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Tech solves SA varsity accommodation turmoil

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Tshwane University of Technology
Tshwane University of Technology

by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – A NEW digital platform built for the student accommodation market is anticipated to address the problem rearing its ugly head at the beginning of each academic year in South Africa.

The Tshwane University of Technology Enterprise Holdings (TUTEH) has launched the app, known as TRes that expectantly, is also set to ease tensions that recur between scholars and administrators over the accommodation issue.

TUTEH is the commercial arm of TUT.

TUT has not been immune to the well-documented problem mentioned above.

Although the platform brought dignity to students’ lives, TUTEH has to still fully leverage it on a cloud platform, leading to the team to engage Amazon Web Services (AWS).

TRes is hailed as providing quality student experiences from the first time each student searches for accommodation until they check out from the university.

It is lauded as easy to use for both students and accommodation service providers who can communicate directly using the platform.

TRes, therefore, gives a voice to the students in the residences.

The platform also allows the students to raise issues they might have with the property owners in a smart way.

Landlords also have to register or sign in into TRes to engage with the students.

Officials said the launch of TRes followed extensive user testing and obtaining inputs from user groups.

A team, whose members are all under 30 years of age developed TRes. AWS worked with TUTEH to develop an initial minimum viable product of TRes in 20 days.

Nicholas Motsatse, CEO of TUTEH, said the digital platform enhanced the quality of life for students in student accommodation while providing appropriate tools and support to accommodation providers.

“The design and functionality of the platform aim to create ongoing interaction between students, accommodation providers and university administrators in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect,” he said.

He said the core idea behind TRes is that student accommodation was not only big business but also about human dignity.

“It is about the total experience of being a university student, which is a critical contributory factor to student performance,” Motsatse said.

He added that TRes’ modular development made it adaptable and responsive to a rapidly changing environment.

As such, TRes now has three features related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

In compliance with the law, it displays the official banner of COVID-19.

“In essence, TRes is the one-stop-shop for student accommodation and soon to be one-stop-shop for student living,” Motsatse concluded.

– CAJ News