes for the 2014 academic year will open on 1 August 2013, ending on 31 August 2013.
Accredited off-campus service providers are required to proactively continue to abide by UJ’s policy on off-campus accommodation for the remainder of the contract term. Any violation thereof, or breach of contract, will give rise to the University invoking the breach and/or dispute resolution clause of the agreement, as the case may be.
UJ reserves the right to accredit or de-accredit any commune property that it has either previously accredited or one that seeks new accreditation. Previous accreditation does not guarantee that the property will be accredited for the next tenure. The decision either to accredit or de-accredit an off campus commune is the prerogative of the University.
Although UJ may accredit an off-campus accommodation provider who complies, the University does not allocate students to different service providers. Students are provided with a database of accredited off-campus providers in order for them to make their selection.
The University is currently engaging the City of Johannesburg to speed up its commune licence processing procedures. It is also conducting its own research on reported resident concerns regarding, amongst others, students conduct in off-campus accommodation.
The University is committed to fostering good relations with the City of Johannesburg, residents, resident associations, service providers, students and any other stakeholders on the issue of off-campus accommodation. It recognises that off-campus accommodation is a national concern and invites all stakeholders to work with the University in the search for workable solutions.