Photo: DBSA Delegates and UNIVEN staff members during the visit of DBSA funded Male and Female residences

From Tuesday, 06 September to Thursday, 08 September 2022, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) visited the University of Venda (UNIVEN) to evaluate progress made on the Student Housing infrastructure. On day one of the visit, Mr Sydwell Lekgau and Ms Mona Baleni from DBSA had a meeting with the University Management and later visited the Male and Female DBSA/DHET Funded Infrastructure. On day two of the visit, they had meetings with Project managers and leaders from the University’s Technical, Facilities, Finance and Student Residence. On the last day, DBSA delegates had a meeting with selected students where focus group discussion and interviews took place regarding DBSA/DHET funded residences.

Mr Sydwell Lekgau – DBSA

Mr Sydwell Lekgau from DBSA gave an overview of the Development Bank of Southern Africa where he mentioned that 70% of the DBSA budget is allocated in South Africa and most of these funds are used by South African municipalities while 30% is used on projects that are in other African countries. “We also support the maintenance of the infrastructure.” DBSA operates in fifteen (15) African countries. 

Mr Lekgau mentioned that the purpose of their visit to UNIVEN was to conduct the evaluation of DBSA funded projects. “We wanted to learn what is working and what is not working and where to improve”. These evaluations assist us with allocation of budgets. When money is being allocated it must be used on projects that funding had been allocated for. Mr Lekgau further mentioned that the reason for evaluating these projects is to check if the construction is still in progress, or had been completed, if not then they will assist to seek solutions to what might had led to the failure or slow progress of those projects. “We also conduct surveys because they assist us to get answers that are critical for future references on similar projects and challenges.” 

Dr Bernard Nthambeleni – Vice-Chancellor and Principal

In his Opening and welcome message, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni indicated that it is much expensive to build in Venda than in Gauteng because the building materials are sourced from Gauteng and there is a fee to be paid for transportation. “Same applies to engineers, we source them from Gauteng to provide their services this side.” He said he is pleased to announce that the Management of the University of Venda has made sure that irrespective of the challenges, these buildings are completed and these DBSA/DHET funded residences are 97 % complete.

Dr Robert Martin – DVC: Corporate Services

Dr Robert Martin said he likes the fact that DBSA also focuses on the maintenance of these infrastructure. He said infrastructure need to be maintained to last long. “There is no sense in wanting to build more infrastructure while you can’t even maintain the existing infrastructure. 

Mr Aluwani Magadani – University of Venda

Mr Aluwani Magadani presented student housing infrastructure overview where he indicated the total number of students on campus residences. Amongst other things, Mr Magadani mentioned that, about 3955 students are accommodated in the on-campus residences. There are currently 70 accredited off campus residences. Mr Magadani indicated some of the challenges in both on campus and off campus residences. He said safety remains the challenge especially in unaccredited residences. Maintenance of these buildings is another aspect that Mr Magadani shared with DBSA delegates. He said the DBSA/DHET funded residence will accommodate 1808 after completion. 

The survey results were presented by Ms Mona Baleni.


Adv Edward Lambani – University Registrar

University Registrar, Adv Edward Lambani gave a vote of thanks for the meeting that was held on day one of the visit where he mentioned that, historically, UNIVEN did not start well because the University did not receive the establishment grant, like other universities. “UNIVEN depended on the handout from homestead of the then Venda government. It started as a high school and later converted into a university to serve the local communities. So, we thank DBSA for the funding to make sure that we build the best University that we have all imagined.” 

The team also went on a tour to student housing projects (Female and Male Residences). 

Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 12 September 2022 

Skip to content